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In the interest of transparency I’m gonna document my process from idea to completion—being optimistic by using the word completion and pessimistic by feeling the need to point out why I’m using the word completion. I’ll write about all the fears, anxieties and triumphs of leading an artistic project and hopefully I’ll grow and laugh looking back on it.
I trained in dance at university and whilst I was there in my spare time I studied design and web development, so for the longest time I’ve wanted to find a way to join those worlds together. The web is traditionally used as a resource, a place to store information that can be accessed by anyone. It’s rarely used to host art, you can find pictures of art and video of live performances but I think we can all agree seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre is a lot better than viewing it on google images. Rarely is the web used as a venue for art the way a theatre is used for performances. How cool would it be to have dance on the web, available to anyone, anywhere at anytime free of charge? So as the web browser as my canvas/stage i’m going to make a series of small dance installations/pieces—I’m not sure what to call them yet, suggestions are welcome in the comments.
I suck at planning, mmm scratch that, I never plan! If I actually did plan I wouldn’t be so bad at it, so the success/failure of this project may be down to this alone. I feel I have lot’s of great ideas and I’m somewhat confident I can get what I need from the days in the studio but what I’m bad at is legistics like booking space, getting dancers together at the same time and booking peoples travel, I tend to prioritise procrastination rather than taking care of this stuff which is time sensitive.
What I’ve done so far
- I’ve got my dancers and they are ready to go in May.
- I also have a videographer to help record and take pictures.
- I have studio space at Dancer Resource Base, shout out to them they gave me a good deal, I won’t say how much as how much they charge is their business but it’s a good deal.
- I have lots of notes. I need to be really clear about the images I want to create because filming is such a mission so the clearer I am before shooting starts the easier it’ll be during production.
- I’ve started designing the main layout of tanz.io. A super simple minimal layout that’s easy to use.
- I’ve bought some video editing software and typefaces for the project using the money from Arts Council NI. I think I’ll do a more in depth post about budging and tools I’m using for those who are interested.
My brain is split in three at the moment, which can be a good thing because I can switch between one thing and the other to prevent burnout but the reality is they are all niggling at me constantly.
Maybe I should use the word movement, I’ll figure out the semantics later but I need to create movement that will look good on the browser. Maybe it can continuously loop or be reversible. It has to be recognisable not only on big screens but also on tiny phones so it can’t be too subtle and it also can’t be too long as people’s attention spans online are very short. So short and compelling are the main objects here. Easy enough ????
Current inspiration: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
Ideally i’d like there to be some sort of link between each installation. It need to be accessible to all users, how do you make a online dance installation accessible to a blind user?
Current inspiration: Paul Rand
Building the site is by far the biggest challenge and one that scares the shit out of me. Some sites can take months even years to finish. I’ll be learning a lot of new technologies to create animations and visual effects and this will increase development time. I’m curious to have the work in progress site and code live online for people to see and watch it change and evolve over time because this might be a project that’s never is truly finished.
Current inspiration: CodePen
It’s not long now until we get into the studio. It may come as a surprise to you but I’m not the best choreographer or designer or developer and I’m not sure anything like this exists so this project might be crap! But it won’t be crap forever, the first few might be shit cos I’m just new to this but I’m hoping to add to them and to discover new possibilities and with practice hopefully create a few gems. I’d also like to note that this is an open source project, which means everyone is free to contribute, copy and distribute. If you have any ideas you’d like to create or any suggestions on improvements I’m all ears or you can just steal the idea and make a better one! ????