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AND bring an expressive virtual world populated by corporeal sounds and generative imagery from dancers’ bodies to a wider audience.

[radical] signs of life is one of the first large-scale uses of biotechnology to integrate networked bodies and interactive dance.

Through responsive dance, [radical] signs of life externalizes the mind’s non-hierarchical distribution of thought. Music is generated from the dancers‘ muscles and blood flow via biophysical sensors that capture sound waves from the performers’ bodies. This data triggers complex neural patterns to be projected onto multiple screens as 3D imagery. As the audience interacts with the images produced, they enter into a dialogue with the dancers.

Here are a few unique highlights:

1) The project feature’s the Xth sense, a biophysical sensor that detects and captures sound waves produced at the onset of musculature contraction. It was named the “world’s most innovative new musical instrument” by Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology (US, 2012).
2) We received limited funds from Harvestworks’ Creativity + Technology = Enterprise Fellowship to develop the wireless network & stand alone armband for the Xth Sense, enabling dancers’ the freedom of mobility. This will be the first open source, wearable, wireless biotechnology that everybody will be able to build themselves for free, hack or buy kits.
3) We also participated in an Artistic Residency at the Contemporary Dance and Fitness Center in Montpelier, Vermont, which granted rehearsal space to develop the choreography and culminated in a work-in-progress showcase of [radical].
4) We then further developed the multi-disciplinary aspects of the project (sound, movement, imagery, set, costumes & networking) over a five day period at the Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), and had a two day, sold out premiere of the work. Documentation coming soon!

We’re now poised to take [radical] signs of life out into the world. But we need your support!

If you want to learn more about the project, many of the details live on our project blog here: I can also send along more information on all the collaborators, technology employed, and conceptual ideas. Or alternately, arrange a follow up chat at your convenience. Please email me at [email protected].

If you are able to make a contribution &/or can spread the word about the campaign, please visit our Kickstarter page here:

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble and network, blog, and publisher, He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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