Now don’t judge me here, but there are few phrases that strike as much fear into my heart as “contemporary dance” which conjures up images of intense, wild-eyed lycra bunnies trying to encapsulate “mendacity.” For two hours. With that in mind anything that can pierce the glazed safety mode the phrase induces is clearly doing something special, so three cheers for Pentagram’s Abbott Millet and his new iPad App Fifth Wall for performing arts magazine 2wice.
Miller worked with choreographer Jonah Bokaer to create something which plays with the parameters and perspectives of the device, and while he may not be the first to harness the iPad in this way, it is certainly one of the most accomplished examples I have come across. By flipping the tablet the viewer can interact with the performance, which was filmed inside a box with the same proportional dimensions as the iPad.
It is great to see such media-speciifc design thinking from a collaboration that is used to pushing boundaries (see a flipbook project 2wice, Pentagram and Jonah created here) and by putting the viewer in control it may help bring this artform even to philistines as cynical as me.