Ignorant Avatars

I began a collaboration with movement researcher and choreographer Paola Escobar to investigate the translation of movement into virtual space via VR hardware. We began with a series of dance experiments using High Fidelity’s avatar recording tool.

Paola Escobar dancing in High Fidelity

We tried to find and examine the liminal edge of translation, where the software’s extrapolation of a complete body from three data points (head, left hand, and right hand) was faulty. Torsion, weight, and all manner of nuance were lost during a dance, but we gained a form of machine choreography. The flickers, jitters, and inhuman angles conveyed a logic (or illogic) other than human dance sensibility, yet I see a performativity in them. The gap between a physical body and this virtual recording can serve as a new, generative notation system, or even a collaborative and interpretive intelligence. Perhaps it is intelligence through ignorance.

Poala and her avatar