One of four winners of the DANCE MOViES Commission 2008, new media artist Sophie Kahn and choreographer Lisa Parra collaborated on a single-channel video installation during their three-week residency. Body/Traces consists of video imagery created by 3D laser scans of a body in motion, which are animated in post-production to create a life-size ghostly body moving through space. Body/Traces is an imperfect document of the traces left by the dancer’s body in space. The deeper one looks, the less familiar the body becomes, appearing awkward and fragmented. The project looks at the unstable representation of women’s bodies and of movement by addressing the questions: What happens to the body in motion when it becomes a still image? And what becomes of that image when it is returned to the moving body whence it came?
During the residency, the artists experimented with this technique; refined the storyboard for the project; completed several scanning sessions of dancers in motion and the rendering of the images via animation; tested the projection to scale; and worked with Sawako Kato, a digital sound artist, on the sound score. A work-in-progress presentation of a video installation that was commissioned as part of DANCE MOViES.
Co-directors: Lisa Parra & Sophie Kahn. Choreographer: Lisa Parra. 3D scanning & animation: Sophie Kahn. 2D animation: Lisa Parra. Sound: Sawako Kato. Dancers: Tina Vasquez and Lisa Parra. Editing: Lisa Parra. Assistant Editor: Silvia Zaya Serra.
Body/Traces was a 2008-2009 Dance Movies Commission, supported by the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts, Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY.