Design And Performance Lab
FutureHouse, Blind City: A Life
I found these small green rocks on some of the graves in the old village of Breedon-on-the-Hill. The cemetery was placed in respectful distance to the village, overlooking the valley, keeping to itself. Many of the tombstones were covered with brown moss, their lettering deteriorated from old age, making it difficult to decipher the names of families that lived here. Generations now lying there, in quiet remove, covered with little green rocks. I took one as a reminder, curious to find out what started such tradition of placing fake crystals on the earth that protects the decomposing of corpses.
Sites and Non-Sites
Decomposition. A reverse process that indicates something paradoxical, at best, or rather, something that points to the nature of "process" as we understand it today in the arts. This organic understanding emphasizes the temporary, the transitory, the dynamic yet perishable; it links production and destruction, growth and decay as if art were a metabolizing system, nature now looking at its informational doubles wondering what took artists so long to embrace cybernetics and complex systems science. Artificial, generative lifeforms evolving and mutating into something as alien or uncanny as the once surreal excesses of body art -- this is the cutting edge of today's technological art that locates "performance" outside of the control of human subjectivity. Authorship is dissolved or disappears in the model of "emergence," yet the scientific model bears a curious resemblance to late capitalism's globalised flows and exchanges and thus to the business model transforming the cultural form of art today. We rehearse collective process. Artistic practice, especially when it diligently records and reflects everyday life, is valorized by the neo-liberal market as creative social technique. Since the 90s, art in some sense was asked to function as a social service in the aesthetic production of reality. Such process reflects on how we live and how we want to live, how we comprehend architectures which are not built to last.
I should therefore mention my capitalist venture into building new infrastructures for performance and media research, except that so far it has not turned up any profits but lingers precariously, another "alternative site" struggling to assert itself and survive briefly, a familiar predicament in the life of an independent choreographer. After early training in theatre, I discovered that the stage holds less interest to me than dysfunctional industrial architectures and other locations we tend to call "site-specific" for no particular reason other than their apparent inadequacy as functional (useful) places holding commercial or exploitable interest or cultural value. Vacant, abandoned, and crumbling buildings caught my fantasy, and inspired performances that could only be devised in such environments that smelled and tasted of a bygone history, showed wounds, or proudly held on to the engineering feats of a 19th century era when such buildings provided work and livelihood for many people in the region of my ancestors. My grandfather was a coal miner, and his father before him also tilled underground while the family continued to have livestock and cared for a small area of farmland.
After many years living abroad, far removed from the coal mining region of my province, I returned home one day to discover that the old industry had expired. The mines had been shut down, when it was decided they were no longer profitable and deserving of the large subsidies that kept them alive. The mine closest to my home, established long ago in the village of Göttelborn, lay there like an albatross, barely alive but guarded by security personnel looking after the rotting corpse. The guards make sure no one gets lost or hurt in the vast territory of the pit. They've turned water and electricity off but many dangerous looking cables still lie around exposed. There might be gas leaks and damaged machinery, inverted signs of technological progress.
Progress here has come to a halt, and the regional government, eager to invent solutions to growing economic malaise, structural unemployment, increasing immigration, population density and strained social relations, likes to convert the corpses into monuments to industrial culture ready to be exploited for tourism, on the one hand, while seeking investors to create pockets of emerging high tech industries on the other. The Göttelborn Mine has now been declared a "heritage," but the redevelopment agency that commissioned my proposal for an interactive media lab dreams already of a different future in the cité and the boulevards of the pit: it envisions the mine to come back to life with new energies, new settlers, new innovative inhabitants who start another cycle of creation amongst the proud white towers that overlook the cemetery.
The dream of the future cité cherishes its tallest tower as a symbolic landmark, der weisse Bock, without necessarily dwelling on the unhappy saga of its construction. The technically advanced shaft IV tower, with its colossal pyramidal framework, was a desperate last measure to guarantee production and continued subsidies, yet the engineering feat was paradoxically completed only in the year before the mining company closed everything down. A tower of tragic futility, it offers a splendid view of the surrounding countryside. Research into the sustainability of regional industrial culture needs to be rewritten; surveying the "urban topography" of the site, the redevelopment agency hopes to attract courageous innovators in such fields as biotechnology, nanotechnology, synthetic material production, computing and artificial intelligence, promoting the integration of nature, landscape design, technological culture and architecture into a new "information network."
As we live in this world, we grow more comfortable with the rhetoric of globalisation that advertises our survival in the various "regions" of Empire. When I travel between Nottingham (East Midllands of the UK) and Göttelborn (Saarland, a southwestern state in Germany), I am being told that my work in such locations contributes to the development of a "regional digital culture" which is both regional and global in so far as the region understands itself as a "portal to the world." I am not sure whether such understanding is as common among the local population as the development agencies think, but the regional capitals and the business, political and community leaders subscribe to it, and they administer the funding for innovative projects. When I observe the working methodologies amongst fellow practitioners in the creative industries and in my own collaborative productions over the last ten years, the enormous increase in the use of new technologies and networked, distributed communication is readily apparent. Most of such new media work is laboratory-driven, its different parts assembled in different places and brought together temporarily for testing. Some of the work does not have to seek a specific venue to be performed. It is designed to be distributed online, conceived as a dynamic system of virtual performance, programmed to be re-constituted in different, changing forms and articulations, and it is thus grounded in a conceptual model of art-making and scientific research which emphasizes process, self-organization and interaction.
In the contemporary context of digital interactive performance, with its specific interdisciplinary techniques of research on the development of pervasive technologies, the programming of interactive design, distributed networks, sensitive environments, artificial life (a-life), complex dynamic systems, and human-machine relationships, the whole question of the "object" has been muted, and with it the significance of place or origin. "Focus on processual interaction over the end-product or art object," writes Sher Doruff, " has implications for definition of aesthetics and classification of media content - a contemporary twist on the conceptualist stance. Dynamic potential within media ecologies (expression through all available mediums, where the mediums themselves are changed by the expression) whose raison d'être relies on live processing between medium and between humans, contradicts attempts at classifying symbol or dissecting meaning from layered, evolving sound and image."(1) Doruff emphasizes the aesthetic implications of such a collaborative environment, a kind of digital commons with interactive platforms for multi-users, implying that "the human" is only a medium within such ecologies of diffusion, with an unknown number of input, output and hidden units. The placeless presence of such interactive platforms is a contemporary phenomenon that reaches into countless imagined communities of interest (cf. game cultures, hacker and anarchist networks, Attac, eBays, maillists, weblogs, etc.). As we once entered cathedrals to visit their architectures as placeholders for a system of belief, so we now log on to the imagined community of our chat rooms. When I registered with the East Midlands "Digital Arts Forum" (www.digitalartsforum.org.uk), I left a link to a physical resource, in this case my telematic studio in Nottingham, which itself is linked to a network of partner sites in other countries.(2) Once we engage distributed real-time interaction strategies and negotiations for data sharing and processing, we tend to operate in a wholly mediated sphere. The phenomenal site or place, where some of the action might be generated, recedes from sight. If performances built on media interaction and databases tend to be disconnected from physical context, and if motion-capture animation and 3D virtual worlds create projected environments without real performers, then live remediations of the body in digital-choreographic space undermines all our familiar notions of body art and live art. The body is no longer in (one) place. It is not obsolete, by no means, but it gradually decomposes.
This is hardly an alarming statement, even as the story of collaborative culture, which has its own romantic and utopian pitfalls, needs some closer inspection. Rather, interactivity today is the new model for our regions, for the knowledge economy, for site-specificity -- our spatial and media practices articulate transactions between event, site (data), and viewers. Prefiguring the paradox of telematic performances with distributed action, where images and sounds are created not just to be transmitted from one location to another, but to spark a multidirectional feedback loop with participants in remote locations, site-specific performance itself has become transitory. Another way of saying this is to argue that site-specificity is medium-specificity. In regard to genres such as videodance, it has been correctly pointed out that choreography for the camera is site-specific insofar as video creates its own "site" for the dance to occur.(3) The same is true for netart and online interactive performance.
Our organizational process has adopted a new awareness of transactions which are relationship-specific, derived from a combination of palpable practices in engineering, sculpture, film, music, choreography and participatory design. Above all, those who practice such transactions need a room with a view, so to speak, a studio or platform that is connected to the non-physical or virtual environment. The "local" is understood not as sedimented history but as data mine, a recordable source that can be changed in the post-processing. Place no longer holds a self-evident authority nor provides stable context; it is as fictively constructed as any other mediated reality. This does not mean it is not real, but like any other places where we live or where we travel, it holds potential to become our machine of communication, generate behavior, or receive our performance envelopes. We model our own habitat as an adoptive process, as we temporarily inhabit and interfere with the ecology of the environment. This is a very material process, I want to emphasize, since performance with interactive design is inevitably focussed on sensory processing and heightened perceptual/synaesthetic relationships to audio-visual environments.
There is another way of looking at the site-specific, especially if I relate it to our experience of working in the coal mine. The paradox of site-specific performance here suggests that the "mine" is re-placed by the interactive audio-visual system we build while working together. New properties and networked conditions arise which make the environment a specific media-space in which our actions, movements, and stories converge. The design of such an environment is aimed at an active "user" who experiences, not an original place nor a completed work, but an intelligent, responsive system. Such a system requires the participant to engage the various interfaces which control and mediate the aesthetic as well as psychological processes the environment harbors. The "system" thus becomes a "place" designed in explicit anticipation of its user: it is always becoming and never completed.
In the summer of 2003 I start working in the abandoned pit, making the "Interaktionslabor" (http://interaktionslabor.de) a temporal place for experimentation, collaborative brain storming, designing and creating virtual environments. Twenty choreographers, musicians, composers, architects, media and network artists from four different continents arrive to set up shop in the Schwarz-Weisskaue, one of the largest and most unusual buildings on site, formerly used as dressing-washing room for the 5000 coal miners who worked here for many decades. After a few weeks, we strike the set, dismantle our electronic equipment, and quickly leave, only to return eagerly the next summer, hoping that the mine is still there.
The (repeated) return is not without surprises or complications. Internally, the composition of the group and the focus of the interactive design projects change. Externally, the fictive cité, still unpopulated, has begun to look more like a construction site, as one of the old machine halls is being transformed into workshop studios. On top of the dark slack hill, on which we filmed a dance during the first lab, a company is building the largest photovoltaic power plant in Europe. While we set up our equipment, construction workers at the photovoltaic plant are adding solar panel after solar panel. Two other companies have moved in; security is less heavy this year, and the old canteen, where the retired miners still go to have a beer, now features jazz concerts once a month. Children's theatre performances take place in one of the empty buildings; we find remnant signage of a photographic exhibition. Signs of scattered, burgeoning activity, alongside the decompositions.
The Interaktionslabor announced publicly that the team members who come to work here consider the workshop an engine for new ideas in communication technologies and performance with interactive media. The location is treated - with regard to the issue of sustainability - neither as something to be preserved (museum of industrial culture) nor as a theatrical setting for festival entertainment, but rather as an open place of transformation processes. We believe that a laboratory mediates knowledge processes that can be used in other areas of training. This transferability is particularly meaningful in view of communications strategies that involve internet, video and cellular conferencing technologies and wearable computing. They have an impact on new concepts of urbanity, life styles and mobility, and they offer a perspective for the younger generations growing up in the region. A study of "networked environments" takes up questions implicitly raised by the infrastructure development agency (IKS) and its search for investors, although our lab may not initially create jobs but rather function as a cultural hub for creative practices and a research link in a virtual network with other creative industries in the region and beyond. As a digital laboratory it will also be inevitably non-site-specific as it participates in information industries - on the level of research, scientific and artistic production - which cannot be reduced to any single identifiable culture. As models of innovative practice provoking questions, rather than confirming or preserving cultural identities, vanguard laboratories curate projects and complex productions which today are marked by heterogeneity, organizational diversity, and mutability, and by collective authorship which we call collaborative culture.
So much for the rhetorical façade. In a basic sense, the lab provides a workshop for skilled labor and artisanship, it converts existing spaces, generates stories, images, sound (including radio broadcasts), hardware and software design , network solutions. Team member move around a lot, dance, make music, debate, film, edit, program, scavenge, tinker and construct. Canadian artist Jeff Mann, for example, constructed a special antenna out of found materials that enabled wireless access from the top of the Shaft IV Tower. From that towering vantage point he was able to send a video stream to Sher Doruff who created a Keyworx configuration that displayed images from Jeff's camera mixed with an audio visualization of their conversation on walkie-talkies. Queries from the audience, communicated via text messaging from Blackberry PDA's provided by Renn Scott (a user experience architect working for the RIM Company in Toronto), and chalk drawings made by visitors on the pavement were included in the image mix shown at the Winding Engine Building.
