The project was born out of a 2015 theater program in Russia, where international artists first collaborated and realized their common goal to use art to forge stronger bonds between peoples whose countries are in conflict with each other.
As time goes by, technology becomes more sophisticated, smaller, faster and more convenient, thus changing our way of thinking and feeling . . . our memory. 8 Bits asks of fast-paced modern societies: “How do we communicate and learn?” It creates visceral dialog between spoken language, body language, and computer programming language, both revealing their differences and exploring the process of understanding itself.
8 Bits is performed outside in open urban environments, for instance rooftops or empty parking lots. There are eight movement artists, four men and four women, each representing the binary numbers 0 or 1. They are dressed in white and black, arranged in a rectangle such that each performer of them is visible.
Once the narrator starts reading, the movement artists start moving simultaneously. The text is an excerpt from literary pieces that are culturally important to where the performance happens to take place. Each of the sentences is assigned the value of 0 or 1 (mimicking the structure of the binary code), which helps determine the artists’ movements. The movements come from different points of the body, grouped into pairs, which in return create circles of motion (as described below). This is an established practice of “opposition of points.” The movements of each artist is defined by one pair of the following:
circle 0 : top of the head and tailbone
circle 1: shoulders and pelvis
circle 2: elbows and knees
circle 3: palm and sole of the foot
Within the parameters of a given circle the movement artist is free to improvise and interpret the text. In spite of the defined structure, the performance is visceral and brings out subconscious, authentic movement. The narrator similarly improvises her or his delivery of the text, the emotional quality of which influences the movement.