"Brevity is the soul of wit" - Hamlet
"Technology is a trickster and it has been so since the first culture hero taught the human tribe how to spin wool before he pulled over our eyes..."
- Erik Davis, TechGnosis
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.