Liam Young

Liam Young

Choreography camouflage is a prototype music video that speculates on a counterculture belonging to the near future. The work features an underground movement reacting to hegemony that benefits from smart city surveillance technologies and the accumulation of personal data. In this work Liam Young, a self-proclaimed speculative architect, continues his innovative merging of moving image with Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensor system. Laser-based scanning technologies, like LiDAR, generate big data sets that when collated and registered into point clouds create 3D models of objects and environments.

Historically, resistance to existing power structures are expressed through the body, fashion and music. In Choreography camouflage two figures move against the fictive environs of a Chinese-owned and controlled Detroit Economic Zone (DEZ). They are tracked by autonomous eyes – the million sensors linked into an urban network of cameras. In collaboration with world renown choreographer Jacob Jonas, Young has developed a series of movements that evade the algorithms used in skeleton detection software. The dancers are also cloaked in machine vision textiles woven on CNC (computer numeric controlled) mills. Both the evasive actions of the bodies and their iridescent silk camouflage scatter the light emitted by the scanning technologies to create glitches and distortions in the city-wide data set. 

Choreography camouflage  2020

Single channel, digital moving image (LiDAR), with sound, loop.
Duration: 4:00 min

Director: Liam Young
Screenplay: Tim Maughan
Live action choreographer: Jacob Jonas
Performing artists: Jacob Jonas The Company, featuring Joy Brown, James Blackston, Miguel Lopez Jorge, Emma Rosenzweig-Bock, Mike Tyus and Jill Wilson
Director of photography: Horacio Martinez
LiDAR costume design: Liam Young and Jennifer Chen
Sound: Shigeto, courtesy of Ghostly International, New York; and DJ Stingray, courtesy of Underground Resistance, Detroit
Technical lead: Shuruq Tramontini
Technical consultants: Scatter, New York
Post-production: Jacob Falk, Daniele Profeta and Paul Krist
Special thanks: Alexey Marfin
Equipment: Panny Hire, Los Angeles