Mary Fitzgerald (choreography)
Casey Farina (audiovisual media)
Jessica Rajko (dance)
Flow States is a 15-minute duet that uses dance and audiovisual media to explore the relationship between neural networks and immersive mind states. These “flow states”, originally defined by psychologist Mihály Csîkszentmihályi are characterized by complete focus and lack of personal awareness. In order to achieve a flow state, one must strike a balance between the perceived difficulties of an activity and one’s own perceived skills. By using compositional structures that challenge the performers’ abilities to “re-pattern,” and make choices in real time, Flow States requires both the dancer and audiovisual performer to engage in additive and subtractive improvisational decisions as a means of disrupting habitual responses. By equally challenging memory, problem-solving skills and physical capacities, this process subsequently induces flow. The audiovisual components for Flow States were developed through a series of iterative algorithmic procedures and controlled live using a multimodal interface. The network imagery in the piece recalls the neural networks that serve as the conceptual basis of the work. Although the overall framework of the piece is fairly structured, the performers’ decisions alter the elements of each performance, which brings a life to the piece that tightly scored works often lack.