CELSO | Driven Arts Collective
Community Emotional Light Sound Organism
CELSO Community Emotional Light Sound Organism is an ongoing project to design an immersive and reactive performance environment. Dancers will use masks and other sensor activated wearables (facial muscle movement / electroactive sensors) to transmit and “communicate” with sound, light, and other elements of the theatrical space in feedback loops.
About the Collective
Driven Arts Collective is a San Francisco Bay Area based team of makers, dancers, visual artists, musicians, engineers, and thinkers. We investigate planned and spontaneous ingenuity through technologically infused performance art, experimental dance, real-time generative music and video, custom-designed wearable technology, video art and film, and whatever else we can get our hands on!
Our history is an evolution of performance themes and instrument design that reflect a desire for open lines of communication between the body and emerging technologies. We ask audiences to question the impact of technology on the human experience and present alternatives to current technological narratives.
Emotion recognition technology is increasingly used to make normative judgements on mental health and body image with the intention of suggesting behavioral and biobehavioral optimizations through quantification and categorization of physiological data into discrete emotional boxes. This technology is deployed in classrooms, workplaces, surveillance systems, and prisons making decisions that impact people’s lives and access to opportunities without consensus on it’s ethics, accuracy, or validity. We will engage audiences through an artistic, speculative process in which multimodal bio-emotion recognition is used to encourage emotional (self)reflection and insight for communities and individuals. Through this process, we seek to raise awareness of the widespread use of these technologies and the potential harm for people who are miscategorized or othered.
We aim to bring together audiences who use and think about data —academics, scientists, designers and policy-makers— with audiences who typically don’t, but nevertheless use and produce it. We imagine a future in which biosensing technology benefits people rather than attempting to define them in limiting categories such as consumers or products of carceral systems. CELSO seeks to mobilize critical conversation around data consent, along with the use and misuse of biodata, while welcoming audiences to perceive themselves in the performance.
«KHÔRA» is a contemporary dance performance describing the experience of existing in digital and physical spaces at once. With cracklebox masks, bioelectric wearable touch instruments, and motion sensor technology that translate the dancer’s movements into sound, << Khôra >> explores the effect of technology on how we move and interact. With an infinity of open tabs, the internet appears to our spatial sensitivities as a field which receives all without becoming anything, lending itself to a conflict in spatial awareness: What does it mean to inhabit digital spaces? And from there, a consideration in simultaneity: How to inhabit digital and physical space at once? Our feet firmly planted in the physical. Dwelling. Being in Space. And at the same time, mentally traversing continents and rabbit holes: we cede control to the algorithms that swim around us – an evolving realm of hungry ghosts. Eager for attention and time, they capitalize on our “being there” – are completely dependent on our immaterial “placeness” in a digital sphere. Introducing wearable touch instruments requiring human bioelectricity to complete their circuits, and utilizing motion sensor technology to translate the dancers’ movement into sound << Khôra >> gives voice to the blossoming “Seers” all around us: They know where we are moving, and how fast, and in what direction. They know what we want before we do, because they remember what we have wanted before. They move with us. They use our bodies to sing. They constrict our daily gestures to the miniscule tapping of an opposable thumb. Do we resist them? Even when they connect us to one another?