This project grew in dialogue with another ongoing project titled 58+1 Indices on the body. That project is a collaboration between the artistic collective AMAE and the artist Pier Giorgio De Pinto and philosopher Jean-luc Nancy. This project focuses on Nancy’s 58 indices sur le corps (58 indices on the body), written in 2006 by Jean-Luc Nancy presented in his book Corpus. The project combines performances, videos, interactive installations and collaborations with a large and varied group of artists.
As part of this project Jean Luc Nancy recorded himself reading his 58 indices on the body, he also wrote an additional index specifically for the project. The project presented here grew out of a collaboration with AMAE, Pier Giorgio De Pinto and Jean Luc Nancy in which I originally set some of these indices to music in 2015. The result was a piece that we were invited to present during the Helicotrema festival at the Francois Pinault Foundation in Venice alongside La Biennale events taking place throughout the city.
You can hear that piece here:
Credit: Pier Giorgio De Pinto
Later, in 2016/2017, I recorded additional Soundworks and musical pieces incorporating Nancy’s indexes, a portion of which will be set to performances and recorded by video artists as part of the 63 Videos on the Body project. You can hear those pieces here on my collection”Le Son Du Corps Et Un Corps de Sons” available on:
In 2021 I developed an online art installation entitled ‘The Body in the Machine: Indices Online’ to be delivered for the xCoAx 2021: 9th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X xCoAx 2021. This built upon two earlier iteration of the work. ‘Indices Online’ was installed at the 2020 edition of NIME: The International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression and ‘8+1 Indices On The Body: A Reflection on Translations through Language, Technology and Sounds - Selected Indices Soundworks and Musical Pieces w/Sentiment Analysis’ was installed for the 2019 Irish Sound Science and Technology Event at the Cork School of Music.
Visit the installation here: The Body in the Machine: Indices Online
‘The Body in the Machine: Indices Online’ collects together and iterates upon all of my sonic/musical work for the project to date. It is an online audio-visual installation that uses machine-learning techniques to reflect on the interplay of the artist and the artifact in the context of technologically mediated arts collaborations. Adopting Nancy’s view of the body as extended in the work of AMAE/DePinto and the author, the piece asks what happens to the body when we begin to rely heavily on translations across disembodied technologies to mediate our communication and art-making. It reflects on how meaning mutates and transforms as the work is translated across various technologies and media.
You can read more about the in my xCoAx paper below:
The most recent iteration of the piece was produced and installed in the wake of Jean-Luc’s passing in August 2021. The piece is extended through the addition of video interpolations through the latent spaces of a pair of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) trained on a corpus of seascapes and skyscapes respectively. This additional visual element establishes a surrogate for what Nancy calls Somewhere the place in which he as the author and we as readers intersect our roles reversing in a process of ‘detour and dissemblance, transposition and re-encoding (…) distributed through some very long technical circuits.’ This piece was installed for a week at the Irish World Academy as part of the program for the 2022 edition of the International Computer Music Conference at the University of Limerick.
Indices on the Body. Pier De Pinto. AMAE. Jean-Luc Nancy. Stephen Roddy. Sound. Music. Contemporary Art.