Ka Fai Choy

Synchrometrics

Ka Fai Choy  Synchrometrics

source: p3publicopt

“Podemos desenhar memórias futuras para o corpo?” Choy Ka Fai, de Singapura, coloca a questão e apresenta a resposta em forma de estímulos eléctricos.

O artista, que participou com o espectáculo “Notion Dance Fiction” na terceira edição do Festival InShadow, no Teatro São Luiz, em Lisboa, esteve recentemente na semana de design de Milão, onde aproveitou para recrutar algumas cobaias entre os visitantes para testar a sua teoria.

“Prospectus for a Future Body” é o “estudo do movimento do corpo na dança”, é apresentação de uma investigação inovadora em torno da memória muscular digital. Se um determinado movimento do corpo gera um impulso eléctrico, então o mesmo impulso eléctrico (armazenado numa base de dados) pode ser reconduzido até ao corpo, que assim se transforma numa espécie de autómato.

A investigação de Choy Ka Fai permitiu-lhe, por exemplo, recriar com detalhe a peça “A Summer Storm” (1973), de Tasumi Hijikata, na forma de “Eternal Summer Storm” através de imagens de arquivo e ligando o corpo de um bailarino (o próprio artista neste vídeo) a uma pequena corrente eléctrica que lhe permitia imitar em tempo real os movimentos do famoso bailarino japonês.

A sua proposta passa ainda por tentar multiplicar esse fluxo eléctrico, permitindo com um simples botão — e sem qualquer ensaio prévio — controlar um conjunto de bailarinos de uma forma harmoniosa. Conseguiu essa coreografia entre o natural e os estímulos digitais em SynchroMetrics.

“Interesso-me por novas tecnologias que permitem aos artistas e designers especularem sobre o futuro e apresentarem propostas para esse futuro”, disse Choy Ka Fai numa entrevista ao site AsiArt Archive.
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source: ka5info

Can we design future memories for the body?
Is the body itself the apparatus for remembering cultural processes?

Prospectus For a Future Body proposes new perspectives on how the body remembers and invents technological narratives. Central to the project is the study of body movement in dance: How it can evolve, adapt or re-condition to possible futures?

Eternal Summer Storm explores the concept of muscle memory transfer as an alternative form of interactive cultural continuities. This concept prototype speculates on a future digital library of body movements or dance techniques that can be experienced beyond the audio-visual conventions. Eternal Summer Storm attempts to recreate legendary Japanese dancer Tasumi Hijikata’s Butoh dance choreography and experience in ‘A Summer Storm’ (1973) from archival footages.

Bionic Movement Research is a collection of experiments on the process of designing digital muscle memory for the body. Inspired by Luigi Galvani discovery (1780) of animal electricity in the human body, these experiments appropriate the techniques of electrical nerve stimulation to choreograph artificial muscle contraction and body movement.

SynchroMetrics is a choreographic study on the experience of synchronicity. The experiment presents a dialogue between natural and digitally stimulated choreography, in an attempt to interlace the conceptual connections of the mind with a technological influence on the body.

Notion is a demonstration performance exploring the possibilities of muscle memory implant as a digital form for recording, playback and real-time mapping of movement-based technique. Inspired by the evolution of dance history in the last century, the performance attempt to install digital muscle memory implants from a selection of iconic dance movement vocabulary into a body as it learns, adapts and recreates within the multiplex of kinesics expression.
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source: designandviolencemomaorg

From the curators: Rather than following the more traditional design process characterized by a concrete final product, the work of Choy Ka Fai (aka Ka5) is part of a growing field of speculative design practice, a provocative probing of future possibilities. His series, Prospectus for a Future Body, began while he was a student at London’s Royal College of Art in 2011. Ka5 developed a number of performances and demonstrations that explore the potential of technology to remember, recreate, and “store” movement. Translating those “memories” back to the body via wired, electrical impulses, Ka5 is redefining in the process traditional relationships between choreographer, dancer, and audience. He breaks down his investigation into several strands: creating a “library of movements” that are digitally designed and triggered; examining muscle memory and programming; and analyzing the possibilities for choreography and movement-mapping when digitally controlled by forces external to the body. Taken as a whole, Prospectus for a Future Body questions whether we can design “future memories” for our bodies, and understands the body as a site of access—through actions designed and translated from external composer to the muscles of the performer—for moments that have passed or are yet to come.

