hypertext dissertation - by Robyn Stuart

Rhizomopoly: A game of Rhizomes

This is a game I created to help me research in an artistically-scientific manner possible gross structures for Rhizomes III. My idea was to create something like a manual 'game of life' (Lucas, 1996a), of which I would be an integral decision-making 'demon' (like Maxwell's Demon, see Kaufmann, 1996 lecture 3 & lecture 4, 2000) I had 17 scenes: BCR Interlude, Surreal World Duet, Entangled Interquirk, Escher Duet 1, Escher Duet 2, Jemma's Avatara, Rachel's GSVII, Schizo Phrase, Stephanie's BCR, Stephanie's Wild Improv, Stephanie's Trees, Jemma's Transition Phrase, Trio Kneel Slap Roll, Trio Pendulum Swing, 8 Shapes A, 8 Shapes B, and 8 Shapes C. I wrote these scenes down on one or more bits of paper and also created structural 'commands' which I also wrote on separate bits of paper. I then conducted 9 experiments, where in each experiment I randomly selected a scene and a 'command' to accompany it and used the order of selection combined with the 'commands' selected to create a Rhizomes II structure. In Adobe Premier, I put together one version (for each experiment) of how I could interpret the order of scenes-with-commands selected into an 'artistic' product ( see Rhizomes II for the experiment notes).

Each successive experiment incorporated more of certain scenes and more commands, which grew in complexity. I as an autonomous agent 'learnt' from each successive experiment and fed back my discoveries into the next experiment. Patterns that emerged which I resonated with, I remembered and allowed to re-emerge in successive experiments if possible given the experiment's commands. I found that I was layering an increasing hierarchy of complexity with each successive experiment, for example by allowing bits of a scene to be overlaid on other scenes, by creating more complex intercutting, and creating 'commands' which increasingly gave me more choice. I started to understand that Rhizomes was being built into a nested complexity, that is a layered hierarchy, but with feedback loops and other connected relationships between the layers. In this manner there was ordered structure, within which I was playing with combining elements in a more random manner and looking for the emergence of complex patterns.

This growing hierarchy of complexity in the structure of Rhizomes II fascinated me. It tantalisingly 'suggested' to me that with time I could eventually create a narrative, albeit a bizarre and illogical one. After experiment 9 I felt that once in the studio with the dancers and Vc, I could use this new knowledge of scene-sequences and intercutting options to create a single coherent art-work from the independent nuggets (this proved not the quite the case, Rhizomes III in my opinion was still 'chunky' and did not flow as a single ‘Work’).

Appendix IV: Rhizomes II Experiments

Experimint 1, Experiment 2, Experiment 3, Experiment 4, Experiment 5b, Experiment 6, Experiment 7&9, Experiment 8b, Experiment 9.

0.6 Home Page, 'Beginning', Conclusion, Acknowledgements, References, Rhizomes Performances, Performances as References

alKamie are members of Chisenhale Dance Space.
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