Living Archive: An AI Performance Experiment

Living Archive 
2019

Company
Company Wayne McGregor

Choreography & Direction
Wayne McGregor in collaboration with the dancers 

Music
Thomas Adès 'In Seven Days'

Video Installation
Ben Cullen Williams

Lighting Design
Lucy Carter

AI choreography tool developed in collaboration with
Google Arts & Culture Lab

Premiere date and venue
12 July 2019, Music Center, Los Angeles, USA

Dates

In collaboration with Google’s Arts and Culture Lab, Studio Wayne McGregor has developed the Living Archive — an artificially intelligent choreographic tool, trained on hundreds of hours of video from the choreographer’s extensive back catalogue as well as solo material created on each of the current company. 

From what it has learned about the individual physical styles of an array of bodies dancing McGregor’s choreography, the system is able to respond to any new movement phrase by suggesting multiple original possibilities for the next phrase. Through swift real-time dialogue between wo/man and machine, the Living Archive unleashes the creative movement potential stored at molecular level within former works, amplifying the spectrum of possibility for choreographic decision- making and bringing dancers of the present into contact with traces of their predecessors. Ben Cullen Williams’ design manipulates abstract visualizations of the AI generated choreography into a suspended video installation which explores ideas of dance as code and vice versa.

A variation on the Creation theme that inspires Ades’ In Seven Days, the unique movement vocabulary and visual language for this performance experiment is generated solely with this strange and elemental new body. 

Living Archive premieres 12 & 13 July at the LA Music Center.