This project is Memo Akten’s “Pattern Recognition,” created in collaboration with choreographer Alexander Whitley.

This generative art project involves a series of lights learning and observing how two dancers move and interact. The lights thus move accordingly to the dancers’ movements and placement within the space.

I appreciated how much the light is fully integrated with the dance art form. Rather than merely being a light show that would provide an aesthetic value to the performance, the lights serves a cognitive purpose for it assists dancers with recognition and learning with routines and dance. This project made me realize that generative art is not limited to media art but also performance art and music. Like most generative art, the outcome depends on the interactions and so the outcomes always seem to be unique.

The algorithm of Pattern Recognition relies heavily upon the movement and the space of the subjects: the dancers. The artist made the decision to use strong, harsh strobe lights that would beam lights across a stage. I thought this artistic decision was appropriate as a generative component since the light would be empathetic to the dancer’s form and movements.

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