Thoughtworks Arts


Dilate Ensemble Presents CATENA at CounterPulse: Livestream

Posted by the Thoughtworks Arts Team
Tuesday, 8 February 2022

As part of the Improvising the Net(Work) residency in partnership with CounterPulse, residents Dilate Ensemble presented CATENA on January 13th and 14th. This hybrid audio-visual performance took place both live online and in-person.

Dilate Ensemble became a creative collective at the start of the pandemic out of a shared love of improvisation coupled with a sense of urgency to find ways to connect and create in real-time over distance. Throughout their residency Dilate Ensemble explored how to push the boundaries of telematic networks through hybrid performance. CATENA is their powerful response to those investigations.

The performance is a non-looping visual and densely textured sound experience – where performers and audience members explore livestreams from two completely different physical spaces inside CounterPulse’s Tenderloin building in San Francisco.

Shinichi Iova-Koga dancing in prep for the performance
A still from CATENA with dancer Shinichi Iova-Koga, photo by Robbie Sweeny

Because of the pandemic some of the sound and movement performances took place remotely, seamlessly mixed live time creating a specialized environment. CATENA explored what the imprint of a physical space and the bodies within can be.

Dilate Ensemble built a customized network during their 16-week residency. This network linked different locations within the CounterPulse building, sending their feeds to electronic musician Scott Miller, remotely based in Minnesota. Sonic variables such as amplitude, frequency, physical characteristics of the room, speaker placement or microphones impacted simple behaviors producing complex layered outcomes.

A grayscale video still with a silhouette of a human torso with waving digital lines overlaid
A still from the CATENA online experience

CounterPulse’s upstairs studio and dedicated project space in the basement were animated by the audio-reactive video projection installations of Carole Kim. For this event, Dilate Ensemble was also joined by special guest dancer and choreographer Shinichi Iova-Koga.

Dilate Ensemble

  • Carole Kim (SoCal): video installation, direction
  • Gloria Damijan (Vienna): extended toy pianos, percussion
  • Scott L. Miller (Minnesota): Kyma, electronics
  • Luisa Muhr (New York): voice
  • Jon Raskin (NoCal): sax, concertina, electronics, recycled materials
  • With special guest: Shinichi Iova-Koga: dance

To learn more about Dilate Ensemble, watch their residency kickoff livestream as part of CounterPulse Festival and read our residency announcement article.

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