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Work In-Tandem with A Fickle-Friend

A Conclusion of the use of Technology with Myself This Semester

The time that I have spent in class and working on projects through Intermedia has allowed space for creativity in a new light for me. I am no longer afraid of working with technology in the performing arts and especially dance. Our use of technology has been the one thing that allowed connection among students, peers and even family for me these past few months.

Content of this Class

One way that I engaged in successful technology use included my stream of a digital performance through our assignment titled “Digital Doubles Portrait.” I learned and used a software called OBS, or Open Broadcaster Software in tandem with multiple cameras, sound and virtual filters to communicate the life of someone I just met.

I was reminded that my intrinsic need to record things—nature, sounds, songs, music, writing, spoken words—was not something I practiced alone, as we were encouraged to gather videos of textures found in the world around us.

The fascinating reading and practicing of Liz Lerman’s Feedback practices in our critiques has made me ask the question, why aren’t all forms of feedback evaluated through this lens? As an instructor, should I evaluate if a student would like feedback before giving it? With my primary interaction with students being completed through Zoom, I was able to ask students, who is open to receiving feedback in class today? I then designated these students as the ones participating with their video on, or by moving the zoom squares in my screen so that it was clear to me who wanted feedback.

A Successful Live Event

This entire class culminated into the first virtual end-of-semester celebration through what we call our Informance. Leading this event took many, many emails and somewhat intimidating advanced technological planning, including working with a team of individuals for designating Zoom Spotlights, sharing video at a very specific ratio and size, detailed timing for surprise speakers and guests, and interactive gatherings for the over 140 people present. If it was not for the time provided for team creativity, practice and problem-solving, last week’s Informance would have been a much less interactive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

I was most amazed with the duration of attention that we received for the first hour of the event. As events nowadays are often judged by the number of virtual audience members, the Informance audience numbers were a consistent 143 participants for the first hour of the event, and still a good 115 for the 90-minute entirety of the experience.

What I have learned most, and what I found to be most important is that it is technology (the often frustrating fickle-friend) that allowed a community gathering of such scale and size to happen. People were physically located all over the United States, and world, but they were all virtually celebrating the fact that we have persevered in making great art this year, together.

To me, intermedia is the interweaving of technology and movement, but most importantly, it is the ability to connect with other people.


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