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Stephen Dowd
© Stephen Dowd

Hand-Made Algorithms for Dancers and Others 

There's a lot of hype and nonsense around algorithms. Because we mostly think of them in the context of advanced computing, we generally know them as obscure and even sinister tools: fast, dynamic, and complex – pulling data from everywhere and correlating in all sorts of counterintuitive ways, terraforming our culture, economy, intellectual life. Black boxes of multitiered impenetrable processes.

But algorithms don't have to be so complex, nor so mysterious. In this workshop we'll be slowing them down and bringing them close. Treating them as a kind of handicraft – like pottery or wood-working.

In the spirit of the slow food movement, we'll be making nutritional, artisanal, hand-made algorithms with which to make nutritional, artisanal, hand-made performances.

We'll cover a lot of the basics: data-set construction, translating content to and from symbolic languages, combinatorial and sorting and sequential algorithms. If we're feeling fancy we could try some shortest path ideas, or even a pared-down evolutionary model. But we'll keep everything simple, the kind of stuff we can all do in our heads, or with a pen and paper. No math skills necessary.

ARTISTBIO: Annie Dorsen

Annie Dorsen is a director and writer whose works explore the intersection of algorithms and live performance. Her most recent project, INFINITE SUN, is an algorithmic sound installation commissioned by the Sharjah Biennial 14. Previous performance projects, including THE GREAT OUTDOORS (2017), YESTERDAY TOMORROW (2015), A PIECE OF WORK (2013) and HELLO HI THERE (2010), have been widely presented in the US and internationally. The script of A PIECE OF WORK was published by Ugly Duckling Presse, and she has contributed essays for The Drama Review, Theatre Magazine, Etcetera, Frakcija, and Performing Arts Journal (PAJ). She is the co-creator of the 2008 Broadway musical Passing Strange which she also directed. In addition to awards for Passing Strange, Dorsen received a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2018 Spalding Gray Commissioning Award, a 2016 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant to Artists Award and the 2014 Herb Alpert Award for the Arts in Theater. She is a Visiting Professor in Theater and Performance Studies at the University of Chicago.


Annie Dorsen


Annie Dorsen


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Date: 18.07.2019, 13:27 | Link: