I am currently working on an interactive dance and video multimedia project called The Familiar.
In European folklore, a familiar is a supernatural entity that takes on physical forms. It is an ally for the practitioner of magic, an extension of being that expresses one of the practitioner's powers.
In this project, the Familiar is a non-embodied partner, created by technology and algorithm. It is not human, angel, animal, or pet, but an animated and responsive Other. This partner is both known and and unknown, and the dance explores the expression of powers invested within.
Each dancer/Familiar duet explores the power relationship between them, expressed as cause and effect. The most interesting binary power relationships are hybrid, a mapping of mixed polarity; controller is sometimes controlled. In these performances, this takes on an extra dimension considering the technology used to create this piece and the technology that permeates our lives. What is a modern Familiar made of? How do we express powers and personalities through technology to others - our virtual and physical audiences? What do we want our others to see?
Four performances of dancer-video duets are currently planned–two in the US and two in Europe–involving a changing cast.
If you would like to contribute or collaborate, or if you would like updates on the project, please contact me.