3 November 2023, Inspace, Edinburgh, UK
Collaborative performance with Emma Snellgrove and Atul Kumar exploring creativity and agency through embodied, physical interactions with Artificial Intelligence.
As human bodies become increasingly entangled with technology, how do we maintain agency, creativity and empathy? In this performance, two choreographers/dancers and a musician interact physically with an artificial intelligence, stimulating novel creative expression and bodily entrainment between them. 
The performers and AI are connected in a feedback loop via sound and tactile sensation. Emma, Atul and Theodore perform on a floor fitted with a matrix of tactile transducers. Processing the dancers' movements, the AI filters and manipulates the sounds Theodore produces and feeds them back as audio and tactile sensations, influencing the humans' subsequent creative actions through proprioception, interoception and muscle memory.
The performance is entirely live and improvised around a structure of four sections or "movements", each inspired by two words: The first, 'Inhale Exhale' was inspired by moving in and out of the centre of the floor, metaphorically evoking the expansion and contraction of the lungs. In the second and third movements, the audience participated creatively by providing 'prompts', on this evening 'Search Fight' for movement two, and 'Bounce Heal' for movement three. The performance closes with 'Build Destroy' reflecting the natural cycle of regeneration. 
The hype (and fears) around Creative AI focus on its material outputs: images, stories, melodies, etc., but the value of any creative work lies in the relationship it creates between people. This performance integrates AI into the meeting of creative bodies. It generates a model for musicians and dancers to perform with AI rather than be replaced by it, embracing the uniquely human aspects of embodied performance. More broadly it reasserts the value of human creativity and human bodies at a time when society is grappling with the wonders and dangers of AI and feeling overwhelmed by the pace of change.
Film by Stuart Armit
Back to Top