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Empathy Machine Interaction

with Computational Artist Char Stiles in collaboration with slowdanger

CODAME Featured Artist Char Stiles wrote custom software to add interaction to a 16 foot LED ring made by ProjectileObjects in collaboration with the performance entity slowdanger,

You can learn more about this project and the material created by Char Stiles using OpenFrameworks and OpenCV here:

Currently seeking presenting/commission partners for empathy machine for 2020/2021

Empathy machine is slowdanger’s 2019 evening length quintet multidisciplinary work. It was created in collaboration with ProjectileObjects LED Light Ring and computational artist Char Stiles. Originally created as a 20min installation work for 16 dancers at Springboard Danse Montreal as a part of the Emerging Choreographers Platform (June 2018)

runtime: 56mins
touring personell: 6
cast size: quintet
*seeking producing/presenting partners
available for touring 2020–2022

This work aims to desexualize intimacy and examine empathy as a continual process of sensitizing ourselves to our own bodies, companions, and environment.

The work explores intimacy and empathy, questioning societal reflexes surrounding these terms through the use of physicality, responsive technology and awareness facilitations. empathy machine, features a cast of 5 performers and two computational artists.

It uses a responsive LED lighting ring that hangs from the ceiling, acting as another performer in the piece, transforming shadow and the performance landscape. empathy machine exists within an imagined future where performers have forgotten their embodied empathy mechanisms and have to go through a process of relearning/remembering. The work explores intimacy and empathy, questioning societal reflexes surrounding these terms.

Humans are physically and energetically impacted by their environment and interactions. This is ever-present with the continual enmeshment of technology and the human body in modern society. This enmeshment can further diminish empathy and continues to enable behavior patterns rooted in objectification and over sexualization. empathy machine does not claim to answer society’s problems but proposes a process of coming back into our bodies as resilience and resistance against oppressive systems.

Funding for the empathy machine project was provided by the Investing in Professional Artists Grants Program, a partnership of The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments, The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Special Presenters Initiative, The Opportunity Fund, The Pittsburgh Foundation A W Mellon Grant. With residencies at Springboard Danse Montreal, The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, Dance Place, The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at the CUNY Graduate Center, the Space Upstairs and the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University.

Empathy machine has been performed across the east coast. You can read more about empathy machine (and an interview with slowdanger) here:

Past Showings:
Dance Place AMPLIFY 2019–2020 Season — Washington D.C. October 2019 (D.C. Premiere)
The Martin E. Segal Theater Center CUNY Graduate Center — NYC September 2019
The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater Fall 2019 Season — Pittsburgh PA August 2019 (World Premiere)
The New Hazlett Theater — Pittsburgh PA June 9 2019 for pearlPRESENTS Festival (excerpt)
The Space Upstairs — Pittsburgh PA Feb. 16 2019 (excerpt)
Carnegie Museum of Art — Pittsburgh PA August 2018 for Third Thursdays ​(excerpt)
Usine C — Montreal June 2018 for Springboard Danse Montreal Emerging Choreographers Platform (installation)
Université du Québec à Montréal — Montreal June 2018 for Springboard Danse Montreal (installation)

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