'I wish Nik could have seen this!' I thought while I was watching 16 [R]evolution, the latest digital dance theater piece by Troika Ranch's Dawn Stoppiello and Mark Coniglio. Alwin Nikolais, multimedia choreography's master wizard, died in 1993, before the digital explosion in dance. How thrilled he would have been by the possibilities that continue to fly out of the (mostly) benign Pandora's box of computer generated imagery, interactive video, and sonic effects. - Village Voice, 2006

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

Interaction is the word that singularly defines the driving force of our artistic practice. Whether it is between audience and performer, performer and image, movement and sound, or human and machine, interaction as an idea fundamentally shapes our work from its inspiration to its presentation.

 

Interaction first comes into play as we collaboratively develop materials for a work with our fellow artists and performers. Recognizing that each human being possesses a vast and unique set of life experiences, we encourage all involved in the creative process to take on a role of authorship. We push our collaborators to locate the intersection of their personal background with the overarching theme of a work, and encourage them to use this connection to deeply inform the manner and method of creating and realizing materials.

 

The second instance of interaction extends this collaborative authorship into the moment of presentation. Our groundbreaking software and hardware senses movement and vocalizations and creates a way for performer’s to directly influence the final presentation of visual and sonic digital materials. In our work the performer on stage or the viewer in an installation becomes the final arbiter of the material’s timing, dynamics and organization, and thus are key collaborators in the penultimate creative moment of composition.

 

The final moment of interaction occurs upon the work’s presentation to an audience. We intend to present a dense and highly physical theater of ideas that echoes the multiplicity and maximum sensory capacity of our time and culture. Visual imagery, dance, music and text implode into a flux point from which we leverage specific properties from each discipline to powerfully communicate on multiple levels. This density often leads to our works being described as experimental; they are, in fact, grounded in traditional theatrical values. This is because our work is content-driven: the materials in a work are present to serve the narrative arc. The relationships – between man and machine, man and woman, action and image – exist to drive expression and present –and translate– the essence of the human condition. In the end, our aim is to examine an ongoing human effort: the desire to integrate the most basic expressions of the soul with the most complex creations of the mind.