In Orbit
single-channel video, 2010
1:51

A looping sequence of internet-sourced footage of people doing “The Moonwalk” in their homes.

Dance distinguishes itself from the movement of ordinary life; it shifts movement into an alternate realm of experience. In dance the body is augmenting the experience of inscribing oneself in space, writing the body in space. Dance is excessive movement that surpasses routine actions, energy teeming over and out of the body. The body bends, jerks, flows, twitches, jumps, glides, jitters, and bounces. The movements are analogous to task oriented movement but the purpose is extracted and displaced. In this movement the “I” is continually formed and reformed from one moment to the next. In dance the “I” is becoming and shifting in relation to place.

Popular or vernacular dance is a mode in which the situation or placement of the body is explored and expressed against the backdrop of the ordinary. As a form of popular culture, dance appears in media and disseminates into social arenas: clubs, parties, amongst social groups, and via the internet. And vice versa. In its propagation, vernacular dance participates in commercial economies and is embedded with the creation and definition of power relationships. It also operates as ritual or social convention, binding groups together with a common language in movement, ascribing meaning through practice. It enters the flow of everyday life. But beneath each of its particular manifestations, it formalizes the experience of having a body, emphasizing and accentuating motion in space; it is an aesthetics of motion. Dance writes the body’s existence into the landscape. It marks the passage of time. Dance turns time into space.