Ecosystemically designing environments for collective play with gesturally modulated media, textures, and objects
In this workshop, participants will try their hand at a variety of tangible, embodied, and embedded sensing and feedback technologies including vibrotactile instruments, expressive mechatronics, gesturally modulated fields of light, sound, mist; realtime steerable immersive atmospheres. Working through hands-on experience by theme, participants will be introduced to compositional and experimental methodologies. In the second half of the workshop, participants will compose together some simple “ecosystems” using the Synthesis Center’s hardware-software media choreography architecture (sc), in the iStage experimental theater-scale blackbox space.
Palpability and Wearable Computing
In this workshop, we will engage in small movement explorations to slow down and witness the rich information provided through our active, seeking senses. Movement explorations will transition directly into wearable technology play. No prior movement experience is assumed, but participants should come wearing comfortable clothing that they can sit and lie down in. We will work with:
Participants will get an opportunity to engage in embodied explorations that prioritize palpable, pre-rational ways of knowing and experiencing the world. Explorations will be contextualized with facilitated discussions about felt experience, kinesthetic learning, and embodied agency.
What is somatic practices?
Generally described, somatic practices use self-observation techniques to consciously recognize and unlock habitual behavioral patterns through both movement and active stillness. The field of somatic practices is not comprised of a single practice
but is made up of several practices originally cultivated over two generations of somatic
pioneers including FM Alexander (Alexander Technique), Irmgard Bartenieff (Bartenieff Fundamentals of Movement), Gerda Alexander (Gerda Alexander Eutony), Moshe Feldenkrais (Feldenkrais Method), Mabel Ellsworth Todd (Ideokinesis), Charlotte Selver (Sensory Awareness), Ida Rolf (Structural Integration, Rolfing, and Rolf Movement), and Milton Trager (Trager Method) .
 Eddy, Martha. Mindful movement: The evolution of the somatic arts and conscious action. Intellect, 2016.
Steerable Complex Systems
We introduce methods modeled from living ecosystems to condition the experience of richly mediated responsive environments for enactive experiments: improvisation over artfully prepared conditions. Working with
We work hands-on with alternatives to boolean / procedural and stochastic logics thinking ecosystemically in terms of continuous, multivalent state:
We will provide access to large blackbox space with media system, manipulable objects, sensor kits.
Sha Xin Wei
We introduce approaches to exploring haptic experiences grounded in knowledge and practices from digital musical instrument design (DMI) and computer music performance. Themes include:
We will provide:
- customised vibrotactile feedback devices
- tactile transducer speakers
- sound card
We introduce expressive mechatronics as an artistic, philosophical and engineering practice that uses general themes and material instantiations of robotics as its foundation and foil. Expressive mechatronics applications are not task oriented. We treat materials, forms and structures as modes of computation. Examples range from circuit-bending and puppetry to fluidics "analog computing."
Byron Lahey (sculpture, media arts and sciences)
Seth Thorn (music, altoglove + spatialized violin)
Rhythm and Heat Games
We introduce different ways to mediate temporal patterns (rhythmic textures) via hybrid fields of tangible media meshed with light and sound. Our motivating question is: How do value-producing socio-technical processes synchronize, blend, diverge, interfere with one another? Borrowing from Lefebvre, we use rhythm as the hinge. For our purposes, rhythm can be described as the variation of material = energy + matter + media through different biosocial and physical states. Understood this way, rhythm is not sonic, it does not have to be regular periodic, indeed it does not have to be unidimensional but textural.
Garrett L Johnson
Synthesis @ ASU is an atelier for creating richly mediated environments for sociality and play. It is also a center sustaining associate research streams, currently including Atmosphere and Place, Improvisational Environments, Rhythmanalysis, Vegetal Experience, and Ontogenesis.
Workshop Organizers / Participants
Garrett L Johnson
Alexia Lopez Klein