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    Choreographing the glitch

    HCI2012 - People & Computers XXVI

    Proceedings of HCI 2012
    The 26th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction

    Birmingham, UK, 12 - 14 September 2012


    Beverley Hood


    glitching is a digital installation and performance art project that attempts to re-describe movement derived from characters in contemporary sports and action computer games.

    Gaming characters of the 21st century have an extraordinary embodiment, fluidity of movement and naturalness, becoming more and more realistic and convincing, thanks to constant improvements in technology. However, there are always exceptions; disruptions, imperfections and glitches, whether through unexpected programming errors, forced “cheats” or the users’ inability to control the characters in seamless game-play. There is still the potential for awkwardness, otherness and instability between spells of perfection.

    glitching re-focuses the artificial nature of these disruptions by employing highly trained real bodies i.e. professional dancers, to re-stage them. The project attempts to interrogate how real bodies cope with, and interpret into sequences of choreography, the limits of such foreign and unnatural movement and subsequently, how this physically re-enacted choreography can be embedded and re-imaged within a responsive digital environment.

    Appropriating the premise of the latest home entertainment dance and training games, glitching employs the motion-sensor controller Microsoft Xbox Kinect, large-screen display and a pseudo game interface, to create a full-body, skeletally controlled, interactive experience. The audience is invited to step into the digital shoes of a ‘lead dancer’ character, and attempt to follow the awkward and intricate, glitch choreography performed by the dancing troupe on screen.

    In conjunction with the installation there are a series of glitching live performances featuring dancers Tony Mills, Hannah Seignior, Felicity Beveridge, a performance soundtrack devised by Martin Parker and the interactive installation as backdrop.


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