Yeonji and Jung-une are collaborating to create a performance using the digital media. Based on our distant home locations of Basel and Seoul, we used Skype video chat to make a live performance online and off-line. We both use our laptops to communicate with each other to improvise at our home studios. One of us, Yeonji, had an actual audience to watch Yeonji performing with Jung-une on the laptop screen. In addition to the recording of the laptop screens, we also each filmed a video showing the entire space of the performer performing with the laptop screen's partner. One video shows what the performer sees on screen, the other video shows the spatial situation.
Laptop replaces the presence of the partner's body. The laptop is both alive and dead, carrying the images and sounds of the partner, yet it can be instantly switched off and screen can be closed shut in an instant with no trace of the distant yet living partner and only a metallic rectangular object.
For the improvisation, we use scores that reveals the errors that occurs in digital communication. Examples of scores are : restart, freeze, slow, jump from one moment to another, press "exit" button, stuck, delay, reset, type/write instead of speaking, taking a picture during conversation (screenshot).
The limitations of the screen is made visible through the performance. The performers who communicate only through the screen who thus cannot possibly understand the other partner's situation fully and sensually is left frustrated, confused, misunderstood and lost.
While the two artists have contrasting approaches in relating to media technology, this contrast is revealed in the process of performance, problematizing the limitations of digital media and revealing the dangers of putting complete faith in technology.
Yet, with the awareness of this limitations, we as performers are working with the digital media to connect with one another. Through trials of various strategies, we learned to gain independence from complete dependence on the screen, and giving attention to our physical presence and bodies grounded in the reality of our home environment. Gradually we become free from the tighthold of media dependency and are able to choose to be on and off.
We have made a presentation in May 2019 in Basel and Seoul in our home studios. The presentation by the duo in Gwangju (South Korea) was adjusted according to the specific needs of the site.
Tanz: Jung-une Bac & Yeonji Han
Foto: Jung-une Bac
Dauer & 25 min