SENSES PLACES Mixed Reality Participatory Environment

http://sensesplaces.wordpress.com

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SENSES PLACES
Mixed Reality Participatory Environment

By Isabel Valverde and Todd Cochrane

Senses Places is a dance-technology collaborative project creating a playful mixed reality performative environment for audience participation. Generating whole body multimodal interfacings keen to a somatic cross-cultural approach, the project stresses an integration of simultaneous local and remote connections, where participants and environments meet towards a kinesthetic/synesthetic engagement.

Tuning the audience participants into several whole body modes of physical-virtual body-body and body-environment interactions, within a physical and virtual environment (Second Life©), Senses Places re-purposes recent Web 2.0 enabled game devices with a synergetic/semantic approach to interface design. The interfaces include, video and avatar mediations via Webcam, Wiimote©, and Kinect©, plus a biometric device.

Emerging embodiments, realities, and cultures are generated by the multi-participant playful involvement as the participants follow, act upon, and respond to each other’s physical bodies, video mediations, avatar moves, and/or environmental changes. Climate related body-environment activity is affected through wireless communication, linking biometric inputs and environmental device actuators, such as, temperature-light/color, breathing-smoke/wind modulations.

Through an inclusive process engaging kinesthetic empathy, Senses Places deepens contemporary dance practices, interweaving Eastern-Western somatic based practices, like, Contact Improvisation, Tai Chi, Yôga, Body-Mind Centering, Release, and Alexander Techniques. The improvisation evolves in a sharing of corporealized places, times, and energies, encouraging a fuller experience of the moment.

Senses Places wishes to contribute to enlarge the range and interconnectedness of sensory-perceptions within the already complex practice of group improvisation, proposing a constructive and transformative means of inter-subjective and collective socialization, reversing the dead end substitution, gender and movement cultural stereotypification, and instrumentalization of bodies by avatars in social networks, such as Second Life©.

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