Close-up / Ian Heisters

Data traces of a contemporary moment sharing by past and present.

Valérie Félix

Gestures is a series of generative dance films that use new technologies to research how history is encoded in the body. Our gazes, gestures, postures, etc. are traces of our histories, telling stories of displacement, oppression, kinship, and resistance. Gestures gains perspective on these unseen structures by using a computer to interrogate a database of dance performances in which performers reconstruct each other’s personal histories. A series of television screens with attached computers each depicts a memory of an interaction between two people. The memory has been performed dozens of times and filmed with a high-speed camera. The resulting several hours’ worth of footage is composed by custom software at the moment of the viewer’s observation into an endless and never-repeating stream of imagery and movement. The computer’s re-performance of the performers’ memories encourages unpredictable third-order interpretations through chance and rule-based operations.

© Text and all visuals by Ian Heisters