Sydney Skybetter on Dance, Technology, and Human Interfaces
“Well, I’m not a lawyer, I’m not an accountant, I’m not a chair….” -Sydney Skybetter
Like many of my favorite people, Sydney Skybetter (@sydneyskybetter) has a hard time describing what he does. In this amusing conversation, he describes the common themes between his work as a choreographer, consultant, and technologist.
Sydney recently taught a class at Harvard University on technology interfaces from the proscenium stage in the 18th century through the the movie Minority Report. (They called John Underkoffler, who choreographed the Tom Cruz computer sequence a designer, but I think that is dance choreography.)
Sydney is a self-proclaimed nerd, and our jokes span the gambit from his enthusiasm for the upcoming TV show Flesh and Bone, the portrayal of Natalie Portman as troubled femme fatale in the movie Black Swan, to Mikhail Baryshnikov’s 11 pirouettes in the movie White Night.
Sydney is the co-founder of the Change Agency, an organizational design firm which works with established companies to help them evolve with the modern day. More recently, he has become fascinated by the intersection of human movement and developing technologies. For example, the recent debacle with the Nest Smoke Alarm.
Our conversation is wide-ranging, including the arts, dance, technology, and the need for diversity.
Books we discuss:
- A Fighter’s Heart
- The Fighter’s Mind
- The Man Who Mistook is Wife for a Hat
- The Glass Bead Game
- The Art of the Turn Around
- Curtains?: The Future of the Arts in America
- Fractured Atlas article on Kickstarter
- Responsive Org
- Atlas – Facebook’s advertising platform
- Horatio Alger
- Gaga created by Ohad Naharin
- Oculus Rift