> dancework


2010. Performance and interactive installation by visual artist Simon Biggs and choreographer Sue Hawksley, with audio composition and software by Garth Paine.

R & D supported by artists residencies at the Bundanon Trust, New South Wales, and the VIPRe Lab at the University of Western Sydney.

Performance at Dance Live!10, Banchory. Photos & screenshots: Simon Biggs.

► VIDEO DOCUMENTATION: work-in-progress performance, Critical Path, Sydney 2010.
Bodytext is a performance work that involves speech, movement and the body. A dancer's movement and speech are re-mediated within an augmented environment employing real-time motion tracking, voice recognition, interpretative language systems, projection and audio synthesis. The acquired speech, a description of an imagined dance, is re-written through projected digital display and sound synthesis, the performer's movements causing texts to interact and recombine with one another through their subsequent compositional arrangement. What is written is affected by the dance whilst the emerging recombinant descriptions determine what is danced. The work questions and seeks insight into the relations between kinaesthetic experience, memory, agency and language.

Premiered at SEAM 2010 symposium - Critical Path, Sydney 2010
Performance at DanceLive! 10 - Woodend Barn, Banchory, October 2010
Performance at Figures of the Visceral symposium - Inspace, Edinburgh, September 2010
Presented at Bodies in Movement international conference - University of Edinburgh 2011
Performance & presentation at Gaming the Game conference - Mondavi Center UC Davis, April 2012
Presented at 1st International Conference on Multimodal Communication: Language, Performance and Digital Media - Lisbon, 2013
Presented at ISEA 2013, Sydney NSW.

An earlier iteration of this work, <bodytext> by Simon Biggs and Sue Hawksley was presented at the Digital Cultures Lab, Nottingham Trent University, December 2005.


Biggs, S., Hawksley, S. & Paine, G. (2016) Bodytext: somatic data as agency in interactive dance. in: Fernandez, C. (ed) Multimodality and Performance, Cambridge Scholars Publishing: Newcastle, UK, pp.179-186.

Hawksley, S. & Biggs, S. (2006) Memory Maps in interactive dance environments. International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media 2: 2, pp.123-137

Fedorova, K. (2020) Tactics of interfacing: encoding affect in art and technology. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.
- a book by Ksenia Fedorova in which she discusses Bodytext.

Ravetto-Biagioli, K. (2019) Digital Uncanny. Oxford University Press: New York, NY.
- a book by Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli in which she discusses Bodytext.

Ravetto-Biagioli, K. (2016) The Digital Uncanny and Ghost Effects. Screen, Vol 57 (1), pp.1-20.
- an article by Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli in which she discusses Bodytext.