GAIT: Science-Arts is on the move! – 2011 – commissioned by Interdisciplinary Grant, Oxford Brookes University and further supported by Wellcome Trust.
1. The act of moving of the body.
2. A group of people working together to advance theory shared political, social, or artistic ideas.
3. A principal division of a longer musical work.
(The Oxford Dictionary)
Neurological disease affects over three million adults and children in the UK. A major concern for people is the maintenance of their mobility and movement. The Movement Science Group at Oxford Brookes University, led by Professor Helen Dawes, Elizabeth Casson Trust Chair, uses novel digital sensor systems, such as GAIT, to monitor patient progress. Prof Helen Dawes and Dr Ryan Pink started a science arts project funded by Oxford Brookes University, following a successful grant application for an interdisciplinary research project to; Expand the research within Brookes, Build relationships with other universities and Spread the benefits of Science research and educate the public of all ages.
With this was a Science Arts project exploring sensors and movement science of the general public and patients with neurological diseases. It uses arts as a novel media to stretch the often difficult-to-digest scientific language and theory boundaries.
For this they had a workshop with Scientists (Brookes), artists (Laban, Aberystwyth, Goldsmiths), technologists (LCC, Lewis) and programmers (independents) and looked into movement science and the subjects it includes, people involved and affected, and researched novel ways to create dialogue. From this came the basis of the dance arts piece working with national choreographer Helen Parlor encompassing schools workshops in two local schools and an interactive research tool.
For the dance piece they used data and characteristics of the movements collected from the school children, which the choreographer and dancers incorporated into the movements for the dance piece. They also investigated the emotion of patients that suffer from pathologies of movement.
The music for the piece was created by composer Dr Paul Whitty, from the Sonic Art Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University and is scored using digital data that is hard wired directly in from patient readings using the GAIT sensor; a medical movement-tracking tool.
Test performs have been carried out before a tour, along with an interactive talk at:
- Madcap Dance Festival, Milton Keynes
- Scratch Night, Milton Keynes Gallery
- Amazing Acts, Pegasus Theatre, Oxford