No. 162


By : Eleni Xynogala

Entrant’s location : Greece



Symbiosis is a mutually beneficial relationship between different organisms. What techniques can we use to create new forms of embodiment communication between organisms? Exploring the disparity of perception within the real and the virtual, this installation consists of three layers. In the first layer, a body is trapped in a virtual world that the audience cannot perceive. The person disappears under the digital layer of the virtual self of this body, that is ultimately dependent, symbiotically, on the physical body. These bodies swing between oblivion and memory, experiencing an endless fusion between real and virtual. The audience is connected with this symbiotic organism through external tactile stimuli and is being questioned about what experience means to us. 2018

What did you create?

This work can be presented as an interactive installation for the audience and/or as a choreographic installation/live performance. In the first case, the audience enters the dark room and comes across with its digital form that is projected in the wall. The projection depicts the visitor’s skeleton made of real-time particle-animations. The visitor can also explore an embodied tactile experience, playing around with the e-textile costume which is connected wireless with the acrylic objects that vibrate. The screen is presenting the recorded performance that helps the audience to empathize with other organisms through the proposed symbiotic techniques. In the case of the live performance, there is going to be a dancer who wears the costume and lives symbiotically with her holographic form that is projected on the wall. The audience can explore the performer’s movements through the embodied objects that are connected with her costume and are vibrated every time she touches her palms or her feet.

Why did you make it?

Inspired by Robert Nozick’s Experience machine, that can stimulate the brain and pre-program people’s experiences, and by the Plato allegory of the cave, where prisoners perceive reality as the shadows that they watch on the wall, I speculate a futuristic digital technology, that could build new fake holographic realities. Showing the emotional memory of the body that is lost in virtual worlds, my goal is to make the audience realize that an embodied experience is more intimate than a simple observation of another body that experiences. At the same time, this symbiosis of a physical body and a digital form aims to locate an expanded awareness and locate empathy for the non-human and the non-space of the virtual holographic worlds. Finally, my main point is to bring discussion and ask what techniques we can use to create new forms of embodiment communication between organisms.

How did you make it?

The interactive animations created by the VVVV software and are captured in real time from a Kinect camera. The props that I use for the performance are a VR headset, but also a Wearable Technology costume, that I sew with the e-textile buttons, highlighting the connection points with black fabric. I have also laser cut a pair of feet and hands made of acrylic, where I have placed the vibrators that are connected with the buttons and are controlled with Arduino and XBee paired modules. So, the audience is called to stand in the feet and touch the plastic hands to feel the external stimuli of the dancer’s movement. The goal of this construction is to make people empathize with the other person but also with the no-human — alien body. The choice of the cold hard plastic material was made to create a distance of the physical body.

Your entry’s specification

The installation consists of many different objects and equipment, such as a Kinect V2 camera, a short throw projector hanging from the ceiling, a plinth or a table with dimensions 40cm x 40 cm x 100cm and with storage for laptop underneath, headphones, a screen, 5 acrylic objects with vibratos, an e-textile costume- made of conductive fabrice, Adafruit, Lilypad and XBee- a Windows laptop, a screen and Arduino.