CONFERENCE FOR RESEARCH ON CHOREOGRAPHIC INTERFACES: DIFFERENTIAL RECOGNITION

In 2010, a motion-detection device for a popular video game platform went to market with the promotional tagline, “You are the controller!” Microsoft promised players that this new camera-based technology would recognize and respond to their every move, allowing for full-body gameplay experiences. But as players with Afro hairstyles or other "big hair" silhouettes soon discovered, the Kinect had not been calibrated to make sense of some of the bodies that entered its frame, leaving them unable to use the technology. Meanwhile, other surveillant technologies have had no difficulty identifying black and brown bodies in the service of racial profiling by the police and the state.

Motion-detecting game systems, networked surveillance cameras, robots capable of affective computing, and virtual reality platforms are all technical interfaces that choreograph human bodies and hinge on forms of differential recognition: parsing human intentions through algorithmic analysis of gesture, physical features, and speech. These technologies frequently rely on damaging, universalizing assumptions and hugely problematic methods of machine learning, promising users control over their interactions with machines while working to reduce user choice and agency.

The 2018 CRCI conference will bring together scholars, designers, artists, and engineers working across technologies of choreography, control, and recognition to investigate how sameness and difference function with choreographic interfaces, and ponder how to productively intervene in the development of these technologies.

This invitation-only convening is intended to catalyze collaborations within a network of strategically placed individuals to make a transformative difference in the design of new choreographic interfaces.