David Kirsh

A Cognitive Scientist looks at Dance Making

kirshDavid Kirsh

Professor, University of California San Diego.





Six years ago I had the pleasure of beginning a long-term collaboration with Wayne McGregor on the art and science of dance making. Whenever Mr. McGregor makes a new dance with his company Random Dance a few students and I set up six or seven HD cameras for the entire ‘making’ period and begin the long process of making sense of what goes on.  We interview the choreographer, the dancers, the associate choreographer and at times we conduct experiments with the dancers. The result has been a string of surprising findings about creativity, memory, the nature of practice and physical communication.  I will present several of these findings with the aid of video footage and then discuss why our findings generalize to creativity, memory etc more generally.


David Kirsh is Professor and past chair of the Department of Cognitive Science at UCSD.   He was educated at Oxford University (D.Phil), did post doctoral research at MIT in the Artificial Intelligence Lab, and has held research or visiting professor positions at MIT and Stanford University.  He has written extensively on situated and distributed cognition and especially on how the environment can be shaped to simplify and extend cognition, including how we intelligently use space, and how we use external representations to amplify and speed up thought.  He runs the Interactive Cognition Lab at UCSD where the focus is human-world coupling, and designing environments to make us smarter.   A recent project focuses on how humans think with their body, specifically in dance making and choreographic cognition, and on distributed creativity in movement design.  This study is based on his six-year collaboration with Wayne McGregor and Random Dance. He is co-Director of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, and he is on the board of directors for the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture.


Celine Latulipe

Movement Work at a Distance: Affordances and Challenges

Celine-1657_smCeline Latulipe

Associate Professor, Dept. of Software & Information Systems. College of Computing and Informatics
University of North Carolina at Charlotte.





Dr. Celine Latulipe has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo in Canada. She is an Associate Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the Department of Software and Information Systems in the College of Computing and Informatics at UNC Charlotte. Dr. Latulipe has long been fascinated by two-handed interaction in the real world, and the absence of it in the human-computer interface. She has developed numerous individual and collaborative multi-cursor interaction techniques and these have blossomed into an exploration of creative expression. Dr. Latulipe works on projects with choreographers, dancers, artists and theatre producers to better understand creative work in practice and how technology may play a role in supporting and evaluating creative work practices. Dr. Latulipe spent four years leading the Dance.Draw project, funded by an NSF CreativeIT grant.