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Ascenders & Descenders is a typographic reinterpretation of Merce Cunningham's dancing hands as recorded by OpenEnded Group for the Loops project.

The piece is a Cunningham dance work reconstructed from textual deconstructions of other Cunningham dance works. Each finger has an associated excerpt from an article, review, or essay on Cunningham from the last 5 decades. These texts become the "ink" with which each finger manifests its movements. Each text is dynamically typeset in 3 dimensional space along the curves traced by his fingertips.

The software keeps track of various movement parameters which it uses to modulate aspects of the visualization such as letter size, camera position, angle, and zoom. Merce not only dances the dance, but becomes typesetter and cinematographer, conducting the audience's view of the dance.

What, from the outside, appear to be subtle manipulations of the hands become a beautiful tangle of diving flocks and waterfalls of letters. Presenting dance in this way, we hope to get closer to the experience of the dance from the inside out.

Watch the video below.

Thnkx John.


I just want to clarify that the work was done by my firm Sosolimited with data sourced from the OpenEnded Group's Loops project. The piece was commissioned by the Boston Cyberarts Festival and was exhibited alongside three other reinterpretations of the data. More into can be found at the Cyberarts Loops page.

Thu 02 Jul 2009 at 6:24 AM

fantastic..this software may help us in out next project....

Fri 03 Jul 2009 at 12:54 AM
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