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RE/CONNECT: Examining intimacy in a digital age

I am creating two proximity-sensing LED costumes for a theatrical performance that will be presented in the Cohen New Works Festival in April 2015. The LED-covered costumes have three functions that serve to remind us of the importance of physical touch and human connection in an age of digital communication. I am seeking additional opportunities to showcase the costumes outside of the festival.

When the two costumes reach a distance of ten feet, they will begin to glow, and increase in brightness as they near. Once within arms-length, the glow will disappear, replaced by a reactive, localized glow that follows the movement of another human's hand across their body. Finally, when touched, the costumes with light in a variety of blinking patterns. Through this design solution, I hope to literally showcase the importance of physical interaction.

The production of RE/CONNECT is a theatrical performance paired with an interactive “behind-the-scenes” educational exhibit. The performance incorporates all original computerized Wearable costumes, projected media, live music, dance, dialogue, and video. In response to MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle’s statement, “We’re lonely, but afraid of intimacy,” this performance explores the question: “How has communication technology changed human intimacy and interaction?”

I hope that it will remind people of the importance of human touch and connection, while proving that the traditional techniques of the arts can be beautifully synthesized with the emerging ideas of the sciences.

Funded by Austin, TX (February 2015)