Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Zoom as a choreographic tool - chance bandwith

JCWK Dance Lab artists had a rehearsal in preparation for our inaugural Ten Tiny Dances - Virtual #quarantineart premier.

In leading my university students through a Zoom creative process, I've been impressed with the ability to see and create unison movement, despite differences in internet space and bandwidth.

In rehearsal with Sarena and Laura, I learned that I can see my students in unison because I've viewing from the outside. There's a delay in real time, I'm just not seeing the delay.

I had anticipated that Sarena, Laura and I could come together to create a unison sequence that would be recorded and then uploaded to the video-making platform. But, what Sarena and Laura heard and saw was delayed from my real time. The Zoom recording caught the speaker's perspective. Sarena and Laura were in unison in the recording but I was not. I wonder, if someone else on another device was doing the recording, all three of us would appear in unison.

Questions and applications for next time.

So, I did a pivot (ball change) in real time for a real rehearsal process taking place in the virtual sphere.

Could the delay in bandwidth be another opportunity for chance operations? How much can't we control - and really, what gets lost in the few seconds that digital information is being whirled through space?

I'm imagining that scene from Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory where the child is sent in little pieces across the room... what gets lost when we're not perceiving each other in real time? (I was tempted to find a video clip to insert here, but I'll just challenge you to use your memory and imagination instead of innodating you with another digital interruption.)

As I edited the video, I realized that the effects of the blips and internet lags in the Zoom recording could have been created with editing in the post-rehearsal production process. But, I wonder again, if there's something to be gained in the perception of the real blips in real time through a third filtered lens and digital process.

How many times can you copy a copy?

I've heard from professional videographers and photographers that, although the zoom-in feature on a device is helpful, there is more "life" in the resulting product if the photographer actually moves toward or away from the object in focus. Personally, this life (or maybe absence of) also feels true in watching my Zoom rehearsal.

I'm learning more that I don't want to edit what's happening in real time. I don't want to think or assume or project that perfection can be achieved if we can just click the "undo" tab and try again. The action and the trying again is part of the process and the journey. There are no footprints or artifacts from which to learn or derive meaning if we just "undo" to redo. Again. and again. and again.

Life is messy. Creating dance is messy. The opportunity to learn and grow from and within the mess is brilliant and beautiful. I don't want to edit the messiness away.

Screen shot from the editing process of "InterruptingMayhem". 
May we continue to learn the value of time, process, and growth during this beautiful mess.

1 comment:

  1. A little like doing an experiment with quantum physics. Intruding in to measure changes the result. Knowing this means you can’t know the other. I love what you do. 🙏🏻♥️