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Ep. 08: The Imbalance of Human-Machine Relationships with Graham Qually and Lee Su-Feh


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Episode 08: Show Notes.

Today, we welcome Graham Qually and Lee Su-Feh. Graham started in motion capture in 2007. Five years later, he moved to the east coast of Canada, where he helped build Ubisoft, Toronto's performance-capture stage. He is now the CEO of Beyond Capture and continues his mission of making performance capture accessible. Lee was born in Malaysia and moved to Canada where she now works and lives. Her work includes choreography, performance, teaching, writing, and community organizing. She explores the contemporary body as a site of intersecting histories and habits. Along with this, she co-founded Battery Opera. In our fascinating conversation today, Graham and Lee discuss their respective work. We learn that while they may interact with technology differently, they both understand the importance of the body in performance. While Graham’s work appears to be a dislocation from the body, he believes that it is simply one of the many experiences we can have in our bodies. Lee approaches technology with more caution as she feels it can detach us from our bodies sensorially. We learn why both she and Graham believe that there is an imbalance in the current relationship between humans and machines and how we can move forward to preserve the integrity of the body. The wonder of the human body must come before machines and when we approach them, we should be reminded that we are amazing creatures, capable of a broad spectrum of actions and emotions.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Learn about Lee’s background and what her artistic vision encompasses.

  • Lee explains the Dance Machine, her kinetic sculpture, and what it hopes to achieve.

  • Find out Graham’s background and what his relationship to dance and performance is.

  • How Graham gives back to the BC Children’s Hospital with his motion capture work.

  • Why Lee believes that technology dislocates us from our body and sensorial experiences.

  • What people typically gain from experiencing themselves in motion capture.

  • Graham’s thoughts on haptic and how it can help us relate to one another.

  • The way that we feel in our body affects our brains and vice versa.

  • There can be imbalance as a result of not thinking human-machine relationships through.

  • How can we create ethical standards around machine-human interactions?

  • Internet law and how it is governed is a constitutional stress test.

  • Creating content virtually has made intent and nuance hard to understand.

  • Lee’s thoughts on why intentions carry very little weight and why impact matters instead.

  • Discover how Graham’s work is contributing to the future of dance and technology.

  • How Lee hopes her work impacts the future of dance.

  • Thoughts on the possibilities of VR and how it could improve and strengthen connections.

“I think about choreography as the organization of bodies in time and space.” — @sufeh [0:03:17]

“Even without technology, the mirror technology that we have in so many dance studios becomes an obstacle to our sensing bodies.” — @sufeh [0:13:49]

“Our body is our brain.” — @sufeh [0:17:52]

“Intent is very much lost in our society.” — @GrahamQually [0:25:00]

“Good intentions mean nothing. They don’t.” — @sufeh [0:30:27]

“Isn’t it funny that the impact can change even though the intent or the action doesn’t?” — @GrahamQually [0:31:54]

“We are saving data points and those can be saved forever. So, someone dances now and in 500 years, they want to see how this person danced or how they moved or expressed things, this can be saved forever.” — @GrahamQually [0:34:12]

“There are all these micro-shifts happening inside the body and in the breath and in micro-rhythms in the body that I feel can only be recorded nervous system to nervous system.” — @sufeh [0:36:05]

“Motion capture or any other form of digital recording is such a small fraction of the spectrum of the experience.” — @GrahamQually [0:37:58]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Graham Qually —

Graham Qually on LinkedIn —

Graham Qually on Twitter —

Beyond Capture —

Ubisoft —

Lee Su-Feh —

Lee Su-Feh on Twitter —

Battery Opera —

David McIntosh —

Isadora Duncan Awards —

Dancemakers Centre for Creation —

BC Children’s Hospital —

Jeff Hamada —

Elon Musk —

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