Dance and Kinetic Imaging hybrid professor featured in new MIT Press book

In the new book From Fingers to Digits: An Artificial Aesthetic, published by MIT Press this summer, authors Margaret A. Boden and Ernest A. Edmonds interview Kate Sicchio, assistant professor of dance and Kinetic Imaging, to learn about how her work blends choreography and technology. Sicchio’s multimedia art has incorporated coding into live performance, integrating elements such as video and projection. For From Fingers to Digits, Edmonds asked how the artist accomplishes this, and what inspired her to work with such diverse materials and methods.

Ernest: Can you give me an example of an early thing that you did, perhaps as a student, that made that combination work?

Kate: One of my first things was around video. I started using the software Isadora, which is like an object-oriented programming environment, to put effects on live video. That was projected within the performance. And … I still work with variations of that now. But that was one of my firs things … like, “Right, the computer actually can see things if you attach a camera to it, so how does it see dance and how do I put that back into the piece?”

Ernest: So let me understand that. Was the camera used during a performance?

Kate: Yes. It was happening in real time.

Ernest: And also projecting images?

Kate: Yeah.

Ernest: So you had the dancer, the image analysis and the projection all…

Kate: All on stage.

Read the full interview in From Fingers to Digits, out now through MIT Press.