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Presentation by researchers Noud Heerkens and Minke Nouwens @ISEA2020 online

Caradt researchers Noud Heerkens and Minke Nouwens will present their paper An Invitation to DANCE: Making Sense of Viewer Interaction in Installation Art at the 26th International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA2020) in October 2020.


In an online video session, Heerkens and Nouwens will report on a case study they conducted into viewer interaction in the five-screen interactive dance film installation An Invitation to DANCE. Literature on the experience of dance suggests that dance film is set apart from dance performance due to the relative passivity of viewers of film. It is claimed that essential characteristics of dance are lost when dance appears on and for the screen, instead of being performed live. Heerkens and Nouwens question that claim through an in-depth analysis of viewer behavior in the art installation An Invitation to DANCE, based on a case study that took place at TENT Rotterdam in May and June 2019.

Their findings show that when dance film is distributed over multiple screens, which cannot be observed from one single position, viewers actively interact with them. As such, they allow for the participation, feeling, proximity, and corporeal relationship typical to dance performance. Therefore, they conclude, that if strong distinctions between experiencing dance on film and in theatre can be made, they are more complex than viewership being either active (in the latter) or passive (in the first). In doing so, their case study points at a necessity for more detailed situated audience research during artistic production processes of interactive artworks.

ISEA 2020

Noud Heerkens and Minke Nouwens will present their findings online at the 26th International Symposium on Electronic Artarrow (ISEA2020) in October 2020. This symposium is an international event on art and technology around the world, bringing together scholarly, artistic, and scientific domains in an interdisciplinary discussion and showcase of creative productions applying new technologies in electronic art, interactivity and digital media.

An Invitation to DANCE

This research project examines the cinematic experience of a dance performance.  

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‘The essence of the situated, cinematic experience of dance lies in the mental interaction where the public becomes co-author.’

Noud Heerkens was a researcher within the Situated Art and Design research group from 2016 until retiring in 2021. He also was a tutor at the Master Institute of Visual Cultures.

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Research Group: Situated Art and Design

Living in cities developed around data and acting within the inscrutable structure of our techno-society demands art and design that can help understand how we relate to these rapidly changing surroundings and to reflect on that relationship. The research group Situated Art and Design responds to this exigency by fostering a situated turn in art and design through a diverse portfolio of interdisciplinary research projects in partnership with academic and cultural partners, as well as with government and industry.

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