Issue 5 Residency

Chetana Pai's project will be an experiment with technology that plays with the nature of dance as an art form.

By Container Magazine
14 Feb 2022

Container Podcast
Container Podcast
Issue 5 Residency

Container presents Chetana Pai’s Issue 5 residency, experimenting with technology through dance.

Dance has become primarily a visual art form, especially since the invention of video recording. The dancer’s experience of dancing seems to be less important than the audience’s perception of how they look while they dance. So what if we remove the visual: what if we created a form of dance that didn’t focus on the exact form of a dancer’s physical body?

A woman wearing black leggings and a black top is dancing in a room that is lit by a red light

Chetana dancing under low light conditions

To explore this, Chetana built a system designed for two dancers, dancing together in a dark space. The technology system is linked to the dancers’ breathing patterns: with their breath they can each control a different set of notes in the shared music they are dancing to. The intention is for them to focus on themselves, internally, rather than their external physical form, while still creating and connecting with another person.

This work will be continued through the Container residency, focussing on the impact of longer-term use of the system on an individual. Chetana plans to dance with the breathing system for 20 days, testing how it feels to use regularly. She asks: will it change the way I perceive or interact with my body? Will I get desensitised to it quickly? Will it improve the feeling of movement in my daily life?

The dance experiments will be filmed under low light conditions, as silhouettes. Chetana will also document her feelings and experiences in a video diary, to be released with Issue 5 of Container in spring 2022.


Meet the Resident:

A photograph of an Indian woman with a large flat silver nose stud. She is outdoors on a winter day, with trees behind her on a pale blue sky. She wears a green coat, a yellow knitted headband and headphones.

Chetana Pai is an interaction technologist, podcast host, artist, and workshop facilitator who founded CHA4OS Theory, an organisation that aims to get people to connect and reflect through making with their hands. She loves mixing mediums, scribbling, and all creative projects that focus on communicating information in new ways and changing peoples’ experiences of the world. She was raised in Bangalore, India, and recently graduated with a Master’s in Interaction Technology from the University of Twente and is now based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

During her degree and thesis, her main focus was exploring movement, music, storytelling, technology, human interaction, and the combination of these fields. Leaving behind visuals and exploring other ways of harnessing technology without being tethered by screens is a large part of her motivation to do this Residency project and her Master’s thesis.

Find out more about Chetana and CH4OS Theory