[ISEA2018] Paper: Grisha Coleman & Brenda McCaffrey — Movement Unercommons: Movement Analysis as Meaning Making in a Time of Global Migrations


Short Paper

Keywords: Movement, migration, motion capture, annotation, repository, database, pattern analysis, open-source, translation, community, somatic movement

While migration studies are generally approached in geographical/statistical/geo-political terms (time, histories, routes), this project considers migratory movement at the scale of individual
human movement. movement as a marker of identity expressed through qualities of posture, rhythm, gesture, tempo, orientation. Each person’s movement is unique, an individual’s movement ‘fingerprint’, and this project seeks to reveal and honor the specific, fluid, complex qualities of a people in motion of body and location, while adding to a critical discourse surrounding issues of contemporary migration. This is a position paper describing the research framework behind a new project which proposes an exploration of movement and mobility amongst internal migratory populations within two pilot areas; South Africa and Greece. This  work develops our previous work [1] [Iyengar, V., Coleman, G. et. al. 2016], creating a repository for a growing collection of high resolution motion-capture ‘portraits’. This repository will not  only hold the source documentation of movement sequences, but also serve as an open platform for those recorded. It will become a space for discussion, creative interpretation, translation, annotation, and analysis. The repository opens a public space for artists, researchers, dancers, ethnographers, humanists, and somatic movement educators to respond and add diverse layers of meaning; creative interpretation, social and historical context, and technological and somatic analysis. Thus, we build an expandable platform for exploring the linguistics of movement through a range of responses.

  • Grisha Coleman is an Associate Professor of Movement, Computation and Digital Media, School of Arts, Media and Engineering and The School of Dance at Arizona State
    University, USA. Composer and choreographer in performance and experiential media, her work explores relationships among our physiological, technological and ecological systems. Her recent art and scholarly work echo::system echo-system.net is a springboard for re-imagining the environment, environmental change, and environmental justice.
  • Dr. Brenda McCaffrey is an electrical engineer and inventor with 30 years of experience in materials, sensors and electronic hardware currently engaged in research and design involving nano-energy capture through human movement. Dr. McCaffrey has extensive
    experience in wearable technologies, specializing in embedding electronics in garments and jewelry, and received a patent in 2017 for this work. She has been involved in numerous startup companies including efforts to commercialize non-invasive stimulation
    technologies for pernicious bone fractures. Dr. McCaffrey has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University. She is also a jewelry designer, hula dancer and Pacific Islander with a passion for celebrating culture and movement.

Full text p. 348 – 353