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Teaching with Sync Objects

As a choreographer and dance educator (specializing in technologies for dance), I’m working on ways that Synchronous Objects can now come back into the dance studio. During our prototype phase in January 2009, I conducted a workshop in the dance department for 25 students with guest artist Nik Haffner (formerly of the Ballet Frankfurt). Nik and I are interested in working on connections between Bill’s previous project, Improvisation Technologies and Synchronous Objects. Where Improv Tech focuses on one body and the movement generation stage in the choreographic process, Sync Objects focuses on group structures and the process of connecting and crafting relationships between sequences of motion. We think they are a nice compliment to each other. We’ll also have a couple of classes this spring at Ohio State in architecture and in dance focusing on the project as a research resource and a model for thinking about relationships between theory and practice. We’ll share some of the results of those courses on the blog. I’m very interested to know if other educators find our objects useful in their teaching and would be delighted to see an exchange unfold on this subject.
—Norah Zuniga Shaw


Norah Zuniga Shaw on departure points

It is great to finally launch our project and begin to see how a broad public receives it. We think of this launch as just the beginning and our hope is that the project will serve as a departure point for new research and creativity. We’d love to know if the objects are useful to you in your research and creative practices. We will add new content regularly and continue to develop some of the research projects we have begun with our friends in geography, statistics, and architecture (see the Movement Density, Statistical Counterpoint and Furniture Systems objects). One of the core goals of our project has been to explore the possibilities for placing dance at the center of cross-disciplinary dialog and research. This has been true on our project team which includes computer scientists, animators, designers, architects, geographers, and of course dancers. But we also hope to see it unfold in other ways that we have begun exploring this is in our research collaborations using the objects and data as resources. For example, Stephen Turk and his students in architecture will use Synchronous Objects site as their research resource in their curriculum this Spring. Patrick Haggard, a cognitive neuroscientist from London, has begun working with our data and the ideas in the project to conduct perception research that we will post on the site once the results are ready. The geographers who made the Movement Density object will continue their work and publish their research here. And so on.—Norah Zuniga Shaw