Wearable Technology and Sufi Whirling
Dissolving Self employs metaphoric data visualization, motion capture and wearable technology to harness the subtle movements of a Sufi whirler. We was curious to ask how new media technologies can be used to virtually translate and amplify live performance to open new inroads for creative articulation the performer. Much of the inspiration of this piece comes from Rumi's mystic poetry and the physical meditative ritual of Sufi whirling.
A gyroscope and a radio module (Xbee) worn by the dancer measure and transmit speed of rotation and a Microsoft Kinect captures lateral movement of the performer onstage. These two sets of live data are fed into Processing, an open source software to create a responsive and metaphoric visualization that represents Divinity through the cosmos, which is projected over the dancer.
Works such as Dissolving Self play an important role by creatively investigating the possibilities and pushing the limits of new technologies, helping us to imaginatively experience and critically reflect on their implications of ubiquitous technology, such as wearable sensors. Digital electronic art is a source of innovation, the new norm in everything from publishing to TV, radio, games, film, fashion, music, architecture, design, applications and in this instance, performance art.
This staged performance piece has been curated by ISEA 2014 (The International Symposium on Electronic Art) hosted by Zayed University in Abu Dhabi and The American University in Dubai.
Dissolving Self is made in collaboration with creative technologist: Ryan Maksymic, sound designer Tamara Montenegro and wearable technologist, Loreta Faveri.
Iranian-Canadian media artist and director, Maziar Ghaderi discusses his artistic practice, Playformance: the unique synthesis of performance art and interactive technologies .
Ghaderi visited the UAE this month for the International Symposium on Electronic Art, where he showcased,Dissolving Self: an interactive dance performance that translates movement to stellar visualizations inspired by Rumi’s mystic poetry. Maziar discusses his work with sound designer Tamara Montenegro.