XS Studio l Prof. Jordan Geiger l University at Buffalo l Fall 2013
This project approaches the idea of design with proprioception by dyad, as a cut between the duality of information/materiality, mind/body, Cartesian observer/performer. The perception of space happens/exists through action as enabled by proprioception. Through the use of analog and digital tools, the importance of the body, as essential experiential tool and medium to perceive space and enact it, has been explored through its amputation, extension, digitalization and shared experiencing.
The prototype was installed in Silo City (Buffalo) in the plenum between the silos, and its program is a stage for a dance performance. Proprioception is particularly important for dancers who constantly train their physical control and response and have to rely on the perception of their own body parts to perform correctly. The galvanic skin response sensor, worn around the neck of each performer, controls the color of the LEDs that are projected on the suspended spandex fabric. The galvanic response is based on the skin micro sweating, which allows the body to conduct a low-voltage signal through the body, and be read by the Arduino board.
The translation from the skin conductivity to the colored lights is a mapping of the motion of the performers, being action the way we perceive space, and proprioception the sense that enables both controlled motion and action.
Proprioception does not exist without subjective experience. The project elaborates on the idea of nested experience, nested performance, associated again with duality body/mind - information/materiality, where the user is at the same time performer and spectator.
The project also tries to engage the questions of evolution and perception of our own bodies in our era, how we continuously extend them through the use of technological devices, how we displace and manipulate them.