Were we to find a principle of violence in choreography—the latter understood as the design and execution of predetermined movements and gestures—it would be the following: a subject will be formed, created, designed, trained, physically as well as mentally, to receive someone else’s movements and then execute them perfectly, upon command.
It’s as if violence in choreography functions according to the principles of abduction: first one captures (young) bodies, bends them, trains them to be ideal receptors of movement; then one captures minds and makes them yield to commands, while demanding also perfect memory. Not surprisingly, the modern notion of discipline is a product of the era that also brings choreography (the word and the practice) into the world.
In this scheme, choreography also functions according to military principles, or according to a technology predicated on structures of command and obedience. This is why choreographer William Forsythe once referred to ballet as being a “system of command.” Regarding the transmission of movement, such a system requires the ideological fantasy of the dancer as tabula rasa, as ideal receptor who will move according to someone else’s will and corporeal attributes.
Choreography then can be seen as a body-snatcher, and the dancer as a host for spectral possession.
Under this violent formation, the dancer’s body is ideally conceived as an open body on at least three levels: telepathically, telekinetically, and teletemporally. It is triply available for all sorts of spectral intrusions, manipulations, receptions: telepathically, to receive the choreographer’s intentions without a glitch; telekinetically, to incorporate and then “excorporate” muscular and nervous expressions from this virtual transmission; teletemporally, to be an ephemeral station, a precarious, momentary receptacle for movement that must continue, into the future, beyond any individual dancer’s life.
But there is more to this violence than the ideal of endless and flawless transmission. There is what we may call (after Michel Serres) the parasitical principles of communication: inevitable deviation, unavoidable disturbance, permanent noise. These are the inherent conditions of the world. Choreographic violence starts when choreography cannot stand deviation, cannot accommodate the dancer’s agency, cannot accept that the nervous system has its autonomy, and that sometimes it takes over, that it has to take over, that sometimes bodies do break APART, are always breaking apart, that all dancing is break-dancing, and that all minds forget, and that forgetting is the precondition for the unexpected, the crack through which irresistible wishes and improper desires creep in, inflecting choreography away into unforeseen becomings, making it align with something else.
Violence meets choreography thanks to the mystery of animation, the omnipotent theocratic dream of infusing movement into the inert, of wanting to control matter and its futures by controlling the life and sense of its movements. Freud saw in the sudden eruption of movement, in what is supposed to be inert, the perfect example of the uncanny. But it is precisely in the uncanny that choreography pokes its fingers—a fatal attraction. Choreography’s violence is to always go about pushing and plucking some mass of BONE and meat to see if it can make it dance. “Dance!” The ultimate colonial sadism over the bare life of the barely living, nearly dead slave.
Choreography’s violence feeds off an omnipotent belief that everything must move according to its wishes. Call it Dr. Frankenstein’s paradigm: animation at all costs.
Choreography’s violence lies in its belief that life is only movement; and, moreover, that living movement is the oriented circulation of electrons shooting through inert matter. It hallucinates that as long as an electrical connection is secured, the rotten shall move, regardless of costs.
And yet, despite all this potential for violence, there is a profound irony in Choy Ka Fai’s project. A choreographic laughter emerging as potential for freedom within the machinations of commanding transmissions and obedient bodies. In Choy’s project we find buzzing noises all the time, and movement happens in and as noise. In this racket, in this commotion, the sonic and the kinetic fuse as one and the same. Leibniz understood the soul (in Latin, animus, that is to say, animation) as a permanent buzzing, and Choy links this buzzing animation directly to the ghostly video image of a dancer that is now a corpse (Tatsumi Hijikata) into his own body. And, of COURSE, despite the supposedly direct electric link, the resulting movement is always erratic and never the same. This is Choy’s revelation—deep, profound, uncannily real: choreography is a dance macabre, and the dancer’s softest gestures are but a tamed spasm.
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source: ka5info

Choy Ka Fai an artist, performance maker and speculative designer. He is inspired by the histories and theorizations that together contain the uncertainties of the future. His research springs from a desire to understand the conditioning of the human body, its intangible memories and the forces shaping its expressions. These factors converge into complex articulations at the intersection of art, design and technology.
Ka Fai graduated in Design Interaction from the Royal College Of Art London, with the Singapore National Arts Council Overseas Scholarship, and was conferred the Singapore Young Artist Award in 2010.

His works have been presented in festival, such as the 25th Tanz Im August (2013), Singapore Arts Festival (2012), Festival Tokyo (2011), 2nd Asian Art Biennale (2009), 3rd Fukuoka Asia Art Triennale (2005). He also exhibited at institution, including the Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2012), White Chapel Gallery, London (2010), Singapore Art Museum (2009) and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2005).