How are our lives affected by technology? Should we embrace the opportunities that come with technological advancements or should we be concerned that they’re having a negative impact on interpersonal relationships?

The discussion around how we connect with technology is currently high on the cultural and media agenda, with impassioned arguments being made for and against society’s increasing adoption of, and reliance upon, technology.

This theme is being explored by Leicester based dance artist Danni Spooner and musician/visual artist Carise Zangerle Murray, as they develop ‘alienate* (*working title)’ in LAKE Studios, Berlin.

Danni is a member of Leicester based experimental dance company Fuelled Dance Theatre, and has recently been working on  ‘FAG’ a rebellious reflection on the cis-gendered society we exist in, which has been part of Channel 4’s arts short film strand Random Acts. As well as this Danni has recently worked with Goldfrapp on two music videos. Carise is a musician and visual artist also based in Leicester, who explores the symbiotic relationship between the sounds she creates and the wellbeing of others.

At the time of writing it would be fair to say that Danni isn’t happy to stand still, as she’s clearly relishing upcoming plans “I’m working with my mentor, Harun Morrison, on getting my work FAG out into the world and developing a community aspect to the work.”

Danni’s enthusiasm and drive to develop ‘alienate* (*working title)’ and explore human interaction with technology is clear, talking about the inspiration behind this project; “For ‘alienate* (*working title)’ I was inspired by ‘A cyborg manifesto’ by Donna Haraway and other texts such as ‘Can thought go on without a body?’ by Jean-François Leotard and ‘Performance, Technologies, Phenomenology’ by Susan Kozel. ”

On people’s perception of technological advancement, Danni goes on; “I was also reflecting on how I hear so many people complaining about how technology separates us.”

One of the unique aspects of the work is a belief that there is a symbiotic relationship with technology, the built environment and natural systems, with Danni elaborating on her response to people’s negative reactions to technology; “I really do not see it like this. I feel that digital technology allows us to connect in different ways and that other technology (natural systems and non-digital technology such as tape, wheels, etc.) allows humans to do more than if we were just us.”

Danni’s work to explore these themes through movement are paired with Carise’s explorations into complementary soundscapes; developing research and providing a holistic soundtrack to the work on the hang drum.

This viewpoint on technology yields a distinctly positive outlook, proposing that by embracing these advances and allowing them to inhabit our everyday lives can enable us to achieve more as people.

This period of research and development is very much fed by Danni’s appetite for experimentation, she explains the ethos that underpins her creative work; “What excites me is when dance is used in different contexts than those of just contemporary dance. I like mixing between things, discovering.”

The fact that this exciting young dance practitioner has such a passion for exploration and testing the boundaries of contemporary dance and performance; coupled with a thematic that is generating much debate is sure to make ‘alienate* (*working title)’ a piece of work that really shouldn’t be missed.

‘alienate* (*working title)’ will be shared at Attenborough Arts Centre on the 8th of October, the performance is pay-as-you-feel.

Performance and documentary photographer with an often detrimental urge to absorb all the culture.

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