Longing and Forgetting (2013-) was created in collaboration with Profs Thecla Schiphorst and Philippe Pasquier during a residency at the School of Interactive Art and Technology, Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, CA). Originally commissioned as an interactive public artwork for the Surrey Urban Screen (Vancouver, 2013), Longing and Forgetting has had several presentations, including live performance, generative video projection (Generations, Vancouver, 2015) and real-time data visualization (Scores + Traces, New York, 2016).

As part of the Moving Stories research program at SIAT, Longing and Forgetting is an investigation of the relationships between artificial intelligence and machine learning with higher level meanings in aesthetic and kinesthetic gesture.

From video games to online love, from driving cars, flying planes, online trading to state-of-the-art military strategy – the notion of ‘artificial agent’ is now the prevalent paradigm to embodying machines in virtual bodies.

The work presents the idea of generative choreographies amongst multiple video agents, or ‘digital performers’. Using a simple movement ‘alphabet’ that borrows from Laban concepts such as effort, weight, and space, the 12 physical performers were filmed traversing a climbing wall. This resulted in thousands of video clips which were then analysed and tagged according to basic movement properties.

As such each video agent comprised of many fragments of movement, which can be stitched together with rules that govern their goals and actions. From the actions of these simple, multiple agents complex movement and assemblages emerge.