Normally when I think of biological data I’m considering how many steps I’ve completed in a day, or how well I’m sleeping at night according to my wearable device. However, there’s also my underlying curiosity about where that data may end up. Kate Sicchio and Camille Baker are also interested in biological data, bringing the information, questions and implications together in a research based dance performance. It’s part of their larger body of work called Hacking the Body. Here’s their description:
As artists we question how this data demonstrates who we are as individuals, through movement, through our physiology? How does this unique individual data signature created through wearable technology relate to one’s performance expressivity and movement interaction? How can we explore these issues while enabling people access to their own data to interact with, and communicate with each, especially in performance contexts?
Both Kate and Camille are fans of soft circuits and wanted their dancers to respond with comfortable gear. After a few iterations they decided to hack Omsignal shirts and pair them with hand-made arm bands that contain vibration sensors. The combination of tech along with a custom app allows dancers to react to each other’s breath, leading to interesting choreography.
The artists have been working in the UK and have also done interesting performances with dancers reacting in two locations simultaneously. Now they are hopeful of developing a longer piece Feel Me More in New York with a diverse group of dancers to see how choreography changes. You can check out their Indiegogo for more details. If you are interested in pairing wearables with performance, you should check out a great book by Kate Hartman—Make: Wearable Electronics. Kate centers her work around non-verbal communication with interesting results. Her book will show you construction techniques, popular microcontrollers and motors to use in your work, as well as wireless tech. Get ready to break all the walls in your next performance!
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