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Artechouse Merges Technology and Dance into a Magical Performance

Experiences

Rana Good | January 8, 2018
Hakanaï explores the fragile relationship between humanity and the digital world.

During Art Basel Miami, many of the works on display were grandiose and ostentatious. By comparison, Washington D.C.–based interactive digital art group Artechouse’s bare, pared-down set — a cube covered in translucent veils on a black stage — truly stood out. But as simple as things seemed initially, once the performance, Hakanaï, began, video projection mapping, CGI, and sensors created incredible 3-D images that moved along with a solo dancer who took center stage. The audience watched from three sides as she danced a 40-minute meditation exploring the relationship between humanity and technology.

Hakanaï means “ephemeral” or “transitory” in Japanese, and this concept was embodied in a variety of captivating visual projections that reflected different moods. Sometimes the light projections were pulsating and brisk; other times a flurry of numbers and letters created an effect not unlike an enchanted forest. None of the elements of the performance — dance, visuals, music — were prerecorded, which ensured that each experience was unique and immersive.

“Everything is generated and animated in real time,” choreographer Claire B. explained. “No recorded video. Everything is live.”

The piece evoked a place somewhere between dreams and reality. Artechouse founders Tati Pastukhova and Sandro Kereselidze created a unique niche by merging art with moving images. “As humans, sometimes it’s really hard for us to connect to a 2-D visual piece,” Pastukhova told On Tap Magazine. “I think performance art and film are [easier to comprehend]. But with technology, we’re able to connect to the visual art as well.”

Hakanaï was a mesmerizing, hypnotic performance that challenged onlookers’ senses and showed that combining the real and virtual worlds can lead to something truly beautiful.


For another unique experience, head to Fernet-Branca


Photos by Romain Etienne, courtesy of Artechouse

Rana Good is a writer, editor, and producer whose work has been published in Dazed, AFAR, and Men's Journal. Originally from Switzerland, she has called NYC home for more than a decade and never gets tired of exploring the city's new bars, restaurants, and nightlife experiences.

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