Freuden | Tanz
Freudentanz is a German term that cannot really be rendered in another language... translated literally it means 'to dance out of joy' and describes a kind of eureka moment combined with a deep sense of happiness within your life. There is no apparatus to capture these sudden and internal experiences, there is no document or score to (re)produce such ‘dances’ again, and there is no stage or screen to share the unique moment with others.
However, a Freudentanz moment can change our entire consciousness, and the essence of the experience remains in the depth of our beings, pervading the ordinary perception of our existence with an invigorating sense of the true nature of our lives.
Although a Freudentanz manifests as an exuberant moment of joy that can be witnessed by an outside eye, the crucial question is: how can someone else actually experience that their our empathic understanding of the other's joy is nothing else but our own potential capacity 'to dance out of joy'?
FREUDEN | TANZ is a collaborative experiment in transmedia choreography. A few selected befriended artists have provided transcripts of their personal Freudentanz experiences in the form of raw text files and authorized me to stage the data on a screen, to choreograph visualizations, and to engender interactions with these transmedial dances.
Taking the form of a web-based interactive installation, FREUDEN | TANZ allows the participant to navigate through and interact with each unique universe by means of a custom-built gesture tracking system. Additionally, users can comment upon specific sections they have empathized with, and thus contribute to the continuous process of choreographing the transcripts in iterative versions.
During the Post-Screen 2014 Festival a physical installation space was set up where participants could explore FREUDEN | TANZ making use of the gesture tracker. Anyone who accessed the festival's virtual gallery from a different location and device could obviously make use of conventional or virtual mouse and keyboard interaction to fully engage with the work.