The metadata that counts

De Quincey Co, Metadata, Melbourne and Sydney

Moths & Mathematics, MetaData, De Quincey Co

Moths & Mathematics, MetaData, De Quincey Co

Where to turn to for the latest in physics and cosmology? To De Quincey Co’s team of dancers, video, sound and animation artists—and guest scientists—whose two new works, Pure Light and Moths & Mathematics, comprise Metadata. In her own works and those with her company, Tess De Quincey always seems to incline to the metaphysical, even a secular transcendentalism, partly because of the way she undoes our time-space coordinates and our relationships with objects and other bodies. In Metadata, she and Peter Fraser, address science, intuitively and directly.

Artists are increasingly doing fascinating science, not simply as explainers or illustrators, but as explorers, like Brisbane’s Keith Armstrong (see this e-dition) and Perth’s SymbioticA, making science-art and responding critically to the cultural and scientific status quo. Other artists can convey something of the sense of a finding or a theory, its strangeness or even sublimity while maintaining a footing in the science, as Fraser, performer and choreographer, states in the Metadata press release:

“We are already being danced by nature in our heartbeat, our breath and the pattern of our walking. Our molecules move us according to physics we don’t necessarily understand but feel in harmony with. Tess [De Quincey] and I wanted to make performances that are informed by the underlying physical and mathematical patterns that already determine and shape our lives and possibilities.”

Metadata offers audiences a discussion with a scientist at the end of each performance. In our ‘information culture,’ this simultaneous juxtaposing and partnering of art and the explanatory is an important cultural development.

Thanks to the Snowden revelations and the hesitancy of governments to face up to the demands of privacy, “metadata” has accrued negative connotations, but in this De Quincey Co production the title suggests we might gain sight of a bigger picture, whether biological or cosmological—possibly of the same make— in which data is at once meaningful and magical.

Pure Light, MetaData, De Quincey Co

Pure Light, MetaData, De Quincey Co

De Quincey Co, Metadata, choreographers and performers, Tess de Quincey, Peter Fraser, sound Pimmon & Warren Burt, animation Boris Morris Bagattini, video Martin Fox, lighting design Sian James-Holland, costumes Claire Westwood; Dancehouse, Melbourne, 9, 10 Sept, 7pm; FORM & Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, Sydney, 15, 17 Sept 8pm, 16 Sept, 12.30pm

RealTime issue #134 Aug-Sept 2016

31 August 2016
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