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Performance Photo 1

Performance Photo 2

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During first try-outs at ZKM in 2000 we experimented with different set-ups that included time-delayed video-playback. On the projection screen one could see 3 images of the same dancer side by side, similar to a triptych. The first image showed the dancer live, the second image showed him with a delay of 5 seconds and a third image with a delay of 10 seconds. This idea of creating a canon that way was taken into the dance-performance "second" by the group commerce.

"For the piece second we (...) were trying for what can perhaps be best described as visualized memory. A dancer stands right next to the television and performs simple movements. A camera is focused both on the dancer and television screen and when we look at the screen we see an endless repetition of dancer and TV, a so-called video feedback effect. Every picture within a picture occurs with a video delay of seven seconds, so the smaller the picture the farther it is removed in time from the present moment. (...) Just as in our memory a specific observation is slowly pushed into the background over the course of time or is eventually forgotten altogether, so the television shows this process of forgetting: the fading memory. The present movement made by the dancer references the movement made by him 7 seconds ago. Both refer back to the movement that happened 14 seconds ago, and so forth. The delay and layering of different time levels generated in the television does not take center stage, but rather accompanies the dance in the same way that music does.

While in our daily lives we can observe people watching television, who are looking into the picture tube, in second we see a body moving next to and around the TV set, so we are watching the dance and watching television at the same time. Dancer and television form one unit. Whenever the dancer moves behind the television, parts of his or her body are hidden. While the television is providing us with a picture, it is also blocking our view of parts of the body."

(Taken from the essay "Embrace Your Television", by Nik Haffner, written for the book "Dance and Technology" edited by Söke Dinkla/ Martina Leeker, published by Alexander Verlag Berlin 2002)


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Performance Excerpt

Excerpt from the Presentation Performance

This excerpt is taken from the dance performance "second" (see full movie) by the group commerce. In this solo a dancer is moving next to a TV. On the TV a delayed video of the dancer and the TV is seen. The feedback creates an endless series of the same live video-image, each image getting smaller and – due to the applied time delay- more delayed. For this set up no motion capture technology was being used.


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Related Experiments:


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  • Video Camera
  • Video Hard-Disc recorder set on 7 seconds playback delay
  • Television Monitor


  • A video camera is connected to the video hard-disc recorder. The recorder is set to play back the video image with a delay of 7 seconds and is connected to a television. When the camera is positioned opposite the TV and videoing the TV screen a feedback is created. Between each picture in the picture the 7-second delay is visible.


Technical Setup


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