Dancing with dirt and wires: reconciling the embodied and the digital in site responsive collaborative practice

Natalie Garrett Brown, C. Kipp, A. Voris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This co-authored chapter is offered as an extension of an ongoing collaboration between two dance artists and a photographer working in outdoors performance under the project enter & inhabit. Thus the writing process and resulting chapter moves between a reflection on process, a document of practice and a theorization around live and digital composition. Positioning site responsive work as emergent through time and collaborative dialogues, the work of enter & inhabit is considered here as an example of outdoor performance practice that resides in a creative exchange across the live and the virtual, the embodied and the digital and the hand written and processed. In this, the process of art making as unfolding across extended time and through collective activity is entertained. Specifically the RSVP Cycle, a conceptualization of collaborative creative processes by American outdoor movement artist Anna Halprin, is discussed as a way to position technology in a flattened hierarchy of resources for art making. In dialogue with the work of performance studies scholar Professor Susan Melrose, (2003, 2005a, 2005b & 2005c), artists’ activity and achievement is argued to rely upon what might be referred to as inter-subjectivity between artists and situation, rather than wholly situated in an embodied singular self. Acknowledging the ontological provocations that lay amongst the creative approach of enter inhabit this chapter concludes by briefly considering the work of performance theorists Peggy Phelan (1993) and Rebecca Schneider (2002) to chart the significances of a collaborative process that resists casting the live or virtual as ‘document’ to the other and instead positions each as a creative act in companionship. Offering case study examples inherent to the work of enter & inhabit; the digital image, web space creation, remote score writing and virtual dancing, this chapter argues that technology is both a constitute part of the work itself and a reflective (or perhaps refractive) tool embedded into our creative process that contributes, alongside other elements, to the play of relationship between bodies and site.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTHE PERFORMING SUBJECT IN THE SPACE OF TECHNOLOGY: Through the Virtual, Towards the Real
EditorsMatthew Causey, Emma Meehan and Néill O'Dwyer
ISBN (Print)9781137438157
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Performance and Technology
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


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