“Un-conditioned response” project, rooted in Ivan Pavlov’s and B.F. Skinner’s psycho-physiological experiments, aims to explore how varied external stimuli may influence performer’s kinesthetic behaviors (e.g., actions, reactions and interactions), and vice versa.

For the latter purposes, we intend to use an X-Box (e.g., “Kinect”) console (the presence of which, however, will be only later revealed to the audience) as the primary “instigator” of any raw – audio and kinetic- material produced.

Following, the two performers/”gamers”, sharing an improvisational –though random- relationship (as they won’t be actively observing each other), shall play live X-Box games. Consequently, given the bidirectional nature of the project, we expect that both the game and the gamers shall influence each other in unpredictable ways…

Accordingly, the emerging “virtual reality” may be seen as the ultimate result of a multilayered human-machine interaction. A “dynamic and ever-changing environment”, in other words, stemming from diverse conditioned, un-conditioned and operant patterns of action.

Within that context, technology seems to serve a threefold role; namely, it may be seen as an autonomous stimulus per se (e.g., the content that’s being presented), or as a secondary stimuli-generator (e.g., the reactions further triggered by that content), but also as a flexible, interactive medium, actively responding to other external stimuli. Thus, technology may eventually turn into the primary choreography-medium, by further producing, inciting and promoting movements and interactions. Reversely, the performer’s reactions may also influence the very nature of that medium…

Eventually, the central question raised by this “work-in-progress” is whether this random interaction is capable of producing a common, synchronous language or code between the contributors. Additionally, one may wonder whether this mysterious X-Box console may constitute a symbolic “Skinnerian” or “Pavlovian” substitute; a stimuli/consequences- generator, in other words, prompting or  influencing  the gamers’ “spontaneous” (?) modus operandi…

 

All in all, is it possible for technology to give rise to new choreographic aspects? And if yes, who is to be appraised; the “gamers” or the “game”?

 

 

 

Pavlov’s experimental research on “classical conditioning”, aimed to explore how neutral stimuli, when systematically associated with un-conditioned/ primary stimuli that bring up a particular response, can eventually become “conditioned” and thus capable of triggering a similar response.  

 

Skinner’s work on “operant conditioning” enriched earlier behaviorists’ learning theories, by proposing the term “operant conditioning”. According to the latter phenomenon, actions are modified according to their consequences. Namely, positive outcomes (e.g.., reward) tend to encourage  antecedent  behaviors, whereas negative ones (e.g., punishment) tend to discourage them.

UN-CONDITIONED RESPONSE

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