Key areas of inquiry

Key areas of inquiry for DCS include:

1. Implicit bias in the design of hardware and software for movement analysis and representation, including algorithmic bias in the code of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) systems. 

  • What constitutes a ‘body’ in a given motion tracking or motion capture system?  What skin tones can the system see?  Can it see a person in a wheelchair, or a person without arms or legs? Must the performer be able to remain still? 
  • What constitutes a ‘gesture’ in the eyes of the sensing system?  How is the beginning and ending of a given movement determined? How is the boundary between stillness and movement imagined? What are the spatial, temporal, and qualitative aspects of a gesture that affect change in this system?
  • What constitutes the ‘signal’ versus ‘noise’ in a biosensing system? How and by whom are signal versus noise distinctions made at various stages of design and creative (mis)use of sensing systems? What is foregrounded or obscured from representation in the resultant signal?

2. The transmission of values systems between disciplinary cultures, by way of shared (or appropriated) technologies and techniques for movement analysis and representation.

  • What values are reinforced through the widespread adoption of Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) in computational practices related to movement and dance, for example in human-computer interaction (HCI) and human-robot interaction (HRI)?
  • What aspects of dance-based and choreographic practices do notions such as choreographic knowledge, choreographic thinking, and choreographic objects foreground? Conversely, what is implicitly excluded from representation in these models as they transit between disciplinary contexts?
  • How do existing power structures within dance computing research predetermine which dance cultures are invited to collaborate? How do these power structures present themselves in the collaborative process and in shared research outputs (publications, presentations, workshops, etc.)?

3. The development of “critical”, i.e. feminist, anti-racist, anti-ableist, and decolonial approaches to movement analysis and representation in practices involving dance and computing.

  • In what ways is white supremacy propagated through non-critical uses of racially biased technology and techno practices in teaching, art making, and design in dance?
  • How can artists/scholars subvert the predominant use of Western, Eurocentric dance forms as the reference point for how dance interrogates and contributes to technology fields (e.g. choreography, choreographic knowledge, LMA, postmodernist aesthetics)?
  • How do artists/scholars working outside of Western paradigms contribute to technology fields without referencing or centreing Western techno practices and philosophies? Where is this work already happening?
  • How might the intentional re/contextualization and mis/use of technologies act as a critical strategy to illuminate the ongoing effects of differences in value systems between communities of practice, and further, generate critical discourse and collaboration over time?