Design And Performance Lab


Transdisciplinary Performance Investigations and Collaborations Blending Diverse Expertise and Experiential Digital Environments

TransNet - Transdisciplinary Network for Performance
and Technology.

About the Project:

The advent of new computer-based technologies has revolutionized every aspect of the arts, science, culture and business. This phenomenon is also forcing us to re-examine the fundamental basis of our disciplinary knowledge, and to question the rationale underlying the design and implementation of many of our education, training, funding and research institutions.

TransNet is an international network of artists, scholars, performers, educators, scientists, engineers, and community activists formed to explore notions of performance in the arts and sciences. The network operates under the premise that, in an information-oriented age, new knowledge appears to emerge at the intersections of disciplines rather than strictly within them. A transdisciplinary approach therefore analyses how other knowledges intersect with one's own discipline and how this contact influences its field of research.

TransNet posits the notion that performance, of people and of systems, is the primary activity in an exchange of information and knowledge across societies and cultures. It also locates new technology and the human body as common denominators in these acts of exchange.


1. To critically analyze and assess current research, as well as
training and production methods for performance and dance in particular,
including their achievements, impacts, strengths and state of development.

2. To develop new research questions and/or proposals, and to
investigate where earlier efforts to set up lasting networks have
succeeded or failed.

3. To explore new conceptual and methodological perspectives for
practice-led research in dance.

4. To establish and promote new environments that can foster
collaboration and intellectual exchange between the arts, sciences and
humanities, and among individuals and institutions locally, nationally,
and internationally.

5. To develop a new Transdisciplinary Research Centre for Performance
and Technology (TRansCPT) at the School for the Contemporary Arts at
Simon Fraser University, BC.

Project Leader:

TransNet's project leader is Henry Daniel, an Associate Professor of
Dance and Performance Studies in the School for the Contemporary Arts at
SFU. Professor Daniel has an international background in professional
theatre and dance and is Artistic Director of Full Performing Bodies, a
performance company dedicated to transdisciplinary performance
explorations. His impressive record of accomplishment has led and
continues to lead to advances in cultural knowledge by bringing to bear
the perspectives and skills of the artist/scholar. Through his
collaborations with researchers from the fields of science and
engineering, he enables and contributes to technological innovation.


The Network of Researchers:

Johannes Birringer helped develop the dance-technology program in the
Department of Dance at Ohio State University where he taught the annual
experimental laboratory on "Environments" between 1999-2003. He is
currently Professor of Performance Technologies at Brunel University and Director of the annual International
Interactions Laboratory in Göttelborn, Germany.

Carol Brown is a prominent scholar/artist and artistic director of her
own performance company. She is also an AHRB Research Fellow in Creative
and Performing Arts at the University of Surrey, Roehampton.

Brian Corrie is a research specialist in collaborative virtual
environments for scientific visualization, virtual environments in
general, computer graphics, high performance computing, high performance
networking, and software engineering. Brian works at the new WestGrid
IBM storage facility at Simon Fraser University. He was previously area
leader for the Immersive and Collaborative Environments research program
and manager of the NewMIC Immersive Media Lab.

Luciana Duranti is Professor in the Master of Archival Studies at the
School of Library, Archival and Information Studies of the University of
British Columbia and a renowned scholar of archival theory and
diplomatic analysis. Her current research as Project Director of
InterPARES 2 is invaluable to this initiative as it aims at testing the
validity of traditional concepts, principles, and methods for acquiring
and maintaining control of artistic records in electronic systems,
especially with respect to the protection of their identity and
integrity over time and across technological obsolescence.

Martine Époque is a well-known Canadian choreographer and founding
director of LARTech since 1999. She works on the development of
LIFEanimation with Édouard Lock, along with Denis Poulin and their
partner the Montreal company Centre de Traitement en Imagerie virtuelle
on LIFEanimation, a software for gesture treatment and the development
of a 3D notation system. Époque has been a professor in the dance
department of l'Université du Québec à Montrèal (UQAM) since 1980 and
directed Groupe Nouvelle Aire (1968-82), a Montreal dance company that
nurtured most of the more famous artists of Québec's choreographic stage.

Professor Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt at York University was intimately
involved in the third IDAT conference in 1995 at that institution. Her
work explores the potential of computer-assisted instruction in dance
education and has co-authored and produced the educational CD-ROM Shadow
on the Prairie: An Interactive Multimedia Dance History Tutorial. Email:

David Kaufman is Director of SFU's Learning and Instructional
Development Centre. David has been a faculty member at Concordia, Simon
Fraser, Saint Mary's, and Dalhousie Universities, in the fields of
Engineering, Computer Science, and Education. He is project leader of
SAGE (Simulation and Advanced Gaming Environments) for Learning and
currently sits on the educational research grant review committee for
the Medical Research Council/Association of Canadian Medical Colleges,
as well as reviewing educational grant applications for the National
Board of Medical Examiners in the USA, and the Hong Kong Research
Council. Website:

Barbara Layne is a principal investigator of the Hexagram project at
Concordia University. As an artist and administrator, Layne's work
incorporates the Internet as a place to collect, transmit and exchange
textile information as a part of her studio arts practice. She exhibits

George Lewis is a composer, performer, teacher, theorist and historian,
a Professor of Music at Columbia University, New York. He is a winner of
the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2002. Professor Brown is a
member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians
(AACM), one of the most influential experimental music movements of the
past quarter-century since 1971.

Torsten Möller's expertise is in creating 2D images from large 3D
datasets such as from MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or computerized
X-ray and ultrasound medical scanners. He also works on better ways to
navigate quickly through those very large data sets visually,
interactively and without loss of data. He is co-director of the
Graphics, Usability and Visualization lab (GRUVI) at SFU's School of
Computing Science.

Angela Piccini has been the Senior Research Associate on the PARIP
(Practice as Research in Performance) project since its inception in
1999 and is intimately involved in all its decisions. As a Canadian, her
knowledge of European educational systems, especially the British, is
extremely valuable. Angela is also a Visiting Fellow in Contemporary
Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology at Bristol University, her
research focusing on archaeology as a contemporary attitude towards
understanding place, material and identity.

Full Performing Bodies: 'Practicing Research, Researching Practice' Upcoming Performances: Skin, October 17, 2004, New Forms Festival, The
Firehall, Vancouver. Futurist(ic) Equation, January 21-22, 2005, Telus
Theatre, Chan Centre. Skin, February 5-6, 2005, Freddie Wood Theatre,
UBC. March 23rd SFU Mainstage Theatre.


Partner Institutions:
Simon Fraser University

University of British Columbia


Concordia University

York University

Columbia University

Bristol University

University of Surrey, Roehampton

Nottingham Trent University

Brunel University, DAP LAB

News and Events:
June 16-17, 2005 TransNet conference, SFU Burnaby.

"Performing Art Performing Science"

June 14-15, TransNet Workshop. Events at SFU Burnaby, SFU Surrey.

June 18, Open Roundtable Discussion. The Wosk Centre for Dialogue, SFU
Harbour Centre, Vancouver.