~ Kathleen Kelley ~

“Digitized Figures” installation combining video, text and live dance reaches funding goal, debuts in two weeks

If you can get to Brooklyn on October 14th, 15th, 16th, 21st, 22nd, or 23rd, the Digitized Figures performance and installation at the Gowanus Loft sounds like an event not to be missed. You may remember my post back in August about the Kickstarter campaign. They just updated it today to announce that they’ve met their goal (44 backers pledged $5,133), and tickets are for sale. As the Facebook event page describes it:

Digitized Figures is an immersive installation created by Sarah Rose Nordgren and Kathleen Kelley that incorporates video, text, and live dance to conjure a richly textured and fluctuating landscape. The installation elements surround and interact with the viewer, inviting them to play in and co-create the performance environment. Digitized Figures is totally immersive experience that you roam through, interacting with the text, the projections, and the dancers.

For more information, see the Smart Snow website. The next-to-most-recent update to the Kickstarter also goes into some detail about the interactive aspect:

As we are moving forward with the show, we are currently in the process of building interactive touchscreens designed by Krista Anne Nordgren. These touchscreens will allow the viewers to choose words and directives that change the dancer’s movements.

When they get instructions from the touchscreens, the dancers interrupt their regular looping dance structure to respond to the audience’s prompts. There are three dancers, three touchscreens, and an infinite number of possibilities for how the dance can be built by YOU the viewer. You build the poem, you build the dance.

It sounds wild.

Kickstarter to support video, dance and text installation “Digitized Figures”

Last summer I shared a video called Portlet from the on-going collaboration between dance and video artist Kathleen Kelley and poet Sarah Rose Nordgren—their Digitized Figures project. Now they’re preparing the world premiere of an interactive installation, and they’re asking for a little help.

The Campaign

Hello All! — We’re Kathleen Kelley and Sarah Rose Nordgren, a dance choreographer/media artist and poet who make up the collaborative team Smart Snow.

This campaign is raising money for a new performance installation that we’ve been developing for the past two years. Digitized Figures will have its world premiere at the Vanderbilt Republic’s gorgeous Gowanus Loft in Brooklyn, NY, and will be performing this fall 2016 from Friday October 14 – Sunday October 16 and Friday October 21 – Sunday October 23. (See the Facebook event page for tickets and details!). 

Your support is absolutely crucial to making this ambitious new work possible. Our $5,000 Kickstarter goal reflects only about 25% of the funds it will take to present this piece at the Gowanus Loft. Your contributions will go directly to covering the project’s production needs which include (but are not limited to):

  • renting necessary equipment such as projectors, monitors, and speakers
  • hiring our production team (technical director, stage manager, production assistants, projection designer)
  • paying our dancers
  • hiring a costume designer
  • supporting our press, publicity, and marketing efforts

Whether you can contribute $1 or much more, we are incredibly grateful for your support in bringing Digitized Figures to fruition!

The Work & Collaborators

Kathleen Kelley and Sarah Rose Nordgren have been collaborating formally and informally for 17 years, ever since they met each other at a party in high school and recognized each other as artistic soul-mates.

Since then, Kathleen has gone on to perform internationally as a dancer and to produce many live performances and dance films, and Sarah Rose has become an award-winning poet and writer. However, this will be their first large-scale performance and video installation they’ve produced as a collaborative team!

Digitized Figures will be the culmination of years of conversations and shared ideas between the two artists. As women working at the intersections of art and technology, both Kathleen and Sarah Rose share an interest in the mirrored relationship between technological and evolutionary processes, and the “natural” and the “human” inside of digital spaces.

In our commitment to create art that pushes the forms of dance and poetry into new technological territories, Digitized Figures introduces a completely new form which we call “choreographed text.” This form, in which text moves and “dances” across the screen, invites the viewer into a new relationship with language itself, presenting it as digital material saturating the performance environment.

We created the text, video, and choreography for Digitized Figures over a period of months through our artistic correspondence, sending lines of poetry, movement, and notebook sketches back and forth between New York and Cincinnati that eventually became the three core videos in Digitized Figures. Along the way, we’ve had the chance to present bits and pieces of the installation as a works in progress at various venues in Cambridge, MA, Brooklyn, NY, Iowa City, IA, Cincinnati, OH, and Montclair, NJ. We’re so excited to take what we’ve learned from these smaller showings and finally create the fully realized version of the installation with the addition of interactive video, four live dancers, and a completely new component that allows viewers to impact the performance through the use of tablets.

What a fascinating collaboration! Click through to read the rest, view all the images, and of course to donate if you can.