The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

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PPAIR Reflections: Allie Cooper Looks Back on her Interactive Aerial Dance Performance

As part of our ongoing Participatory Performing Artist-in-Residence Program (PPAIR) Allie led an immersive aerial dance performance with visitors at GLOW: A Festival of Fire & Light on the Saturday, October 19th digital art night (click here for more info). Audience-generated data channeled into a responsive display of light and sound for Allie’s performance.

by Allie Cooper

Life has somewhat returned to normal a week after our Performance at Glow. I had been working closely with my collaborators, visual artist G. Craig Hobbs and musician LoWGritt, since early summer, and last week’s participatory performance was the culmination of countless hours of rehearsals, brainstorming, and trouble-shooting. Everything came together in the final hours. The lights, sound, projections, and interactive interfaces all worked in unison to create an immersive and atmospheric setting which inspired the aerial performance. f17

Our interactive tetrahedron looked beautiful as projected shards of color were generated as the audience touched it, and the Midi Fighter was constantly being used to alter the sound-scape. Unfortunately, the sound elements weren’t always noticeable due to the ambient noise in the room, so that is something for us to consider if we repeat the project.  Overall, feedback was positive and I am very happy with the final product.

I am very grateful for my experience as an Artist in Residence at the MAH, because it allowed me to take on risks and to produce something out of my comfort zone. The technical side of this project was a challenge that I really enjoyed and one that I hope to continue exploring.  More than anything, having the opportunity to perform in Santa Cruz was the most rewarding aspect of this project. So often I travel to perform my art that it is rare that I can share what I do with my community.  It was a joy to have the support of so many friends and family in the audience. The PPAIR program is a fantastic resource for Santa Cruz and I am excited to see what other artists are able to share with their community as a result.

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