Ursula Endlicher: Website Impersonations: The Next Generation

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    Website Impersonations: The Next Generation



Artist Statement:

    In my practice, I often take on the role of a “web spider”: checking pages for links and weaving networks with them (Website Wigs), scanning through HTML or XML and cross-referencing movements to it (html_butoh and the html-movement-library), composing sound-tracks based on HTML (Singing Website Wallpaper and Website Impersonations: The Ten Most Visited), and using code as choreography for performances (Website Impersonations: The Ten Most Visited).
    Website Impersonations: The Next Generation is a new installation and live performance series that utilizes web code as layout and choreography. For SIGGRAPH Asia 2009, the installation hosts the “hidden mechanisms” of several web sites. A dancer, the audience, and I shape the course of each performance, which will take place within a “web-driven” environment. The web sites to be performed are yahoo.co.jp, fc2.com, and google.co.jp, which are listed as the three most used sites in Japan (Alexa.org’s web-ranking).
    The source code of a website ( HTML tags) is interpreted live on stage into new dance movements, which are immediately translated into text-based descriptions and then stored online in the html-movement library. This information is re-used on stage as new instruction material. As the data performance progresses, more html movements are developed, stored, and altered by the participants. The user (the audience) takes an active role in the performances of yahoo, google, etc.
    The html-movement library is a repository of often butoh-inspired movements based on the functionality of HTML tags in a web browser. The original idea to combine html and movements stems from the similarities between working with butoh, where a dancer “becomes” an image, and how a web browser displays content.