In the company of strangers: Negotiating the parameters of indeterminacy; A study of the roaming body and departure in urban spaces

Baker , Mike
Gallagher, Sue
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Master of Art and Design
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Auckland University of Technology

This performance-based project scrutinizes indeterminacy as a mediating force impinging upon our behaviour and its subsequent impact on the nature and constituency of engagements and dialogue between people in urban spaces. Concepts centering on the dynamics of departure are being investigated with focus upon the Multi User Virtual Environment (MUVE), Second Life as a facet of real life (the term 'real life' will henceforth be referred to in this document within the context of Second Life, as First Life). Experienced through the vehicle of the Roaming Body, our meetings and encounters with people and places frequently manifest as disjunct communiqués and mis-engagements. I am asserting that this is due to the inevitability in our existence of indeterminacy acting as a significant factor in the articulation of our relations with others, reinforcing our description as time-based entities traversing the passage of the everyday. I maintain that this is frequently evidenced in our behaviours through the occurrence (notwithstanding arrivals) of a continual, pre-emptive state of departure. Indeterminacy implies motion and emerges, as Massumi asserts, through ‘… an unfolding relation to its own nonpresent potential to vary …’. We, as humans, are constantly being drawn away – always either approaching or embracing involuntarily, a 'state-of-Leaving’ which co-mingles with and unerringly erodes our efforts to stay engaged with another in the here and now. In my dance and video practice, interventionist dance strategies are being used to prompt and interrogate the constituents of departure within encounters in designated public places. Experimental movement frameworks employed are informed by the discipline of Contact Improvisation Dance and Authentic Movement. The working process is being documented using a range of video narrative.

Indeterminacy , Roaming body , Leaving , Mixed-reality , Performance , Narrative
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