Currently, riversides2106 is at work on a virtual movement exploration of queer womanist self-creation in the context of data and surveillance. We explore the ways that virtual reality changes the relationship between dance and audience, and how creating digital dance spaces allows us to more fully explore themes of black queer self-creation. This piece grows out of a dissertation project on contemporary black women artists’ responses to living, working, and loving under a data capitalist surveillant state, examining queer womanist poetry, music, and film in order to construct a praxis of data subversion and self-creation.
A long-term goal of ours is to host a virtual reality choreography workshop in Chicago, our homebase. We originally hoped to host this workshop in the summer of 2020, but this data has been pushed back due to the COVID pandemic. Look out for more news as our project develops (and as society finds a new, post-COVID normal)!
riversides2106 grew out of a shared interest in exploring how technology mediates dance. This question is already pertinent because of the rise of shared choreography and social dance experiences through social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, this new millennium seeing the rise of the dance challenge. Going even deeper, we consider dance and technology through the lens of “somatic data”; that is, information about the self that is stored and transmitted through the body. Riversides 2106 explores how choreography acts as a tool to express and record somatic data, and how the intervention of virtual reality technology can transform and push this process (while also pushing the boundaries of what virtual reality can do and is used for). We dance, research, and choreograph from the position of black womanhood, but also explore the cross-cultural possibilities for virtual movement.