Telco Remains of the Pianist’s Touch
Dance performance for intra-body radio broadcast system, apparatus constructed from a discarded piano
Performed by Jasmine Ellis and Evandro Pedroni
Telco Remains of the Pianist’s Touch is a choreography for two dancers and an intra-body radio transmission system. The departure point of the performance is the evolution of touch understood from multiple cultural and historical vantage points, as inspired by sensory historian Constance Classen’s The Book of Touch.
A set of Victorian radio-transmission apparatuses built from polished steel and the remains of a discarded piano are used as the “stage” for a dance choreography which moves fluidly between modes of touch from the ritual to the everyday, from sensual to violent and conciliatory.
The apparatuses use abandoned “body-transmission” information technology system developed in the mid-90’s by researcher-scientist Thomas Zimmerman. Research into Zimmerman’s original designs and patents served as a reference point for creating the technology needed to realize the work. The apparatuses thus also tap into a never-to-be-realized techno-scientific sensory history, one envisioned by Zimmerman, where touch and information-telecommunication would be unified.
The apparatus transmits acoustic signals gathered in the space through a localized body-channel radio system, through the dancers, from microphones to speakers placed in the space. The system creates a dynamic fluctuation of feedback loops, audible interference and acoustic resonances that directly reflect the movements of the dancers in relation to each other in the broadcast space above the platforms.
The platforms are also presented as an interactive installation, whereby audience members interact with each other through sound, touch and movement when standing, sitting or interacting with the radio fields produced by the platforms.