Visualizing the visceral aspects of human movement to provide access to new sensory experiences.

I am interested in providing non-dancers with access to the sensory information that can motivate choreographic and improvisatory choices, as well as the emotional experiences the can be evoked by such sensory information. This is is motivated by a personal renaissance when I began to shift my attention from classical ballet to contemporary dance. I learned to pay attention to the physical sensation of moving my body in particular ways, which opened up channels for new proprioceptive, touch, and emotional experiences. It also provided a new input for choreographic choices, and I found myself inventing movements that felt good or uncomfortable. In several projects, I have attempted to provide greater information about what a movement feels like to an observer by visualizing motion capture data in different ways.

Most significantly, ProprioLoop is an interactive motion visualizer designed to train a mover's attention to consciously consider non-visual sensory input in the movement decision-making process. With visuals that amplify and highlight physically sensible differences in movement, such as sudden or sustained changes in momentum, the audience gains access to the more intimate, subjective experience of the mover.

ProprioLoop was born out of a project for MotionBank's 4th Choreographic Coding Lab in New York City. Our team, Caitin Sikora, Eozin Che, and Chanwook Min, aimed to explore decision making in the movement improvisational setting through motion capture and visualization. We hoped to make the proprioceptive and equilibrioceptive experiences of the dancer more visible to an observer.

At the onset of the Choreographic Coding Lab, our team had recorded motion capture data for improvisations focused on three decision-making models. As we learned more about moving in the motion capture system and working with the data, we decided it could be useful to create an app to visualize physical parameters of human movement like momentum, center of mass, and acceleration for dancers to use as an improvisational training tool. Dancers could use the visualization to determine how accurate and honest they were being to choices based on these parameters.

  • Collaborators: Eozin Che, Chanwook Min
  • Proprioloop was demonstrated at Hacking Arts Festival 2015 at MIT Media Lab.

Special thanks to Choreographic Coding Lab 2015.

Visualizing Movement from Caitlin Sikora on Vimeo.

Featured works