Algorithms, Hands, and Feet: Dancing in the Intervals of Digital Time, Labor Time, and Geologic Time

Algorithms have been compared to Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” of capitalism and are often said to rule or shape our world in the digital age. They are also commonly defined as a “set of steps” undertaken by computers toward the completion of tasks. Taking up the gesturing of hands and the stepping of feet, Schneider thinks of algorithms cross-temporally. The micro-seconds of digital time, the labor time of the capital relation, and the ongoing geologic time of prehistory are engaged to ask after the possibility of fugitivity in the intervals between steps, or what Andre Lepecki has called “dancing in the interval”.

Rebecca Schneider is Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. She is the author of The Explicit Body in Performance (l997), Performing Remains: Art and War in Times of Theatrical Reenactment (2011), Theatre and History (2014), “Slough Media” in Remain with Jussi Parikka (forthcoming with MIT Press), and over fifty essays in the field, including “That the Past May Yet Have Another Future: Gesture in the Times of Hands Up” in Theatre Journal and “What Happened, or Finishing Live” inRepresentations.