This article was written for 'Content-Type' in 2001, which I conceived of as an idea virus, later as the site evolved, I was to think of these texts as symptomatic of the Media/Art Identity Crisis in style of delivery.
"... the dance, the body ... captured every 20 seconds and the image transferred to the net ... to offer the visitors only the parts (every 20 seconds) of the story. the movements/dance/story between those 20 seconds are ... a matter of viewers imagination, what the dancer does between those 20 seconds? who knows.... smokes a cigarette? eats an apple?..." [intima] *1
On Wednesday evening this week there was a live net cast performance of "Balletikka Internettikka | Part One", a net ballet danced by Igor Stromajer, with music composed by MC Brane - Brane Zorman. The performance was captured as a video archive which can still be viewed online. The effect was like a cross between semaphore signalling, "the dancer's body was used at the beginning of the ballet to perform different alphabetical characters" *2, and black and white silent film melodrama with electronic musical accompaniment.
The ballet is a sequel to the "Opera Teorettikka Internettikka" (Ljubljana, March 1999 - Opera and Ballet of the Slovenian National Theatre) in which Stromajer sang a score consisting of the "HTML code of his net art projects" *3. The score and sound document from this event are also online. The second part of Ballettikka Internettikka will be performed in Moscow in spring 2002.
The main motivation behind the ballet was to "investigate and research the special net.dramaturgy: how the ballet story can be told/shown/danced with a serial of still images." *4 Essentially it is the space between the recorded movements that is described through the dance. This space gives the viewer the opportunity to imagine what occurs inbetween the captured poses, and to interpret the narrative more freely, as hypernarratives.
It is also a dance about "... an individual, a modern man, searching for the land where he could be happy, joyfully, bright and sunny, but that land is so hard to find ... in fact... does it exist at all?" Stromajer is dressed in a suit and dances in front of his laptop. He reads the newspaper and removes his jacket. The dancer's signals express the emotion of the human captured by technology in his working life, "emptiness, loneliness, anxiety, broken communication, pain, hurt, frustrations." *5
Intima say that: "ONE, split into TWO is compatible with the life of NET.BALLET" *6 , that is zeros and ones, or continuity and spaces or breaks in transmission. To recognise the actual performing quality of the computer, that there can be breaks in webcasts due to download speeds, is more an appreciation of the digital medium than pretending that webcasts are qualitatively no different to TV. It also ties in with the aesthetics of human computer interaction, which actually use breaks or discontinuities in space/time as part of the communication process. It is in fact these very discontinuities, one split into two, which create the emotional texture or experience of the work.
Sarah Thompson 30.03.01
*1, *2, *3, *4, *5, *6 Ballettikka Internettikka | Part One: net.ballet, "intima", firstname.lastname@example.org
Ballettikka Internettikka | Part One: net.ballet produced by: "intima | virtual base" http://www.intima.org and "Beittron" http://www.ljudmila.org/beitthron