Dancing to Twitter: An Experimental Artistic Performance to Shine a Light on Mental Health


Visual artist, coder, sound engineer and mental health expert collaborate for an intriguing live event titled ‘Together With Touch’

There are a few unusual – and therefore intriguing – things about “Together With Touch,” a live art performance focused on mental health. First, the nature of the event itself. It involves contemporary dance, sounds generated via a live Twitter feed, and an audience that can shape that sound.

Contributors to this event in Bangalore include a mental health expert, coder, sound artist and visual artist.

The venue for this event is not in an intimate and silent art space, but in a shopping mall. While the event is primarily about mental health, there is also a subtext on social media, tech, consumerism, global connection, among others.

That’s all … a little abstract, right?

“Yes, it is supposed to be,” jokes visual artist Lena Heubusch on a call from Germany. Lena organized this event. She was supposed to come to India as part of bangaloREsidency, an artist exchange program. But the pandemic turned out to be an obstacle. Some time later, when she got the opportunity to be a part of the Virtual Artistic Exchange 2021 – facilitated by longtime Max Mueeler partner Bhavan Bangalore and bangaloREsidency host Walkin Studios – Lena came up with this idea.

“The word ‘contact’ has become very important over the past two years due to the pandemic. Our physical contact was limited, but we contacted each other digitally, ”she says. Upon reflection, she posed these questions: How is contact perceived when organisms touch each other through modern technology? How can we experience the feeling of being a body in the digital realm?

These questions led to the creation of ‘Together With Touch’.

For this project, Lena brought together three Indian artists: sound artist Nikhil Nagaraj, creative coder Gaurav Singh and movement artist Avril Stormy Unger, also an expert in mental health.

Gaurav and Nikhil contributed with an algorithm that created sounds for Twitter conversations related to mental health. On the day of the event, there will be a live Twitter feed that generates a sound to which Avril will respond with movement or even stillness.

Spectators at the mall will not be passive observers. They can send tweets that will modify the sounds and therefore the movements of Avril, thus bridging the digital and physical worlds.

The show takes place at Vega City Mall on December 18 at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and publicdomain.garden online


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