‘glitching’ is a digital installation and performance project that attempts to re-describe the movement derived from characters in contemporary sports and action computer games.
As the gaming world grows ever more sophisticated and ubiquitous, the movements of characters become more and more ‘realistic’ and convincing, thanks to constant improvements in software and hardware. Often derived from the real (using motion capture and body scanning of professional sports players for example), gaming characters of the 21st century have an extraordinary embodiment, fluidity of movement and naturalness. However, there are always imperfections and glitches, whether through unexpected programming errors or the users’ inability to control the characters in seamless game-play, there is still the potential for awkwardness between spells of perfection.
I have focused on the artificial nature of these glitches by employing highly trained real bodies to re-stage them i.e. Tony Mills, a professional Breakdancer with an extraordinary ability to interpret and create awkward and extreme movements. I am interested in how real bodies cope with, and interpret into sequences of choreography, the limits of such foreign and unnatural movement. By taking the digital and transplanting it, re-interpreting it, embodying it within the physical body – literally re-enacting it – does it disintegrate, transform, and become something new?
‘glitching’ explores how this physically re-enacted choreography can be embedded and re-imaged within a ‘live’ digital environment, for an audience to interact with. Using the premise of home entertainment dance and training games (such as Just Dance and Your Shape:Fitness Evolved), it employs the motion-sensor controller, Microsoft Kinect, and large-screen display to create a digital installation for the public to interact with. The exhibition visitor is invited to step into the digital shoes of the ‘lead dancer’, and attempt to follow the awkward and intricate, glitch choreography performed by the dancing troupe on screen.
Alongside the interactive installation there are a series of ‘glitching’ live performances featuring the digital installation, dancers Tony Mills, Hannah Seignior, Felicity Beveridge, and a performance soundtrack devised by Martin Parker.