Conference Agenda

Session Overview
#WkshpAM3: Toward Embodied Knowledge Workshop
Tuesday, 23/Jul/2019:
9:00am - 12:00pm

Location: Duquesne University, Union Building, Room 109
1000 Locust St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219


Toward Embodied Knowledge: Observing and Notating Movement

Rommie Leigh Stalnaker1, Susan Lynn Wiesner2

1Independent Artist, United States of America; 2University of Maryland Performing Arts Library

This workshop proposal steps outside of the digital in order to return to the digital. Recent experiences in DH circles have supported our belief that those in DH are becoming more interested in the possibilities for research offered by the performing arts, humanities writ large. That interest is often due to a greater desire to understand embodied knowledge, how it is transferred, preserved, and developed through, and in support of, digital projects.

Yet, DH researchers and scholars who consider embodiment often do so without the expertise of those for whom the body is the central core of study. Instead, they pursue technologies without a grounding of the elements of nonverbal communication and existing systems for movement observation. An example is the use of Rudolph Laban’s theories, specifically the notation system developed by his student/collaborators Albrecht Knust and Irmgard Bartenieff: Labanotation (US)/Kinetography Laban (UK/EU). Too often work using Laban ignores basic principles of these systems and the complexities of movement, specifically structured movement as in dance.

Therefore, we propose a ½ day workshop on movement observation and notation systems that provide means of transference and preservation of embodied knowledge. Our purpose is twofold: to (a) remedy this deficiency, and (b) expand a community of practice within DH to explore future projects which incorporate embodied knowledge. Four specific notation systems will be explored: Feuillet notation, Labanotation, Motif Writing, and memory. To support an understanding of these systems, we will use the Laban/Bartenieff Movement System and explore the Body, moving in Space, with Effort, creating Shape. As attendees gain more knowledge they can begin discussions of the value of using LBMS and notation in a variety of digital projects.

Open to all, participants from any area of DH will have opportunities to both read and write graphic movement notation and to observe movement and discuss options for notating it. We hope to build a bridge between artists, technologists, and digital humanists. As an end result we do not expect a “completed work”, but rather a conversation starter, an idea builder as we present ways to work with existing systems. Who knows, perhaps together we will start to design a new system of digital movement notation!