Mouse.Dance (2001)

A series of animations having to do with performance.

Full Description

Mouse.Dance by Neil Zusman and Arthur Aviles

By Carl Goodman, ReelNYWeb

A series of captured gestures of dancer/actor Arthur Aviles and two narrative text fragments form the basis of the Mouse.Dance, an interactive "tour de mouse" that is surprisingly rich given that it takes place on an area of the screen roughly the size of a Kleenex. It is also an example of an emerging trend towards short, though high-impact, online experiences that are well suited to the surfing habits of time-stressed, easily distracted Internet audiences.

The first and fourth "movements" of Mouse.Dance gain expressive power from creative deployment of the cursor AND alphanumeric keyboard, as well as from the scaling of 2D images and their movement to present the illusion of activity in three-dimensions. These techniques, common in CD-ROM-based art, play, and game experiences, are now being rediscovered online.

The maker and presenter's attempts to characterize the work as "Internet cinema," or in terms of music or dance or poetry, or Genet's theater for the dead, for that matter, only serve to illustrate the function of the Internet as an arts discipline super-collider. What do you call something that involves using a dancer as a paintbrush?

No matter. However it is described, Mouse.Dance delivers an evocative, media-rich experience from someone clearly in command of the variables of this emerging (multi)medium.

Mouse.Dance is a 1998-99 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. of Staten Island, NY. It was funded by The National Endowment for the Arts.

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