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Task 5 - Dad Dancing


Instructional illustrations from a magazine article on how to avoid dancing like a dad

Alan writes:

The issue of gendered family roles emerged inevitably strongly in Task 4, and this task picks up the theme. The task also grows from the discussions we continue to have about the definition and utility of parametric approaches. It derives too from a fascinating lecture I attended recently in Aarhus by the American academic Rebecca Schneider (Brown University), on the theme of performativity and ‘algorithmic culture’. In thinking about the pervasiveness and power of algorithms (which are essentially step-by-step operations that obey particular instructions), Schneider dwelled on the potential for resistance, in both art and life, in the gap between instruction and enactment. This ‘gap’ has already been vigorously inhabited, I would say, in the responses to the instructional tasks we have made so far.

Early artwork by Andy Warhol discussed by Rebecca Schneider in her talk

I won’t expand on those introductory comments, but will just say that I want this task to speak to your expertise in dance, as well as your oft-expressed suspicion of choreography. Your training and talent in dance are in conspicuous contrast to my own aging and amateur aptitudes for the medium; still, as a family, we dance quite a lot—to certain songs by Talking Heads, Beyoncé, Michael Jackson and Madonna especially. Based on this, here is your task:

‘Dad Dancing’ is defined as ‘the making of embarrassing flamboyant dance moves to pop music by middle-aged men’. Your task is to choreograph a ‘dad dance’ to one of the tunes that we often dance to as a family. You may annotate (that is, express as instructions) this choreography in whichever way you see fit.

See Marie's response here.