Trans-locale explores the transitory nature of interaction and examines the potential of movement as a physical and virtual activity. The work is an intervention within the environment of online video conferencing, a vast and varied network of users connecting to conferences by conditions such as themes, level of experience and membership. Within this still relatively new technology, there are already certain standards which have evolved, particularly in how users present themselves, generally staring blankly at the computer screen.
In stark contrast to this trans-locale throws into this virtual environment perhaps one of the most inherently physical activities, dance, and within that one of the most stereotypically passionate and intimate of dances, the Tango. The work broadcasts two dancers from a live performance space onto the online video conferencing reflectors. Here they weave another level of 'dance'. A computer programme will automate the dancers’ movement around the Internet, connecting to a conference for a set period before disconnecting and connecting to the next.
In this way the dancers leap from server to server, country to country, temporarily visible to those connected to each of the selected conference reflectors. Within the live space the viewer will observe the dancers, within the same physical space and also witness their broadcast image, the dancers bridging the gap for the viewer between the live space and online environment.
The work was a co-commission between New Media Scotland, the Richard Hough Resource at Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, and New Moves International. It was performed at the National Review of Live Art, The Arches, Glasgow, Scotland (2001), Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland (2001), "INTERSTANDING 4 - end repeat" at Arts Centre Rotermann's Salt Storage, Tallinn, Estonia (2001) and "Virtual Incarnations Exchange" at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, England (2002).