School of Art, Media, and Technology

Complessitá: When the Choreographer is an Algorithm

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unnamed-2Complessitá: When the Choreographer is an Algorithm,  is an interactive digital performance by designer Enrica Beccalli.  The project was originally an MFA in Design and Technology Thesis (2015) at Parsons School of Design, a division of The New School. We take a journey into the beauty of complexity and discover–at the intersection of art, technology, and bio-hacking–a dancer and the visual spectacle she or he creates. The performance moves us into a new dimension where the machine collaborates with a moving human body. The machine loses its unilateral position as a receiver of human instruction and instead participates (finally)in an expressive, mutual work of art.

The human figure and body movements are explored through a transposition from the virtual to the biological through a Galvanic Vestibular Stimulator (GVS), an electronic stimulation device affixed behind the ear of the performer. An algorithm conveyed through the GVS creates a projected particle display on a big screen behind the performer. The display simulates a flock of birds which manipulates the dancer to sway according to the flock’s movements. Complessitá explores the relationship between the individual and the collectivity by letting the user be at the mercy of complexity and be physically controlled and hacked by a flocking algorithm. The interaction attempts to demonstrate how singularity and collectivity operate across both biological and computational contexts creating a visible manipulation of the corporeal human-technology relationship.

Complessità has most recently staged in collaboration with artist Roula Gholmieh as the closing act of the Tribeca Film Festival Interactive, with performer and choreographer Tony Bordonaro dancing. It was also staged it at the closing event of the Creative Tech Week with the performer Lynn Neuman, artistic director of the Artichoke Dance Company.

Complessità has been featured at The Creators Project, Agenda Culturelle, and Loves by Domus among others. Complessità in collaboration with Roula Gholmieh will showcase at Digital Design Days & Awards 2016 in Milan with performer Anouk Froidevaux.

Enrica will also be a Keynote Speaker: and jurist at the event.

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