The overall strategy of the 2003 lab was to focus on such hybrid connections, letting the site create the work. The "site" is the performance interface; it is user-specific to the extent that without interaction there is nothing to see. Australian media artist Kelli Dipple, for example, showed an interactive improvisation ("Absence") with a triptych of Quicktime movies she had shot of herself in the Mine, and then invited the audience to join her and do the same, leaving something of themselves (as trace). In her films, she focused on the Mine as a space of disappearing bodies, and her treatment of the interface itself seemed to comment on the disappearing effect of programming that allows for randomness and certain kinds of recognition, not others. Her interface was set up with a video camera as input device for the interactive system (BigEye): it could see space and track motion and color. Her parameter defined dark colors as a "present body," and the dynamics of the movement decided which film of her disappearances we would see (and in which direction, forward or backward).
Dipple's "game," which simultaneously involved spoken passages activated by certain gestures or movements, implicates the visitors and thus potentially motivates and integrates their movement and the interpretation of the collective moment (someone's presence is being decomposed). If interactive design animates the user to make choices, it will inevitably provoke questions about the formal constraints (media properties), control parameters (outcomes predetermined by the programming), and the levels of interaction and reciprocal expertise required in such a space for "public processing." Affecting a sense of live processing in the viewer may not be enough if the tools and programming code are not common knowledge, and if the roles of programmer and user are not exchanged. In other words, interactivity is not a common cultural form as long as tacit agreements governing the conditions and variables of a given model of participation have not been defined. The expertise of the user group is a contradictory problem rarely addressed in current discussions of emergent aesthetics which consider artists and audiences as co-producers and assimilate art into the collaborative social practice ("performance") or improvisation technique elicited in evolving interactive environments.
How do I want to live?
To examine this question of design and control, we began to work on three parallel processes in 2004:
1) an interactive opera about blindness ("Ensaio sobre a cegueïra")
2) a generative/interactive improvisational system in which dance, digital image and sound are algorithmically manipulated creating a hybrid, mutable landscape ("Spiff")
3) an architectural project on interactive living ("FutureHouse")
I will end my story by bringing two of these projects into relationship with each other, evoking their connections for you. If you had been with us, you would have received a questionnaire from Marion Tränkle and Jim Ruxton asking you to respond to some queries that are already part of the architectural process the designers have devised for the FutureHouse which is not a house nor a model of home or place but an interactive fantasy of how you (dear visitor) would like to live in the future. Do you want to take your house with you? Would you like it to recognize you, respond to your moods, talk to you, make love to you? Think about an idea how you can experience living space completely differently. Spaces as we see them around us all have the potential to change. Architects are skilled to do that. There is a routine when dealing with a restoration project, namely to scan the structure very quickly and decide about qualities to keep and things to change.(4)
During the 2003 lab Tränkle considered the industrial surrounding as so overwhelming that the idea of changing and thinking about different use seemed nearly a sacrilege. When Tränkle teamed up with engineer Jim Ruxton in 2004, she found a very small empty building, a former electrical transformer station (Alte Kompensation), which was then used to "perform questions" in an attempt to break down the idea that our surrounding is static. The interactive scenario Tränkle and Ruxton created, with sensors and audio-visual media, was designed to evolve and trigger fantasy. The fantasies of the audience, we figured, would be out of control, while their social behavior in the interface might be predictable, to some extent. The site-specific medium of collaboration would be improvisation and intuitive recognition of the properties of complex systems: the visitor would feel and imagine possible lifeforms.
As a framework, Tränkle offered a guided tour through the FutureHouse. Welcoming a limited number of visitors at a time, she invited them to come inside and successively addressed each of them with the same questions that had been used in the questionnaire to prepare the interactive installation. The central idea of the design concept was to create a sensitive space: numerous sensors (proximity, heat, touch) and kinetic devices reacted to audience behavior through sound and visual projections, voices started to speak, images appeared on walls, objects in the room came alive, thus conjuring a constantly evolving dynamic that changed the way in which the house was perceived to exist. The house in which you might live lives too.
