Jeannette Ginslov’s work centers around affect, haptic and digital materiality on several platforms: stage, screens, online and new media applications. Ginslov is currently working with Prof Susan Kozel at MEDEA on the project Affexity that draws together screendance, visual imagery and mobile networked devices. This is an introduction to Ginslov’s work.
By: Jeannette Ginslov
The simple clash between subject and style is a painterly one; the uncompromising line is made to yield to a curve. Only this defeat makes movement possible. (Jeanette Winterson, Art and Lies, 1996)
This quote aptly describes my journey that curves its way through a practice and research area that spans many years, modes and platforms of production.
My roots are in Performance Art, protest theatre and contemporary dance theatre within the context of an Apartheid South Africa as a performer, choreographer and artistic director. The classical and contemporary dance training in South Africa, New York and France afforded me the tools to practice and research sites of resistance through the body and movement. Ironically after my first choreographic work, Sandstone, which was banned, I felt a sense of agency that led me to create over 40 live performance stage works exploring the Representation of Politics and the Politics of Representation. Here is probably the first South African screendance work ever produced: Sandstone (embedded below)
In 1998 I armed myself with a Master of Arts in Choreography based on the Body and the Dance Factory as sites of Resistance, exploring postmodernist feminist dance practices and choreographic strategies. My later works and collaborations in a post apartheid South Africa led to intermedia explorations with video, interactive media and movement. See the Intermedia/Interdisciplinary Collaborations YouTube playlist, also embedded below.
I supported my practice by teaching dance for dance companies, community centres, lecturing at universities and film schools. I also trained performers in Alba Emoting – a somatic practice for eliciting authentic emotions: CoNCrEte and see emotional body works I conducted in South Africa (CoNCrEte embedded below).
I left South Africa in 2008 with my son Jared, in order to study for an MSc in Media Arts and Imaging Screendance, at Dundee University Scotland, where I researched and wrote on the concrete and the digital: emotional and kinaesthetic amplification of the authentic and digitalised body in screendance. My research and outcomes explored Deleuse’s notion of affect, Laura U Marks ideas of tactility and the haptic, Massumi’s phenomenological ideas on sensation and movement, Dogme 95 filmic practices, the “carnivorous camera”, vertical montage and repetition in the edit as a choreographic tool.
In 2009 I started exploring other sites and modes of production with the use of online platforms and became associate producer dance-tech.net. I am a moderator for content on dance-tech.net that uses the most advanced social software platforms and internet rich multimedia applications. dance-tech.net provides movement and new media artists, theorist, thinkers and technologists the possibility of sharing work, ideas and research, generating opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborative projects.
I am also the creator of MoveStream that provides an interdisciplinary platform that investigating the crossover between the boundaries usually found in media/dance/cinema/video and the internet. It provides a fresh and adaptive evolving domain for the public to engage with culture, choreography and performance. As a networked phenomenon, it encourages a much needed flow and exchange in Screendance discourse. It offers a new Screening portal for Screendance makers with the possibility of developing new online performance vocabularies that reposition dance performance as a multi-sited, digitally mediated art form. Ease of accessibility encourages viewers to engage with the ontologies that are foregrounded in the interviews. It also serves as an open archive for Screendance, preserving the past with the capability of re-informing the present.
Presently I am researching and exploring Screendance, Affect and augmented reality with Prof Susan Kozel at MEDEA, Malmö University. The project, Affexity is an interdisciplinary collaborative project with drawing together screendance, visual imagery and mobile networked devices (see video embedded below).
It will use a free open standards augmented reality web browser called Argon running on the iPhone and iPad for the location of choreographies embedded in city spaces. Focusing on affect and corporeality, these little narratives will be geospatially and accessed by viewers using mobile devices. The city used for the pilot performance will be Malmö, Sweden.
Photo credit: Bob Martin