Bruce Wheaton, "Dance, Cellular Motion, and Computer Analysis: an Interview with David Soll," The Drama Review 34.4, Winter 1990


Curvature was calculated as the rate of change of the tangent line with respect to the perimeter along the cell boundary. The boundary length for each plot is converted to 360° and begins with that point on the perimeter that is furthest right on the video screen. The plots were developed for frames with five-second intervas. In part A, the earliest frame is at the top of the stack. Part B shows the "wrapped" version of the curvature plot at the innermost circle. (Graphics by David Soll)

SOLL: One of the things we discovered by listening is that there was directionality when an amoeba was moving. There was a rhythm that had to do with where it extended its little feet—called pseudopodia, or phony feet. These are the extensions that allow an amoeba to move. And we realized than an amoeba had "handedness." The extensions actually had rhythm, and when they were extended, there was an oscillator in the cell telling it which way to go in one direction. We had never really seen this in the data. We had never really had these parameters graphed that way. We started to hear this coordination of directionality and oscillation. When we started to plot it back out we figured ways to see it on graphs. But it was hearing it that sent us back to see it.