> Motivation
> Example Movie
> Comment
> Conclusion
> Related Experiments
> Setup

Performance Photo


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A real time recorded video image of the stage is overlaid with a time delayed video image from the same video source. The person on stage is in control of the location of the delayed video spot on the screen. Thus the dancer can time delay a certain part of his body in the video image. A time delay in the temporal range of our short-term memory might visually correspond to the dancer's involuntary memory of his last motions with a selective focus on certain parts of the body.


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Example Movie

Stage View
Computer Image
In this experiment one sensor is attached to the belt of the dancer. In a circle around the sensor there is a time-delayed video image. The time-delay is about half a second. The current and delayed image blend into each other and cause a temporal fragmentation of the body.


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Two time-levels seem to happen simultaneously within one body, this double timing creating fluidity in the movement. Noticing that this fluidity influences Nik's dancing, he goes in and out of fluid and more brittle movements. The movement inside his body becomes at times twisted and knotty, interlaced with its own delayed after-image. At some moments one gets the impression of a body constantly trying to remember itself or review its actions.

The use of the sensor is less visible in this experiment but the time-delayed video double exposure is the focal point. In the video recording Nik is wearing the sensor in the belt, at belly-button level. In other try-outs of this experiment he was wearing the sensor also on one of his wrists, which creates a more fragmented overlap of the body in two times.

We noticed how the second, delayed body arrives into the first, present-time body, like two moulds fitting into each other. This was one of the first experiments in which we included a live video image; we recognized that one has to dance in the set-up for some time, in order to find and use the creative feedback of this kind of mirrored partner that moves as delayed and inert matter.
We decided to set the delay-time between the two bodies at half a second. After trying out some longer settings we realized that a delay of no longer than half a second is being seen as an echo of the movement without becoming a separate object by itself.

This experiment was a development of earlier try-outs from 2000 that included a split-screen. On two, sometimes three screens the same dance was shown in real-time (live) and in time-delays of up to 10 seconds, creating a canon of present and past times. Compare with .

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Even though this setup was intended to explicitly address the dancer’s memory of his last motions, it turned out to have a very corporeal effect. The selective fragmentation of the body dominates the perception. The time transformation, which refers to the memory domain, is secondary.

Nik was always very aware of his body being recognized as a fragmented one and began to play with different motion speeds because the speed determines the strength of fragmentation. Thus the setup induced this particular motion quality.


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Related Experiments


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  • Graphics PC with Video Capture Card
  • Projector
  • Polhemus tracking system: 1 Sensor
  • Video Camera


  • The Video Camera is facing the dancer and transmits a live video image to the graphics computer. The graphics computer displays this image on the projection screen. The image is overlaid by a round spot, which shows the image with a delay of around 1 sec. As illustrated by the Technical Screenshot below, both images are superimposed within the area between an inner and an outer circle. The spot behaves like a smooth mask that shows the live video image in the outside and the delayed video image in the inside.
  • The Sensor controls the position of the spot on screen. Thus the dancer is in control of which fraction of his body is displayed as time delayed. In the recording we attached the sensor to the dancer's chest.


Technical Setup

Spatial Setup

Technical Screenshot

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