How do you like the view out of the window ? What would you see there? What is essential for you to feel at home? Is it security or connectivity? How secure are you when your house is online? What is your image of beauty in a house? The inter-view form dominated Tränkle's address to the visitors who seemed familiar with so-called show-houses but less so with an empty space that acted upon them. Ironically, in midst of the specific context of the abandoned pit there was one house already "ready," stuffed with a little bit of virtual furniture to indicate possible functions within a house that communicates and self-organizes. A house that can also be a bit moody. When it asked a visitor to identify himself by saying something positive about himself, the visitor was so perplexed that he fell silent, whereupon the house declined access to its "higher levels" of interaction
Tränkle and Ruxton played their roles as hosts with proper dignity and playful humor, also giving visitors time to explore the sensate body of the space, its surprising colors and lights (video images), its stunning views of an imaginary outside (video windows), its mobility (the house becoming an airplane), transformabilty, alertness, cleverness and even erotic dexterity (when one of the walls asked a woman to step closer and touch it). The FutureHouse also contained a database, an archive of imaginary projections that had been collected in the questionnaires and could now be accessed (recreated video animations) by visitors who, as Tränkle implied with mock sincerity, could see themselves as potential buyers. Our laboratory was selling something that is not there yet, but rather than thinking of it as a virtual house, the performance of the interview of interactive living in fact offers people a sensory perception of fantasized space. The mediated "house" here becomes a somber version of Hélio Oticica's Penetrável Tropicalia - a heterotopic space in midst of the industrial decay.
The processing experience designed by Tränkle and Ruxton offers some fundamental insights into contemporary digital perception. It is perception produced not just by the interactive performance between host and guest, here modestly framed as a theatricalized "tour" of a "future house," but actively generated by a sensory environment that invites "touch" and "movement", both literally and imaginatively. The sensors which Tränkle and Ruxton placed inside the house do not merely activate digital kinetic objects, and we cannot simply speak here of projected or immersive space which may flood the visitor's sensory perception, as it often happens in contemporary multimedia performances and exhibitions. Rather, the uninhabited FutureHouse acts unpredictably and thus provokes the visitor to move around, hesitate, sit down, change places and postures and reach towards something which actually takes place in the affected body of the visitor - there is no virtual house emanating from the audio-visual images but the visitor's bodily perception is itself virtualized. When I was in the visitor group, I was asked to close my eyes and imagine where I would fly with the house. I then began to hear the engines start, and my house began to lift off and drift into the clouds and beyond, as the sounds I heard slowly confused my internal sensorimotor logic and made me feel suspended. When I opened my eyes, I looked out of the window of my flying house and saw the sprawling vista of Houston beneath me, as we prepared for landing. I had to make an effort to "place" myself again, feel the reality of where I was since I lost my proprioceptive footing for a while, following a digital process which perhaps begins when I touch an image and it begins to speak, when I perceive a projected object that appears real and familiar, only to become modulated into something fantastic and unexpected.
Sensory processing in interactive performance expands our understanding of affectivity and synaesthetic perspectives. Digital images and sonic frequencies open out, extending the whole body from the inside where virtual (fantasy) movement is affectively and cognitively processed in the cross-modal experience we have when vision does not dominate but is short-circuited by touch and hearing.(5) In my second example, our approach to "Ensaio sobre a cegueïra" (Blind City) focused precisely on the haptic and the auditory, seeking to displace proprioception from vision, make us "see" without seeing. For this workshop, involving numerous lab participants and directed by Brazilian composer Paulo C. Chagas, we chose one of the largest spaces in the mine, the resonating echo-chamber of the Winding Engine Room, gigantic, hollow and dusty, the winds blowing through gaping holes on one side where the cables once hung that pulled the coal from the under-earth. "Ensaio sobre a cegueïra," the Portuguese title of our libretto (adapted from José Saramago's novel), literally means "essay on blindness." For the opening scenes of this interactive opera we designed a multi-channel sound environment to combine live voice (soprano), processed voice, chorus, and film projection, emphasizing the live processing and synthesis of the music through performer action with sensors, microphones, and feedback. Unlike the FutureHouse and its direct involvement of the visitors, the interfaces for this performance were designed for expert performers to rehearse digital perception.
