Second Summit on New Media Art Archiving
June 11, MACBA – Convent dels Àngels. Long paper.
Keywords: embodied knowledge, virtual archive, Body-as-Archive, motion capture, translation
This paper is part of a research project which aims to reenact an analogue theatrical archive with the use of immersive technologies. The project explores innovative forms of documenting, navigating and transmitting the vast knowledge which is carried in the performers’ body. We expose new modes of archival practices through virtual technologies.
Informed by contemporary research in performance studies, this writing examines the ongoing challenges and possibilities of using XR technologies to create a virtual archive of embodied theatre techniques. This is part of a research project working with the (analogue) archive of Odin Teatret in Denmark, in which we are facing the challenge of transferring the embodied knowledge of actors’ training into a virtual navigation system which evokes interaction and affect. We begin by outlining a critical epistemological framework which calls for new accounts of knowledge distribution and the place of embodied and affective praxis within this frame. We describe the process of having different training strands from practitioners of Odin and pupils being mapped with the use of motion capture technology. Further on, we approach one of the key aspects of this research, that of the translation of such embodied techniques and movement qualities into data and, consequently, into an immersive experience of archival navigation. With this paper we aim to contribute to the discussion on documentation of embodied knowledge in present times, one which calls for new approaches to practices of transmission, archive interaction and embodied navigation.
- Adriana La Selva (BR) is a theatre-maker, a performer and a researcher. She is currently a fellow FWO researcher with the project Practicing Odin Teatret’s Archives at S:PAM (Studies in Performance and Media- Ghent University, Belgium) – in association with IPEM (Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music), Utrecht University, Manchester Metropolitan University and Aalborg University. She concluded her Master’s degree in Contemporary Arts, at the University of Lancaster, UK, on Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of becoming in relation to physical theatre. She is a member of the international theatre group The Bridge of Winds, led by Odin Teatret actress Iben Nagel Rasmussen. Adriana co-founded Cross Pollination, an international platform for performers and researchers, which focuses on dialogues in-between practices and tactics for embodied knowledge building.
- Ioulia Marouda is a multidisciplinary designer whose work expands between interactive art and scenography. She is currently a doctoral fellow in art science and computer science at Ghent University and part of the IPEM (Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music). Her research interests include interaction in XR, embodiment, computer graphics and perception. She currently focuses on the transmission of embodied knowledge through immersive and interactive technologies as well as the translation of physiological data as a way to explore the possibilities of the virtual body to uncover qualities otherwise invisible. Ever since her diploma studies in Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens, she grew an unusual interest in the way digital technologies affect our perception of space. This led her to study further in the Interactive Architecture Lab at UCL. She has worked with design studios and in theatre in Germany and the UK designing physical and digital temporary spaces. Ultimately, through working across media she aims to express stories and atmospheres of the present.