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qiudanz technique: devlog

documenting our activities related to the qiudanz technique in the context of our micro-residency in slomoco.

qiudanz technique on SloMoCo

12021-11-26 fourth miniworkshop

screenshot of the jitsi meeting with four human participants and one screen with the title

today we had our fourth and last (for the moment) miniworkshop! this concludes our series of qiudanz workshops

there were four of us, and the workshop happened in english.

we repeated the use of the "slides" from the previous session, but now we made sure we actually went and performed all the movements and sequences that are shown in there.

a crucial question came up: why do operations and movements have the same name? it was interesting to discuss this before actually doing the "guide and tape" activity: this allows the operations to be danced using the same materials! (and it also allows any sequence to be read as potential set of instructions!)

it was noted how it was challenging to not follow the verbal instructions as the sequence of movements to perform, but instead as a set of operations to apply to the sequence before performing it.

in the previous workshop i realized that hurdle existed when doing the first activity of tape and guide but with voice, and today i tried to pre-emptively warn about it. however, i feel-think it's important for that "mistake" to happen, because it reveals an important aspect of the technique: part of the fun comes from having to do these translations with the materials.

again the DEH operation was the most difficult to get; it's interesting how we are used to working with movement in a way that makes it challenging to "remove the first element from the sequence".

we got to talk about how this system contrasts with conventional ways of approaching choreography, and how difficult it might be to unlearn those ways in order to learn and practice this technique. this applies in many fronts: the aspect of having several, relatively distinct movements (from a more movement-analysis perspective) encoded as "one" discrete movement; working with sequences as collections of these discrete elements; manipulating the sequences based on specific rules and not based on flow, poetics, phrasing, etc; and so on :)

it was super fun and insightful!

now we get a week to prepare our talk to conclude the microresidency! (see talks and workshops)

12021-11-23 third miniworkshop

screenshot of the jitsi meeting with five human participants and one screen with the title

we had our third miniworkshop and we had a lot of fun! there were five of us, and the workshop happened in english.

from the technical standpoint, everything happened smoothly from our side. this time we prepared a set of "slides" to share the outline and keep some notes on the screen. this was better than writing/drawing at the moment.

these images worked alright, but it seems to be important to actually perform everything that is shown there, especifically the examples of the operations and how they transform the sequences. otherwise the operations are not very clear until practicing them.

as we were more people, the conversation activity happened first with all five of us, and then divided in two groups (two and three people), dancing in parallel. it's great to have these conversations happening via movement; they don't saturate the communication channels or interfere between each other.

there were some interesting reflections regarding the concepts of memory, body/mind, and code. the aspect of this being a practice, and that it needs to be practiced, was also brought up.

at first people seemed to think they couldn't do the dances, but at the end they realized they had internalized to some extent the rules and therefore they could be actually dancing, not only moving mechanically to follow the instructions. i'd say that was also a source of joy and pride :)

it was also discussed how this can set many possibilities for dialog(s) and games between people.

in short, we all had a lot of fun!

12021-11-21 check-in meeting with microresidents

had the first official check-in meeting with other microresidents in our cohort! enjoyed sharing our video and updates so far :)

12021-11-17 video: intro to qiudanz technique mode 1

finally decided to create a short introductory video for qiudanz mode 1!

video: intro to qiudanz technique mode 1

still from the video, showing two people dancing and smiling with some symbols overlaid

we had a lot of fun planning, rehearsing, recording and editing it!

12021-11-15 second mini workshop and takeover

we had our second mini workshop and it was also a lot of fun!

screenshot of the jitsi meeting with four human participants and one diagram with symbols

we were four spanish-speaking people, so the workshop happened in that language.

i had some technical difficulties with my main computer not being able to connect alright to the videoconference. that reduced some of the available time, stressed me a little bit, and prevented us from having a recording of the session.

in any case, it went very well!

this time we used a virtual whiteboard as an extra camera/participant in the videoconference. for that i had to research how to create a virtual camera using ffmpeg :)

i used that device as a sound source as well, via the monitor of internal audio provided by pulseaudio.

participants said that the notation helped them in visualizing the transformations, but not in any other part of the process.

personally i felt the writing broke a little bit of my flow, as i was standing and i had to change position in order to use the drawing tablet.

it might make sense to have some prepared "slides"/images; it seems i don't have to draw all of this at the moment.

i think i'll work on these materials for the checkin on friday. also, i keep wondering to what extent a video tutorial would make sense.

takeover

on another note, this week we are doing an #ArtistTakeover to the SloMoCo ig account:

@slo.moco

not a fan of the platform, but it might allow us to reach more people. (and known people that are not in the fediverse yet :)

it has been a fun experience so far!

12021-11-12 first mini workshop!

we had our first mini workshop and it was a lot of fun! we basically followed the outline in qiudanz mode 1, finishing with the "tape and guide" activity.

here's a video of the conversation game in action:

[demo] qiudanz miniworkshop: conversation game

screenshot of the jitsi meeting with three human participants, one of them with some overlaid symbols

we were three spanish-speaking people, so the workshops happened in that language.

in terms of the workshop guidance, we tried:

regarding the first point, even though we could learn and practice the technique without the notation, it was discussed that it might be a good idea to have it there.

it seems a good idea at least in order to introduce the sequence transformations: some times there was some confusion about where in the sequence (head or tail) we had to apply the transformation, and having a visual/memory aid for them could probably work to reduce it.

it could be interesting to have this visual aid as another "square" in the videocall grid, not as a shared screen. first i thought about having a virtual cam and so on, but now i'm thinking about just using a whiteboard.

regarding the second point: it was nice to have the music; it generated a nice energetic environment and it wasn't too much of an extra (and confusing) stimulus. still have to figure out how to share the music without interferring with the voice(s); probably the extra camera mentioned above could help.

regarding the third point, on context: it seems it was not needed to engage with the activity. but also, as the participants knew about its background and possibilities, we discussed it might be a good idea to further introduce why we are doing this.

we all enjoyed the experience. it was fun and chill, but also challenging in a cognitive and movement-based way.

another nice note was that the movements in the vocabulary were not strictly/rigidly defined, and therefore each one of us could play with their interpretations.

looking forward to the next mini workshop, where we'll try some changes, and we'll engage in english!

12021-11-08 mini workshops registration form

created a page for the qiudanz workshops and a registration form for the participants!

12021-11-06 unofficial call for participants

created an image for the project in order to call for participants who want to experiment with the technique in the online workshops!

photo of a smiling person who seems to be dancing, with extended arms in front of them. they are pointing towards the left, where there's an overlay of some kind of code written with addition and subtraction signs, periods, and square brackets.

gauging interest now in social networks!

12021-11-03 mode 1 preliminary notes

the following are notes meant to guide a short introductory workshop to the first mode of the qiudanz technique: qiudanz mode 1

incoming links

now

qiudanz technique

qiudanz workshops

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