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Ubiquitous States

Ubiquitous States is an interactive performance that combines live heartbeats into a data visualization by new media performance artist Tiffany Trenda, 3D Systems (the largest specialized 3D printing company) and designer Janne Kyttanen. Trenda will don a 3D printed dress that has an embedded computer screen. The image on the screen will show a data visualization of both the participant’s and Trenda’s heartbeat. In Ubiquitous States, the performance will question, if we can have authentic human connections using today’s vernacular technology?

During the performance, the artist will approach a spectator and place a heart monitor (located at Trenda’s fingertip inside the glove) on the viewer’s wrist or neck. Once the sensor reads the pulse of the user, the imagery on the screen will change and show both pulses simultaneously. Trenda and the viewer will try and match their rhythms’ to create another change in the animation, making the performance interactive.

“The amazing growth of our techniques, the adaptability and precision they have attained, the ideas and habits they are creating, make it a certainty that profound changes are impending in the ancient craft of the Beautiful.” – Paul Valéry The Conquest of Ubiquity 1928

In Veléry’s The Conquest of Ubiquity, he describes the current state of our techno-obsessed culture where our tools of precision have changed our behaviors. Today, these tools are primarily our screens (smart phones, tablets, computers, etc.). They give us the ability to download, text, talk, and interact anywhere with the surface of the skin and surface of the computer. Thus, we are living in both the physical and the simulated world simultaneously and we are unable to fully engage in the present. Instead, we are hiding behind our devices and masking our primitive desires of having real time physical interactions. This questions the authenticity of our behaviors using these vernacular technologies. In Ubiquitous States, the performance will unite the heartbeats of both artist and the participant and will measure our emotional connections through the virtual.

2015 Special Projects at Context Art Miami

Provided images are © Tiffany Trenda and EMS Eric Minh Swenson 2015
Images shot by Eric Minh Swenson