EChO Research Timeline

2012-10-01 23:01:44

Documentation review

The EChO investigators and research assistants review, organise, categorise, and archive all existing documentation on the Choreographic Language Agent (CLA). The documentation was indexed with annotations. These annotations highlight main themes. They also point to the collaborations that were fostered during the emergence of the CLA. The index is publicly available, and will be of value to researchers seeking to understand the emergence of scientific collaborations around Contemporary Dance, the interface of dance with digital media, and the specific history of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, and of R-Research. See link below for access to the Index.

2012-11-01 23:01:44

Ethnographic Investigation

Participant observation was undertaken with the dance company, including the collection of oral history relating to the idea for a ‘choreographic agent’ and then of the CLA between 2003 and 2009. Leach conducted semi-structured interviews with Wayne McGregor, the technical and artistic team working on the CLA, the academic and industry advisors for the CLA project, dancers who had used the CLA, and with administrative and development staff in Wayne McGregor | Random Dance. Cross referencing, including with background documentation.

2013-01-07 08:26:47

Review and Analysis of fieldwork outcomes

An analysis of the form of the CLA. Attention to how the scientific and technical vocabulary with which choreographic process had been understood was reflected in the function of the CLA. Analysis of the physical and technical choices made in constructing the CLA. Reflection on the specific social relations created, sustained or developed by the project, and their influence on the form of the CLA and the wider R-Research programme. The potential for an alternative form of ‘artificially intelligent choreographic entity’ emerged at this point. Analysis then shifted to describing ‘design parameters’ indicating what this ‘entity’ might be/do. We focussed on the concept of ‘the body’, a complex and rich theme elaborated by McGregor and other informants. The body they talked about was one that had presence, was compelling to be with, and elicited a kinaesthetic response. The application of anthropological analysis and the introduction of comparative ethnographic material assisted in describing the kind of ‘body’ and ‘knowledge’ that the ‘Entity’ should attempt to convey, and the kind of form it might take.

2013-01-21 08:26:47

Parameters for a ‘redesigned CLA’, or Enhanced Choreographic Object (EChO)

Leach and deLahunta prepare a short description of findings, ending with some suggested ‘parameters’ to guide the refashioning of the CLA. The parameters took account of the centrality of ‘the body’, and its ability to elicit movement responses in others. This document was shared collectively and discussed individually with the design team and the choreographer prior to workshop 1.

2013-02-12 08:26:47

First workshop with full EChO team

The research team, project advisors, design team, choreographer and invited external experts met for two days to discuss the findings of the initial phase of research: 1. Report on investigation; 2. Discussion of parameters; 3. McGregor/Downie discuss using the re-made ‘Entity’ in McGregor’s studio while making the piece Atomos; 4. Agreement on a proposal for a new choreographic object; 5. Consensus that this object would be available for installation at the Wellcome Collection in September, and for McGregor to experiment with at the start of the making process for Atomos in late July.

2013-03-04 08:26:47

‘Becoming’ piece in construction

Collaboration between Downie/Rothwell/Open Ended Group and McGregor to realise parameters (generate an ‘Entity’) that fed into Atomos making process. Consultations with Leach and deLahunta on form of what was christened ‘Becoming’ by Downie in order to ensure it would realise the dual aims of studio tool for McGregor, and Choreographic Object to convey aspects of his process to a public audience at Wellcome Collection.

2013-06-18 08:26:47

EChO Workshop Two

1. Report on progress from Downie and Rothwell. Discussion on form of the interface for Becoming, its technical requirements and specifications, technical and logistics planning to achieve functionality in studio and exhibition spaces; 2. Review of documentation indexing; 3. Discussion of written contributions from Project Advisors; 4. Input from project advisors and invited experts on the implications and dissemination of the research.

2013-07-01 08:26:47

Collaboration with Wellcome to install Becoming as part of ‘Thinking with the Body’

deLahunta works closely with Wellcome Collection staff to realise ‘Thinking with the Body’. Installation of Becoming prompts discussions with Downie, Rothwell, and Leach on its position, staging, and labelling. David Bickerstaff interviews design and research team for video documentation. Leach and deLahunta give pubic talks on the research as part of the exhibition events.

2013-07-01 08:26:47

Preparation of discussion papers and analysis by project consultants

Project consultant Stephanie Jordan investigates the making process for Atomos, including the use of Becoming. Resulting written paper analyses the Sadler’s Wells performances of Atomos reflecting on the research process of EChO and the influence of ‘Thinking with the Body’ exhibition. Project consultant Sarah Whatley prepares a paper analysing the contribution to dance knowledge and scholarship of ‘Thinking with the Body’ exhibition, and of the EChO component of that. Research Assistants Hetty Blades and Frederica Ancona undertake audience research with visitors to ‘Thinking with the Body’, with Blades' written report and discussion available along with the papers of Jordan and Whatley. See link below for access.

2013-07-16 08:26:47

Iterative prototyping of ‘Becoming’ at Spinel Studio, Islington

The EChO team gather on the first day of creation of the Wayne McGregor | Random Dance piece Atomos at the rehearsal studio. ‘Becoming’ was set up in an adjacent room, debugged and tested until stable, then wheeled into the studio. McGregor and dancers experiment with use of Becoming. Rothwell and Downie make changes to the programming and interface in response to dancer and choreographer. McGregor formulates tasks for dancers to interact with the installation.

EChO Research Timeline

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