I am pacing, and being very kind to myself during 10 days of performing at Brilliant Baltimore Light City & Book Festival and the MAP Benifit. I am napping and nourishing throughout the day. I leave feeling emotionally, mentally, and spiritually rested. After performances I listen, and tend to the needs of my body.
During these performances I evoke Lemanja (Yemoja) and Yemaya while calling myself back to the sea. Water is both calming and restorative for me. I honor both myself and the ancestors when I do what I love. My performance practice is deeply meditative, I find myself more tuned to inner-self and unplugged from the external. I find my own peace and balance while in public spaces through a fusion of spirituality and art.
I have embedded LED light elements into my garment for nighttime activations. During my performances I use a quartz crystal singing bowl to strike rhythmically. I respond to the vibrations through ritual and movement during the ceremony.
A singing bowl is an inverted bell, supported from below with the rim uppermost. These bells are bowl-shaped and are created in a wide range of sizes. Traditional Tibetan singing bowls are typically made of metal like copper, silver, gold. This instrument produces sounds that are used in meditation and vibrations connected to the chakras.
Since I am interdisciplinary, I am excited about incorporating elements that overlap with modalities that support wellbeing, such as light therapy and sound bathing. Producing sound creates a more immersive experience for both me as the artist and the patrons who interact with the work. I am looking forward to continuing to explore this aspect of my art and investigate new ways to incorporate singing bowls both into my creative practices and my day-to-day life.
This week I gave a bit more thought to the ways in which to bring EmotiBit into a dance performance with Nicoletta. At a high level, there’s a continuum of possibilities ranging from using physiological sensors as instrument that can directly impact the audience in a visceral manner, to providing more of a conceptual context for the work in a live communication with the audience or as a data artifact that can live on after the exhibition in different forms. Thinking through previous works that have integrated sensing signals from the body has begun to help me to lay out this continuum into a framework for exploring new ideas in the SciArt Bridge residency.
Using physiological sensors as an instrument has the potential to create new channels of communication between performer and audience. In a work called Left Footprints, created as part of a residency at the New York Hall of Science and 2019 New York Electronic Arts Festival, my collaborators explored how physiological data from EmotiBit could deliver new experiences by altering the delivery of media content. An earlier collaboration with LoVid called Hive Mind took that concept to an extreme by utilizing signals read from the brain to directly impact the neuronal patterns of the audience through pulses of light and sound.
Taking a slight step back from using physiological data to directly drive brainwaves or media content delivery, it’s also possible to have these signals provide a broader context for a performance or installation. Measuring the Magic of Mutual Gaze (by Marina Abramovic, Suzanne Dikker and Matthias Oostrik) explored this possibility by transforming Abramovic’s MoMA exhibition “The Artist is Present” into work exploring the neuroscientific basis of the powerful connection that Abramovic creates with her audience.
Going beyond the live performance, physiological data can become artifacts that carry the mantle of the work into new forms. Emergence is an installation that I showed at ISEA and the Istanbul Biennale in which I asked the audience to consider where the body ends and the internet begins. Capturing electrical signals from the viewer’s heart, the work propagated those signals into the surrounding space and ultimately onto the internet. Capturing a picture with each heartbeat of the viewer and uploading it to Flickr, the work has captured over 30,000 heartbeats from viewers around the world that now create an interesting artifact to reflect on our digital experience of time.
Bringing this continuum of possibilities into my conversation with Nicoletta is an exciting opportunity to explore how we can celebrate her work as a dancer and chamana through the unique lens of the SciArt Bridge Residency. So many ideas and much more to unfold in the weeks and months to come.