(Simon Fraser University, Vancouver/Canada)
Since the age of 12 Ran Hyman has been performing digital dance. Today, he is the pioneer of the new dance aesthetic, which he has entitled formula AFOTEK [:] aphorisanskrit futurism omnipotent tekhnologically engineered kinaesthesis--African Dance set to Tekhno Music©.
Ran's Mentor is the illustrious pioneer of African Contemporary Dance in Canada Zab Maboungou (www.nyata-nyata.org). Zab initiated Ran to teach and perform rhythm. Ran's Master's Thesis entitled: the self is the dancer (McGill University, Canada) is succeeded by his current PhD research project in the Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University (Canada). His research and work is rooted in the belief that rhythm shapes "the educated mind" and body. For over a decade Ran has been developing the theory that humans act in the world with "cultural tools" (Voygotsky, 1978).
Ran's thesis is born out of the belief that rhythm is a tool discovered by traditional oral cultures to aid memory (Egan, 1997). As a scholar, theorist, professional dancer and educator, Ran possesses knowledge and empirical experiences to firmly establish his thesis for a particular notion of digital rhythma formula to teach and learn ethics, and to develop the imagination. It is understood that "scholars now recognize that understanding cultural aspects of human development is important for resolving pressing practical problems as well as for progress in understanding the nature of human development" (Rogoff, 2003, p.7).
Ran's rhythmic formula is offering an alternative to cope with the body's betrayal through disease or addiction. His research is uncovering a mystic understanding of digital rhythmhe claims it is a potent cultural and cognitive formula to translate abstract ideas into meaning of the everyday. Ran tells us Plato (c. 428-347 B.C.E.), had long ago expressed a notion of rhythm, "Rhythm and harmony permeate the inner part of the soulbringing it graceGrace and gracelessness are associated with good and bad rhythmrhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul." Ran's exploration of rhythm is not the 'objective' rhythm, nor the 'general' rhythm, but the living rhythm within the body. Rhythms are "the vectors which unceasingly create time, literally forging the existence of beings." Knowledge of rhythm is a coded expression of life cycles.
(Technique Lab and Performance Formula, presented November 28 at Digital Cultures Lab)