William Forsythe Symposium: Choreographic Objects
William Forsythe Symposium:
William Forsythe, his collaborators, and other authorities gather to discuss his concept of "choreographic objects."
Exhibition preview | 2 PM
Performances of Monster Partitur | 2:30 & 5:30 PM**
Symposium Discussions | 3–5 PM
[Watch a live stream of the symposium here]
You'll hear about how this idea takes form in the works on view in the exhibition William Forsythe: Transfigurations and in Synchronous Objects for One Flat Thing, reproduced by William Forsythe, an ambitious new web project created by Forsythe with Ohio State’s Maria Palazzi (Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design and Department of Design) and Norah Zuniga Shaw (Department of Dance) and an interdisciplinary team of collaborators from across the arts and sciences. To celebrate the launch of the web project, invited outside experts contextualize the project in terms of its relevance to current trends in the philosophy of cognition and architecture.
A celebrated roster of special guests joins Forsythe for these talks: Mark Goulthorpe of MIT's School of Architecture; Alva Noë, professor of philosophy at the University of California Berkeley; Synchronous Objects creative directors Maria Palazzi, director of ACCAD and associate professor in the Department of Industrial, Interior, and Visual Communication Design, and Norah Zuniga Shaw, the director of the dance and technology program and assistant professor in the Department of Dance; and Charles Helm, the Wexner Center's director of performing arts and curator for the Forsythe exhibition.
See below (under "more information") for more information on those presenting at the symposium.
**Please arrive early to see the Monster Partitur performance. Each performance is free, but audience size is limited to approximately 50-60 viewers per performance, who will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. The performance is approximately 20-25 mins. in length (and seating is not provided). If you are unable to attend Monster Partitur today, additional performances are schedule from April 1 to April 5. Click here for details.
At the conclusion of today’s program, audience members will have an opportunity to engage in an open dialogue with the artists and scientists who created Synchronous Objects and their invited guests.
Following today’s program, please go to the Synchronous Objects blog (synchronousobjects.osu.edu/blog), which includes posts from the symposium participants and allows for ongoing discussion and public comment.
Attending this event? Let your friends know and RSVP on Facebook.
This symposium is presented collaboratively by Ohio State’s Department of Dance, Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design, and Wexner Center for the Arts, with additional support from the Knowlton School of Architecture. Funding has been provided by the Battelle Endowment for Technology and Human Affairs.
It is planned in conjunction with exhibition William Forsythe: Transfigurations, which is made possible at the Wexner Center with support from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius and from the Contemporary Art Centers network, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), with major support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and additional support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Battelle Endowment for Technology and Human Affairs. The exhibition is also made possible through the Wexner Center Residency Award program.
The symposium is also planned in conjunction with the launch of the web project Synchronous Objects for One Flat Thing, reproduced by William Forsythe is coproduced by The Forsythe Company with the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design and the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University. Funding is provided by The Forsythe Company, The Forsythe Foundation, The Ohio State University Office of Research, Rotterdamse Dansacademie/Codarts, and Tanzplan Deutschland, an initiative created by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.
The Forsythe Company is supported by the city of
Dresden and the state of Saxony as well as the city of Frankfurt am Main and the state of Hesse. The Forsythe Company is also supported by Mrs. Susanne Klatten. Additional support is provided by Ernst & Young.
