“What is always good about the advent of new media is that the old media get more defined” said the Austrian filmmaker Peter Kubelka in an interview recently. In other words, one shouldn’t forget that the digital always appears in the analog transformed, just like this text reads in letters rather than the code of zeroes and ones in which it might have been processed.
A way to expand a medium, say, dance, today, then would neither be by searching for its phenomenal essence nor through cross-breeding it in the mixed- or multi-media fashion. It is through absorbing the force-effects of other media, like film or music in the digital age, that a field of experience, such as kinesthetic experience of movement, may be intensified.
TRIKE is a collaboration initiated and conceived by the choreographer Christine Geigg with the composer Bernhard Lang. It stems from the co-attraction to a single theme, method and technology – the loop – and what its manifold manipulations do to the perception of movement, image and sound.
Movement is habitually expressed, performed or perceived as the flow in linear arch, the so-called internal “organic” quality of human movement. Once the line of the development of movement is broken, cut up and folded in, one is no longer certain about the nature of the phenomenon observed. As movement, it is hardly perceivable in its origin, aim, form or expression – it stops, it repeats itself differentiated, it inverts upon itself, reaching the limit that marks its outside and makes it confront stillness. Scratching, going back and forth, with or without marked beginning and end, in varying speed or length of the sample repeated, fragmented or fractured, but always cutting in the middle of itself. As image, it internally multiplies by superposing the deformational moments of repetition, so that one is watching an overimage of images of self-varying deformation. And if it were verbal language, or even when it takes up the words in the mouths of actors, the processing of various kinds of loops in TRIKE resembles stuttering. Words, and sounds and movements like words or gesture, are torn between the desire to express something and the inhibition to make the utterance signifying. The spectator is given access to plunge into the in-between space of qualitative tranformation on the level of the grain of the image-movement and the sound texture of speech. Moreover, another dimension of intermodal experience opens up. Image and movement intertwine in such a way that one starts perceiving the texture of movement: a purely visual touch of the image (or rather, imaging) in motion.
Thus the digital, like it has been used in the experimental media practices of film and music, interferes here by the side-effect that virtually potentializes vision as kinesthesis. Making way for an operation of rethinking and remolding movement artificial, TRIKE however knows well that it takes the human body to render the movement machinic and not mechanical in unity of continuous separation from self.