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Vibrant Lives is a multimedia installation/performance project that weaves knowledge and practices from dance, music, and computer science. As an artwork, it engages users in a real-time experience of their own data production. By giving a metaphorical sense of the qualities of big data via the sensate body and imagery, the installation offers audiences information about the torrents of data we produce in our everyday lives and raises questions about how we value persons, objects, and information.

While passively experiencing data is provocative, we believe that providing a

framework for people to enact upon the data will offer more embodied engagement. We are currently exploring how movement, the sensorial body and haptic feedback work in concert through our research with the Woojers, and we are developing real-time improvisation structures based off of this research.

Exploring the role of the body in our experience of data, we bring attention to the boundaries erected by ideas of disembodied, abstracted, “immaterial” metadata and people. In this, participants are offered physical, tactile and active experiences with their own data through the use of interactive vibrotactile interfaces and real time movement composition structures.

The Vibrant Lives team is a collaborative of interdisciplinary artists, choreographers and digital humanists, we are Jacque Wernimont, Jessica Rajko and Eileen Standley. We are currently exploring the experience of personal data shed by designing a system that allows users to experience their own data loss through personal haptic devices called Woojers.

The full performance installation is a multisensory collage of image, sound, movement, and bodies. Highly flexible and malleable to various spaces and audiences, the primary components are interactive vibrotactile interfaces, dancers, ambient soundscape, visual projection and dynamically shedding costumes . The most recent performance at Arizona State University involved a large chorus of performers and multiple spaces .

This large-scale version is easily tailored back for smaller more intimate spaces and settings. In all iterations, the performers engage participants in simple real time composition scores and perform improvisational scores inspired by the technical, theoretical and cultural implications of personal data.

As with all improvisational structures, negotiations are made in the moment. The collective mind of the group is expressed through multiple bodies and actions. The dance begins to create its own real time logic (or composition of shifting meaning), and both participants and performers alike can easily engage or be aggregated into this activity.

Vibrant Lives creates a space in which participants can fluidly enter into an embodied experience of their own data, participate as they choose, and leave when they are ready. The purpose of this installation is not to hold people captive, but provide a highly multisensory space in which people engage in a more physically and tactually heightened experience, on their own terms. No participant is required to engage with any of the activities, and witnessing is offered to those who may not want to actively engage.

The purpose is not to force people to enact, but to posit, what does it mean to create a space in which whole bodied action rather than inaction is the primary means of embodying a concept?


Eileen Standley is an artist who works with a variety of media in performance or

installation settings. What she creates is predominantly influenced by her

background as a choreographer and dancer. Her work crosses disciplines of

dance making, video art, installation, and performance art. Informed by practices

of realtime composition/ improvisation, live art, somatically-driven investigations

and collaborative tendencies, her performances, as well as video and installation work have been presented nationally and internationally.After 24 years of living and working in Europe, Eileen recently returned to the U.S. Her life, artistic practice, and research are now based in Arizona where she was offered a faculty position as Clinical Professor at Arizona State University’s School of


Jessica Rajko is a performer, choreographer and interdisciplinary digital media artist. As an assistant professor at Arizona State University, her current interests include whole body interaction design, wearable technology design for dance, feminist digital culture, and the human experience of big data. She has

collaborated with artists such as Mary Fitzgerald, David Therrien and Todd

Ingalls and performed for artists such as Ann Ludwig, Ashleigh Leite, Nora

Chipaumire and Charlotte Boye-Christensen.

Jessica is the Co-Founder of urbanSTEW, a non-profit organization whose

mission is to inspire and expand the relevance of digital arts in the community.

Through urbanSTEW, Jessica has developed artist workshops, curated

interactive art installations and created interactive, multidisciplinary artwork.

urbanSTEW’s recent work The Amyloid Project is an interdisciplinary work

created in collaboration with ASU Physics Professor Dr. Sara Vaiana. The

Amyloid Project fuses interactive art, dance, music and physics research to

create this multifaceted artwork. This project was commissioned by Mesa Arts

Center for their SPARK! Festival of Creativity. Mesa Arts Center also

commissioned urbanSTEW’s award-winning work Intonarumori, which has been

exhibited internationally.

Jacqueline Wernimont: I am an assistant professor of English at Arizona State

University, where I specialize in literary history, feminist digital media, histories of

quantification, and technologies of commemoration. Currently a Fellow of the

Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, I work on new civil rights in digital cultures with

a particular emphasis on the long histories of our technologies and practices. I

am an active part of the FemTechNet collective. My other affiliations include the

Center for Cybersecurity and Digital Identity, the Nexus Lab for Transdisciplinary

Informatics and Digital Humanities, and the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. I teach on topics related to early modern literature, digital

media, history of science, and feminist and possible worlds theory.

I am part of several collaborative projects, each of which has a link in the sidebar.

I’m also working on a monograph that traces long histories (21st century to 16th

century) of particular technologies like archives and body counts. I took a Ph.D.

and M.A. in English Literature from Brown University and a B.A. in English from

the University of Iowa, where I also studied Molecular Biology. I cut my digital

humanities teeth at the Brown University Women Writers Project, where I began

as an encoder and later worked as the project manager and textbase editor. Prior

to ASU, I taught at Harvey Mudd College as a fellow and visiting assistant

professor and at Scripps College as an Assistant Professor of English.

Exhibitions (SELECTED):

2014 State of Affairs - re-site (multichannel video installation) Arizona State Unviersity - Galvin Theater.

2013 Gesture of Imagination (single channel video) – IDN Short Dance Films Mercat des Flores, Barcelona, Spain; Institute for Humanities Art Show “Imaginatio(n)ow”, Arizona State University; Extending Gesture Colloquium at Edinburgh University, Scotland; Linus Galleries, Los Angels, CA (online and live exhibition); Videoholica 2013, Varna, Bulgaria

2012 Flowing Waters (single channel video)– National Theater Tokyo, Japan – commission Company Deux

2011 State of Affairs – (multi channel video installation)

Tempe Center for the Arts, AZ

2010 Desert Water (single channel video) - Tokyo Metropolitan Theater, Japan – commission Company Deux

2009 One third-Video and performance installation. Art Detour Festival, Phoenix, AZ

2009 Joining Waters – Amsterdam to Tokyo (video projection)- Asahi Art Square, Tokyo, Japan

2007 Hommage a Baudrillard, Festival de Musique Electroacoustique, Bourges,France (video projection)

2006 For James (single channel video) Amsterdam, NL

2005 Slow White Dance (multi channel video installation) MufthalleTheater, Munich Germany

2003-04 Video animations and projections created for Magpie Music Dance Company

2003 The Enigmatic Operetta, (interactive media collaboration) Frascati Theater, Amsterdam, NL

2003 Amoeba Blues (video and animation in performances) Brakke Grond Theater, Amsterdam, NL

2002 Weather in a Box interactive media collaboration, Frascati Theater, Amsterdam, NL

Les Recontres International 2015

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