This week I am physically resting my body and mind after 10 consecutive days of performing. This week I am moving into a new apartment and studio. I love both of these places so much and feel peaceful and calm in my new creative and personal home spaces. I am excited about so many new things that are happening in my life and look forward to everything that is on the way.
As I shift forward, I release everything that no longer serves me. I embrace who I am, as I am, with tenderness, kindness, and love. My final performance of 2019 was very vulnerable. During the piece, I cried without thought of anything external. My tears were peaceful and soothing. I feel whole. I feel free. I received messages from those who witness my work. They shared appreciation for what I shared with them. As an artist presenting live work it is wonderful when others take a moment to share how they feel, what resonated, how they were moved.
During this next chapter my focus is clear, I will: obsess about everything that I love about myself, do absolutely everything that makes me happy, and LOVE. I will be taking some time to simply dream before creating new works and developing new performative pieces. Restoration and reflection is important to my process. I give so much of myself when I perform, therefore I make space to give myself back to me too.
This week I continued thinking about how we can incorporate emotional and physiological data into Nicoletta’s dance performance. Do we want to understand how Nicoletta’s sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system changes during a performance? Or do we want to focus on how Nicolletta’s performance changes the physiology of the audience? Or is the magic of dance best viewed through the lens of synchronicity between Nicoletta and her audience? This week I started by thinking about understanding the relationship between the dance and the dancer’s own body.
I’m super curious to measure how Nicoletta’s physiology changes while dancing. When she’s immersed in her performance, do fluctuations in heart rate and electrodermal activity (EDA) rise and fall in anticipation of evocative moments? With EmotiBit’s 9-axis IMU to measure movements along with the EDA sensor, PPG sensor, local body temperature and humidity sensor, can we create a moving portrait of both physical and physio-emotional state. Streaming data live over WiFi might give us an immediate connection between Nicoletta’s dance and physiological changes and be a great way to begin listening to the data and learning what it can tell us. Cuing into which data streams are especially responsive in this kind of pilot experimentation might help focus our energy on how to optimize our data collection and possibly performance characteristics.
Live visualization of physiological data during an improvisational dance piece, Left Footprints, created in collaboration with LoVid as part of the New York Electronic Arts Festival
Through experimentation with live streaming physiological data we may also reveal ways to turn physiological data into an instrument that Nicoletta can learn to play as part of her performance. Perhaps changing the brightness or color of Nicoletta’s LED clothing - or adding an architectural element of the space like a glowing orb - could become a new channel by which to communicate inner feelings and experience to the audience.
In addition to streaming data over WiFi to pilot our data science and create new channels of communication, we can also create data artifacts from Nicoletta’s performance by storing all the data on EmotiBit’s built-in SD card. Because we’ll have a detailed profile of Nicoletta’s movement captured with the 9-axis IMU, we can relate physiological changes back to these changes in movement and understand how movement - or the anticipation/planning of movement -- is reflected in the emotion and physiology of dance. Because EmotiBit can synchronize the data timestamps with a computer or phone, we can also simultaneously record video of the performance and create another touch-point to relate the physical movements captured by the IMU and the physiological changes from the other sensors to the performance. These combined data artifacts may present an opportunity to document the performance both from the perspective of an external observer and also the internal context of the performer. This documentation will bring the work to larger audiences online as well as create a dataset for scientific inquiry.
As we continue exploring the SciArt Bridge Residency together, I’m excited to create new synergies at the intersection of biology, psychology and dance.