As part of the series of responses I made over the course of one year for ‘empathy machine’ by slowdanger. In this interview, I speak with Char Stiles, a computational artist, researcher and performer based in Pittsburgh. Char brought her creative expression to the project and we spoke about this over email in December 2019.

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My portrait of Char based on some thoughts she shared with me

What do you feel like today?

Today I feel like a bunch of rats in a trench coat successfully doing okay and sometimes thriving as a human being!

Explain your background as an artist/collaborator, what skills/vision did you bring to this collaboration with slowdanger? What is your history as a creative artist?

I am a computational artist, researcher and performer. I exist as a hybrid in my work-life, art practice, and education. Last year I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University where I studied fine art and computer science. The past year I was a researcher at the CMU Robotics Institute working on a project that incorporates artificial intelligence, augmented reality and storytelling. I am an avid livecoder; on the fly I code a graphics program on-stage where everyone can see the process (e.g. …


As part of the series of responses I made over the course of one year for ‘empathy machine’ by slowdanger. In this interview, I speak with Cornelius Henke III, the founder of ProjectileObjects. He is the creator and engineer for ‘the ring’, which has evolved as into its own character and persona as the project itself has developed and matured. We spoke over email in December 2019.

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Still from ‘empathy machine’

What do you feel like today?

Today I feel like a deep breath. A moment in time that builds as the day rises and fades as the night falls.

Explain your background as an artist/collaborator, what skills/vision did you bring to this collaboration with slowdanger? What is your history as a creative artist, or a brief explanation of the previous work/research that interest you?

I somehow emerged out of the film/video world looking for a way to edit music videos in real-time which turned into VJing and my first exposure to live performances as an adult. In looking back, I discovered that I let my creative hobbies drive my life. It might sound lame to say, but I listened to my heart even when it pushed me far away from what others were doing. For this project, the dangers and I talked about doing something together. They asked if I had any ideas and in a way I wanted to move shadows. Even now as I’m writing this sitting in a car, the shadows of the street lamps chase across every crevasse. It’s cool. …


My review of the D.C. Premiere of ‘empathy machine’ by slowdanger, at Dance Place in early October 2019. I have been responding to this work for over a year through interviews, drawings, writing, and reviews.

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My illustration of the piece after seeing it.

On October 5–6, 2019, slowdanger presented their evening-length work empathy machine to a sold-out crowd at Dance Place in Washington, D.C. after its World Premiere in Pittsburgh at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater two months earlier. empathy machine evolved for over a year since its conception in Montreal during a residency, originally created as an installation with movement for 16 dancers. …


Interview with Taylor Knight over email about “VLX” — the ongoing project by slowdanger. Part of a series of interviews and responses about this work, created over email in April-May 2019 and published in June with my drawings and visual responses.

JM: How do you feel today?
TK: Today I feel like a bristlecone pine tree. Metallic and phosphorescent.

JM: Please share some thoughts on VLX/Empathy Machine.
TK: VLX holds a lot for me. I felt possessed by my character in the show. This being lives within a liminal space, torn between being controlled by an operating system (online) and they’re human identity (offline). As if they are flashing quickly in and out of these states. It’s like the Operating System that controls them glitches and malfunctions, allowing them to drop back into their organic consciousness, then out again. At times Generating a prison of the mind and body and other times a liberation from mind and body. This duality in quality feels like treading on the edge, that at any moment they could “fall off”. This was inspired by the idea of a post apocalyptic future where humans are enmeshed with technology so much that they have become hybrid/cyborg creatures. VLX process investigated many ‘states of being’. This range included prepper and Y2K paranoia, memory and past life flashback, empathy and more. The process and practice of visiting various states of being while remaining connected as a creative conduit was challenging. It allowed for a deeper investigation of rigor, risk, self, my inner voice and my breath as a connection to “reality”. This reminded me of the bristlecone pine tree. Rooted yet reaching, twisting and growing into many directions simultaneously. …


Interview with Anna Thompson about VLX, an ongoing project being created by slowdanger. Compiled over email in March-April 2019. Like all the previous interviews, I ask the artist to tell me how they are feeling at that moment so I can create a portrait of them. Then I ask them to give me a list of ten things that relate to this project, VLX (empathy machine). They can then add anything else that relates. Here it is.

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Today I feel like a Writhing Flame (March 21, 2019)

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VLX was an exploration of the body within the mind of fear and neurosis.
I wanted to explore a frame of mind that I believe is inherited through my cultural history of whiteness. When I examined that closer I felt it manifested in anxiety and binge culture. I also felt that anxiety grew out of a reflexive fear of what my ancestors had claimed through colonization/ gentrification/ imperialism that needs to be reclaimed and addressed. This was also sparked through a curiosity in doomsday “preppers” and Y2K phenomena that crosses cultural boundaries into societal fear states and how humans grab at materiality to feel secure. …


My interview with Simon Phillips about their work with slowdanger on the ongoing work “Empathy Machine” (originally called VLX). Created over email in February and early March, 2019. I made ink drawings as my response to their thoughts and deeply thoughtful words.

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An interview, over email, with Ru Emmons about their ongoing work on the project VLX with slowdanger. I responded to their thoughts with my chalk wall drawings that became a video. This continual creative loop = art. Created over several different days in January 2019.

Portrait of the Artist as a soft animal.

Today I am feeling wild and free, outta range and outta my mind. Exhausted. Working best that way. Aggressively patient (with myself). Lovingly spacious. (I’d paint a circular gold thing with hands inside).

Ten Things I connect to VLX:
1. being a body in a disembodied world
2. information addiction, phone universe, internet propaganda
3. the crises that we create
4. ready for connection when it is ready for me
5. we ARE running out of time
6. …


An interview, over email, with Roberta Guido about their ongoing work on the project VLX with slowdanger. Published here with illustrations I made in response to Roberta’s text. Created over several different days in December 2018.

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12/15/2018
JM: Portrait of the Artist as a Young _________
When you read that sentence, what do you most want to fill in that blank?
What do you feel like upon immediately reading that, or another way to
ask, what do you feel like today?
Let’s start there.

RG: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Cloud. Today I feel permeable and floaty.

12/19/2018
JM: What are ten things that you connect to the VLX work you are doing?
RG: Here are 10 things that feel connected to VLX for me right now.

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  1. Constant surveillance for the sake of constantly being sold something.

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What my camera recorded from that night

About this series of writings:
slowdanger is working on a new piece, VLX (working title), set to debut in 2019. …

About

Jennifer Nagle Myers

Visual artist. Art as the Antidote. Collaboration. Writing. Heartbreak and Devotion. Muse. Intuition. Awareness. The whole, holy body.

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