Embodying Transformation is a performance programme devised by Goldsmiths, University of London, and Ohio State University as part of the Topology events at Tate Modern. This performance programme comprises two events designed to give an embodied experience of topological concepts. Knots & Donuts is an immersive sound sculpture for listening to shapes drawn in three-dimensional space. Ordinal 5 employs dancers to explore mathematical concepts. These events combine into a one hour programme, including an opportunity for discussion with the artists.
Knots & Donuts
This immersive sound sculpture explores auditory geometry by spatialising sound and sonifying space. It investigates the world though the ‘mind’s ear’. Knots & Donuts makes use of a 3D Ambisonic system that allows participants to experience the sensory qualities of acoustic space (as distinct from the more usual visual space). Within the sculpture, the listener experiences a continuous travelling point of sound revolving around them and ‘drawing’ shapes in sound, as a sparkler might do in light. In this piece, sound describes the edges of an evolving series of geometrical shapes. Conceived by Julian Henriques (Goldsmiths, University of London).
In this project dancers perform abstract mathematical ideas within an acoustic environment that allows sound to be spatialised around the dancers and the audience. The piece actualises a specific mathematical entity, the ordinal number 5, as this is understood in the language of categories. Conceived by Brian Rotman (The Ohio State University), choreography Jeanine Thompson, sound art Dan Scott, costume Kristine Kearney, performers Owen David, Natalia Hagan, Moopi Mothibeli, Ibsen Santos, Beth Simon, Rachel Switlick.
Brian Rotman has a doctorate in mathematics from London University and is currently a Humanities Distinguished Professor at Ohio State University. His writing has appeared in a range of scholarly journals as well as in the Guardian, London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement and Times Higher Education. His books include Signifying Nothing: the Semiotics of Zero (1991), Ad Infinitum … the Ghost in Turing’s Machine (1993), Mathematics as Sign: Writing, Imagining, Counting (2000), and Becoming Beside Ourselves: the Alphabet, Ghosts, and Distributed Human Being (2008). He is also the author of a number of stage plays and a radio drama.
Dr Julian Henriques has interests in music and auditory culture as both filmmaker and researcher. After a first degree in psychology from Bristol University, he co-authored Changing the Subject and was a founding editor of the Ideology & Consciousness journal. He then worked as a freelance journalist for the New Society and other periodicals, researcher for London Weekend Television and a producer for BBC Television, Music and Arts Department, making films in Latin America and the Caribbean. He also ran his own production company, Formation Films, making documentaries for Channel 4 Television, ZDF and Arte. His fiction credits as writer-director include the improvised drama We the Ragamuffin and the feature film Babymother, a reggae musical. Julian ran the film and television department at CARIMAC at the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica. He is currently senior lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications, at Goldsmiths, University of London, convening the MA in Script Writing programme and leading the BA Music as Communication and Creativity course. His PhD was from the University of London and recent published chapters and journal articles have been in Auditory Culture Reader, Sonic Interventions, Sonic Synergies, African & Black Diaspora and Body & Society. His monograph Sonic Bodies is to be published in 2011.