Expressions of Shoes in Pop Music Performance, Mediated Through Humanistic Abstractions of Technology.
This artistic research project presents a rich body of literature supporting the concept that through costuming the foot, shoes have the potential to deliver a psychological autonomy as well as a political status in performance (also illustrating that footwear can transmit deeper, more serious political ideas within the seemingly fun medium of the pop culture music video). Following a comprehensive survey of literature, Computer Enhanced Footwear is presented and performed, demonstrating how through applications of technology a shoe takes on agency to become a ‘speaking’ foot costume, with its very own feminist language in pop performance. The shoe instruments described successfully leave an indelible mark on the whole performance, whether via artistic swimming in water, whilst fabricating the shoes in a 3-D printer as stage, or in aerial mode whilst pole dancing. Integrating a theatrical fashion approach as a way to costume the foot for performance, the work is made ‘bidirectional’ (Kac 2009) as it has come through transdisciplinary means and exists in several mediums, all of which seek to circulate new modes of communication using the foot devices as lead protagonist with an ‘affective value’.
Dr. Alexandra Murray-Leslie is a performer, poly-artist and co-founder of the international artist team Chicks on Speed. Her artistic research explores designing, sustainably fabricating & performing computer-enhanced footwear for a new theatrical, audiovisual expression of the feet on land, air and in water. Her work has been shown in major biennales, festivals and art institutes such as; Ars Electronica, ZKM Centre for Art and Media, 56th & 57 Venice Biennale, MoMA NY, Centre Pompidou, Museum of Modern Art Australia, Turner Prize Tate Britain, ArtScience Gallery Dublin & Singapore. Alex is Professor at Trondheim Academy of Fine Art and member of ARTEC (Art and Technology Task Force) Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Links to the work presented:
Avantgardening (by Djana Covic) as part of Look Therapy-All Over Over All part 1 Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland, 14 May 2017 by Prisca Morger and students of Institute of Fashion Design, Academy of Ar and Design FHNW, Basel.
“Dive”, 2019 (camera by Wolf Dieter Grabner)
Arctic Rabbit, Music by Chicks on Speed, Video by Alex Murray-Leslie and Tina Frank
Improvisations in Gender, Sound and Space, 2016