[ISEA2016] Artist Talk: Megan Young (MegLouise) — Scores for Distributed Dancing

Artist Statement

Public Art Interactive System, Performance, and Digital Archive (2016)

Scores for Distributed Dancing hacks the body in the same way other projects hack technology. It breaks the congruity of everyday, introduces new parameters, and provides positive feedback for what might otherwise be perceived as failure. It de-emphasizes virtuosity of movement in dance-like contexts and affirms the refined expertise of everyday actions. The project exposes the rule-based parameters of social interactions and even personal movement choices. Scores for Distributed Dancing presents these concepts in an experimental and emergent digital format.
This is an iterative project that accumulates over time and through presentation in diverse spaces. It engages viewers as participants and performers as facilitators of experience. This durational event appears from within everyday interactions and highlights the pre-existing movement systems of public spaces. Social programming modifications are printed on playing cards in the form of logical operators. As participants attempt their scores, the system responds. Participants change the tone and pace of the space through a collaborative phase shift.
The intervention displays how small, accumulated actions deliver results on a grand scale. Every project space is digitally documented with pre- and post-rupture layered into an experimental video portrait for online archives and exhibition display.

Artist Megan Young/MegLouise examines the rules and strictures that dictate movement and physical action in a digital age. Long held as the primacy of identity creation, physical gestures influence how a body forms relationships with the world. Put another way, how an individual moves through life influences how they think of themselves. This pattern of identity formation through the interface of a body is already complicated by the multiple variables of culture, gender, and socioeconomic status. Now, there is an added variable of digital interface. Individuals regularly give and receive instructions from a non-human entity and that starts at an early age. Young interrogates the physical-digital relationship through experiments with embodied directives, disembodied directives, and seemingly embodied directives. She creates movement and new media installations that rupture standard use practices. She writes code for live performance in a language of her own creation including simple logical operators, thresholding techniques, and triggers for state changes. Projects maintain the casual, inviting aesthetic and blend into the world of everyday.

  • Megan Young (USA) presents her interdisciplinary movement and new media practice under the individual artist nom de guerre, MegLouise. She is a 2016 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awardee and recipient of the Creative Workforce Fellowship through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. Her work has beenhosted at national and international venues including Junction Arts Festival (Toronto), Moscow Theater West (Russia), ArtPrize with Site:Lab, DUMBO Dance Festival, Philly Fringe Festival, and Outlet Dance Project. Young has shared research on embodiment and system design for the International Symposium on Electronic Art – Workshop on Movement & Computing (Canada, 2015) and Porto International Conference on Musical Gesture as Creative Interface (Portugal, 2016). Midwest presentations include notable venues: Hyde Park Arts Center, MCA Chicago, Lubeznick Center for the Arts, RADfest, Cleveland Playhouse Fusion Fest, Chicago Arts District, Cleveland Public Theatre, Playhouse Square Center, Columbus Dance Theater, Cincinnati Fringe Festival, and New World Performance Laboratory. Young is part time faculty at Kent State University and has presented guest workshops at University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC), Columbia College Chicago, American College Dance Association, Ohio Dance Festival, and other venues. She holds a BFA in dance from Ohio University and an MFA in interdisciplinary art & media from Columbia College Chicago. meglouise.info