Sarah Rubidge is Professor of Choreography and New Media at the University of Chichester. A practitioner-scholar, she specialises in developing large-scale choreographic digital installations that focus on the use of the haptic senses as the primary medium of understanding. Her artistic research also draws on the liminal histories embodied in old buildings. Along with her collaborators Sarah has created works which can accommodate improvisational choreographies (formal and informal) that become integral choreographic elements of the installations. In her academic writing she addresses the interweaving of the philosophical and scientific ideas that are embodied in both her work and that of other artists working in this field, advancing understandings of the intricate interplay between artistic and philosophical practices.
Sarah Rubidge PhD,(Senior Research Fellow, School of Visual and Performing Arts, University College Chichester) reflects on the practice-led research she did for her PhD in this keynote address, and how it led to a radical shift in her artistic practice—from live dance works to interactive installation works.
Many digital choreographers favour liminal imagery that aims to convey kinaesthetic sensation. I suggest here that this is not by chance. In the mid-nineties neuroscientists identified a collection of neurons named ‘mirror’ neurons. They discovered that the same neurons are activated when we watch and when we engage in an action. They suggest that it is through the ‘resonance behaviour’ of these neurons that we become attuned to the significances embodied in others’ actions and attain kinaesthetic empathy. In this paper I suggest that it is through such ‘resonance behaviour’ that the sensuous effects of liminal digital imagery might be generated.