William Forsythe is recognized as one of the world’s foremost choreographers. His early work is acknowledged for reorienting the practice of ballet from its identification with classical repertoire to a dynamic 21st-century art form. His more recent works have further extended his research on the performative potential of dance and his investigation of choreography as a fundamental principle of organization. After dance training in Florida and New York City, he danced with the Joffrey Ballet before being invited to join the Stuttgart Ballet, where he was named resident choreographer in 1976. In 1984, he began a 20-year tenure as director of the Ballet Frankfurt, where he created some of the most highly regarded dance theater works of this era. After the Ballet Frankfurt’s closure in 2004, Forsythe established The Forsythe Company, which is based in Dresden and Frankfurt am Main and maintains an extensive international touring schedule. Forsythe’s most recent works are developed and performed exclusively by The Forsythe Company, while his earlier pieces are prominently featured in the repertoire of virtually every major ballet company in the world. Forsythe’s choreography and his companies’ performances have won the most prestigious awards the field has to offer, such as four New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards and three Laurence Olivier Awards. The title of Commandeur des Arts et Lettres (1999) has been conferred on him by the government of France, and he has received the German Distinguished Service Cross (1997) and the Wexner Prize (2002). Forsythe’s choreographic thinking has engaged with and contributed to key artistic developments in performance, visual arts, architecture, and interactive multimedia. The launch of his pioneering and award-winning computer application Improvisation Technologies: A Tool for the Analytical Dance Eye in 1994 virtually reinvented the teaching of dance. Forsythe was selected as the founding dance mentor for The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative and is regularly invited to lecture and give workshops at universities and cultural institutions internationally.
Mark Goulthorpe established the dECOi atelier in 1991. The atelier’s portfolio ranges from pure design and artwork through interior design to architecture and urbanism. The group has received awards from the Royal Academy in London, the French Ministry of Culture, and the Architectural League of New York and has represented France three times at the Venice Biennale and at the United Nations 50th Anniversary exhibition. It was awarded the prestigious international FEIDAD Digital Design Award in 2002 and again in 2004 and he was invited to the Architecture of the Non-Standard manifesto at the Centre Pompidou in Paris 2003. Goulthorpe took a professorship at MIT in 2003 and has recently been awarded the national Rotch Travelling Scholarship for Studio. He was educated in England and the U.S.A. and apprenticed professionally for four years with noted architect Richard Meier in New York and Paris. Later he was invited to act as digital design consultant to Foster & Partners (the highly respected architectural firm headed by Sir Norman Foster) in London.
Charles R. Helm has been director of performing arts at the Wexner Center for the Arts since 1991 and is the curator for the exhibition William Forsythe: Transfigurations. Helm represents the Wexner Center at the Major University Presenters network, Contemporary Art Centers network, and National Performance Network. The Wexner Center’s performing arts program was the first university-based program funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s prestigious Leadership Presenting Institutions program in recognition of its creative laboratory work and has served as a Hub Site for the National Dance Project. Helm has organized creative residency and commissioning projects for such as artists as Young Jean Lee, Improbable, Bebe Miller, Bill T. Jones, The Wooster Group, SITI Company, Akram Khan, The Builders Association, Kronos Quartet, and Nature Theater of Oklahoma, among many others. Helm co-curated (with Wexner Center director Sherri Geldin) the 1999 Wexner Center exhibition Julie Taymor: Playing with Fire, the first major retrospective exhibition of one of today’s foremost stage innovators, which subsequently toured nationally.
Alva Noë is a philosopher at the University of California in Berkeley, where he is a member of the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and also the Center for New Media. The focus of his research is perception and consciousness; he is also interested in the ways in which art in general—and dance in particular—can make a contribution to the theoretical study of consciousness. Noë is the author of Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness (Farrar Strauss and Giroux, 2009) and Action in Perception (MIT Press, 2004). The central idea of these books is that consciousness is not something that happens inside us—not in our brains, or anywhere else; it is something we do. He is now at work on a book about art and human nature called Strange Tools.
Maria Palazzi is the director of the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD) and associate professor in the Department of Industrial, Interior, and Visual Communication Design at The Ohio State University. As director of ACCAD, Palazzi fosters multidisciplinary research and academic experiences for graduate students and faculty in the areas of computer graphics and animation. She is co–creative director for the web project Synchronous Objects for One Flat Thing, reproduced, which continues her research agenda in the areas of animation as information and transformation and management of multidisciplinary collaborative research groups. Palazzi's commercial work has been nominated for awards from Clio, and screened at ACM SIGGRAPH and international film festivals.
Norah Zuniga Shaw is a choreographer and arts researcher in The Ohio State University Department of Dance where she is an assistant professor and the director for dance and technology. As the co–creative director for Synchronous Objects for One Flat Thing, reproduced, her recent research has been focused on interdisciplinary engagements with embodied knowledge and the translation of choreographic structures from dance, to data, to interactive visualizations. She is a published author on dance and technology topics and her recent artistic commissions include an interactive sound performance for ICMC2007 with renowned circus artist Jerome Thomas, three new dances for television (WOSU PBS), and performances for NANO at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Zuniga Shaw is currently working on a book about Synchronous Objects and the new methods in arts research it required.
