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date: 04 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers how the use of screendance within performances and installations affects the ways in which audiences and participants experience bodies in space by transcending the dimensions ascribed to them traditionally by the material world and the projection screen. Mixed reality and “ubiquitous computing” are increasingly embedded in our social and cultural experiences, and three dance or dance-related examples that use them are examined: Merce Cunningham’s Biped, igloo’s SwanQuake: House, and Paul Sermon’s Telematic Dreaming. Virtual reality can have a realistic perspective that creates an environment comparable to the physical world, or it can challenge Euclidean space and Newtonian physics by highlighting phenomena that can only exist in the virtual world—yet both of these can create binaries that disrupt embodied experiences by prioritizing concept over sensation. Dance has much to offer in developing understandings of how the body and technology can manage and overcome binary tendencies within a mixed reality environment.

Keywords: screendance, telematic, virtual reality, Merce Cunningham, Paul Sermon, binaries

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