The rehearsal begins by drawing attention to the moment when a seemingly dominant natural modality of perception (sight) decomposes: people in the city are suddenly struck by a mysterious blindness. This moment is rendered in voice, gesture, and action, in performances that access mnemonic techniques harbored by the senses and their self-referencing habits. In this moment the visual, distance from the eye, is not composed. Rather than reciting language (libretto), score and choreography as visual architectures (spatializing memory), the mnemotechniques for the interfaces climb through the dark. They are soundings that touch the mapping (modeling of sound parameters) for the sensory interaction, which has a graphic or mathematical form in the computer, while the action of the sensitized body relies solely on felt relations, felt quantity and immediate perception of sound, measure, distance, pitch, volume, and shape. Carrie Henneman's soprano soars high, reverberating through the entire building. Her voice sweeps and "guides" the others. Angeles Romero, wearing body sensors on her muscles and joints, moves and modulates digital sound in continuous ineffable waves, seamless loops that keep folding back on themselves as our ears try to focus and "see" a waveform that is like an incipient direction for such experience of mixed emotions. I am alone in the room, remember colors, objects, shapes that are/were part of my experience; I hear shapes or I might be hallucinating, words forming patterns or movements, remembered rhythms, forming words, decelerating the sensation of forward progression, compressing the multi-dimensional into intensity without extension. I look inside facing myself, placeless and abstract, my previous life. That intensity, as if we feel we hear our heart beat, is eye-opening, and our poor metaphors crumble when it comes to the non-visual excitement, close to an orgasm, that might drive the self-related movement of the body, my body feeling the twists and turns of Romero's body as she re-lives the moment with her lover in which she goes blind. This is an analog process for sure, and it thus questions what we do with our computational arrangements, in systems we call MAX or Isadora. On the other hand, the music of this opera is created in the synergy of bodily rhythms, muscles, ears, voices integrating the digital sound, and thus the instruments of an emergent, seismic environment (the technologies), non-localized and abstract, become part of our incipient experience of continuing, moving without sight.
Of course you will say that this is a completely artificial experiment, that the performers were not really blind. Well then, the little green stones on the graves were actually emeralds, and I imagined myself lying there, my body rotting away with these sweet sheets of crystalline tears covering the unimaginable.
1 Sher Doruff, "Collaborative Culture," in J. Brouwer, A. Mulder, S. Charlton, eds. (2003) Making Art of Databases. Rotterdam: V2_ Publishing/NAI Publishers, p.92. For the more esoteric forays into planetary collective consciousness, see Roy Ascott, (2003) Telematic Embrace: Visionary Theories of Art, Technology, and Consciousness. E.A. Shanken, ed. Berkeley: University of California Press. See also Katherine N. Hayles, (1999) How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; Nicolas Bourriaud, (2000) Postproduction. Trans. Jeanine Herman. New York: Lukas and Sternberg; Amy Scholder,and Jordan Crandall, eds., (2001) Interaction: Artistic Practice in the Network.. New York: D.A.P.; and Johannes Birringer, (2000) Performance on the Edge: Transformations of Culture. London: Continuum.
2 The Association of Dance and Performance Telematics (ADaPT) was formed in 2001 and includes partner sites in Columbus, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Irvine, Detroit, Brasilia, São Paulo, Amsterdam, and Tokyo. ADaPT online performances are documented at "http://dance.asu.edu/adapt/" and "www.dance.ohio-state.edu/dance_and_technlogy/ips3.html". TheNottingham lab is at http://art.ntu.ac.uk/performance_research/birringer/lat.htm
3 Doug Rosenberg, "Video Space: A Site for Choreography." Available: http://www.dvpg.net/essays.html
4 I am paraphrasing from the questionnaire and Marion Tränkle's notes for the lab (quoted with permission). Additional commentary and photographs are on our website: http://interaktionslabor.de.
5 Following Brian Massumi's suggestion to look at the different logics of affect and emotion, and to consider that "intensity" is "embodied in purely autonomic reactions most directly manifested in the skin - at the surface of the body, at its interface with things," we need to examine more carefully the various kinds of connection we make to physical design, content, and "effect." Especially for performative installations of the kind I describe, with tactile interfaces, images, sound, and implied physical action, an aesthetic response which registers affective sensation (and the category of "intensity" proposed by Massumi) seems promising. See Brian Massumi, (2002) Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham: Duke University Press. My reflections on digital perception are inspired by Mark B.N. Hansen's (2004) theorization of the "digital image" and his approach to interactive information environments which become a bodily process of filtering and composing images. See his New Philosophy for New Media. Cambridge: MIT Pres, pp.93-124. Cf. Johannes Birringer, (2004) "La Danse et la perception interactive," Nouvelles de Danse 52, 99-115.