Beta Tests + Practice by chance, with Merce
by Justin Tornow and Sean Thegen (Ultrabillions)
Statement from the Artists
Justin Tornow (dance) and Sean Thegen (Ultrabillions) create projects based on chance procedures and indeterminacy. To us, what is interesting about limitations is what you can do within them.
For our scores, chance determines duration, the geographical location of the objects in the room (camera, chair, mirror) locations for dancer beginning and ending placements, and the sound and movement rate of change, various qualities, and attack/attenuation. In some scores, we add or subtract variables, or build in more/less room for responsiveness.
This video is a full process and performed score. Included on the front-end is the audio recording of the process that set up the subsequent performance of the score.
Ultrabillions is the modular synthesist and systems-based composer Sean Thegen. Ultrabillions can be experienced at electronic music events like Moogfest, Common Circuits and Raund Haus and through spatial sound installations like Flux Projects. Ultrabillions’ recent collaborators include Triple X Snaxxx, Jil Christiansen, Kai Riedl and performance group COMPANY. He is the co-founder of MicroMachines, a small format synthesizer meetup that champions the democratization of electronic music making. Sean lives in Durham, NC with his wife and son/protege.
Justin Tornow is a dance artist, educator, and researcher based in Durham, NC. Her artistic work is primarily collaborative and interdisciplinary: Partnering with a core group of collaborators in visual art, sound design, filmmaking, and lighting design that experiment with mutability, and form. Justin teaches courses in Cunningham Technique and composition at Elon University and the American Dance Festival, and is a national and international guest teaching-artist. Justin was a 2019 resident artist at UNC and a 2018-2019 Cunningham Dance Research Fellow with the New York Public Library, publishing new research on the pedagogy and practice of the Cunningham Technique.