Graduate Student Researchers for Synchronous Objects
Presenting at the Symposium
Michael Andereck, PhD student, Computer Science and Engineering
Hyowon Ban, PhD candidate, Geography
Andrew Calhoun, MFA student, Architecture
Jane Drozd, MFA student, Design
Joshua Fry, MFA student, Design
Anna Reed, MFA 2008, Dance
Benjamin Schroeder, PhD student, Computer Science and Engineering
Lillian Skove, MFA student, Dance and Technology
Ashley Thorndike, PhD candidate, Dance
Mary Twohig, MFA student, Design
Research Collaborators for Synchronous Objects
Presenting at the Symposium
Ola Ahlqvist worked professionally with local and regional environmental planning before earning a PhD in geography from Stockholm University, Sweden. After postdoctoral training at Penn State University he is now an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at Ohio State. His main research interests revolve around semantic uncertainty and geographic data analysis. Recent projects address land cover change, landscape history, participatory government, visualization of vague information, and mapping of drug abuse.
Noel A. Cressie received a PhD in statistics from Princeton University. He is director of the Program in Spatial Statistics and Environmental Statistics, professor of statistics, and Distinguished Professor of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at Ohio State. He works on statistical modeling and analysis of spatial and spatiotemporal data, particularly in the environmental sciences, and received Ohio State’s Distinguished Scholar Award in 2006.
Scott deLahunta works from his base in Amsterdam as a researcher, writer, consultant, and organizer on a wide range of international projects bringing performing arts into conjunction with other disciplines and practices. He is an associate research fellow at Dartington College of Arts; research fellow with the Art Theory and Research and Art Practice and Development Research Group at Amsterdam School for the Arts; and affiliated researcher with Cambridge University Network for Interdisciplinary Research (Crucible). He serves on the editorial boards of Performance Research, Dance Theatre Journal, and the International Journal of Performance and Digital Media.
Patrick Haggard has training in experimental psychology and human neurophysiology and works at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. His research focuses on the mental representation of one's own body and on the brain processes involved in voluntary action. He has been researching how the human brain perceives dance for several years. He has published scientific papers on the brain mechanisms underlying viewing dance and the aesthetic responses to dance. In 2006 he organized what appears to have been the first conference on dance and the brain, with the help of the Gulbenkian Foundation.
Matthew Lewis is a computer graphics researcher at the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD) at Ohio State. He teaches graduate courses on interactive performance and installation technologies, virtual environments, 3D animation, digital lighting, and procedural animation. He has presented research work on evolutionary and generative art and design at conferences in the United States, Switzerland, Italy, and Portugal. His artwork has been exhibited internationally and has appeared on the cover of the journal Leonardo and in the publications Performance Research, Focus, and Computer Graphics World. He received his PhD in computer and information science at Ohio State.
Stephen Turk is an associate professor in the Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State. His writings and design projects focus on issues of representation and the instrumental nature of technology. His interests cross many disciplinary boundaries and include film and postmodern theory, interactive networked environments, computer-aided fabrication, and furniture design. He is a past winner of the Architecture League of New York’s Young Architects Award, the Ohio Arts Council’s Individual Excellence Award, an Award of Distinction from ID Magazine, and a FEIDAD Digital Design Award.
Complete Image Credits:
Photo: Copyright Stephan Floss Photo
Synchronous Objects For One Flat Thing, reproduced
Image from annotated video illustrating the complex system
of alignments in One Flat Thing, reproduced
Courtesy the Synchronous Objects Project at The Ohio State University and The Forsythe Company
Stills from video
Performer: William Forsythe
Images courtesy The Forsythe Company
Antipodes I / II, 2006
Still from two-channel video
Choreography / performance: William Forsythe
Music: Ryoji Ikeda
Courtesy The Forsythe Company
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