SENSES PLACES @ Vivarium Festival

Friday March 29 2019
Workshop Senses Places: Rooting to Virtualize
> 3:00-9:00AM (SLT GMT-7)
Senses Places Participatory Performance in Mixed Reality Environment
> 10:00-11AM (SLT GMT-7)

Physical Public Location: Maus Hábitos – Espaço de Intervenção CulturalRua Passos Manuel, 178 4º, Porto, Portugal

Virtual Location: Odyssey Simulator

Streaming Channels

Senses Places is a dance-technology collaborative project creating a playful mixed reality performance environment for audience participation. Generating whole body multimodal interfacings keen to a somatic cross-cultural approach, the project stresses an integration of simultaneous local and remote connections, where participants and environments meet towards a kinesthetic/synesthetic engagement. The experimental, cross-disciplinary and culturally-critical improvisational dance practice pursued through the somatic-technological vision underpinning Senses Places allows us to not only stay grounded in our physical bodies, but to actually grow deeper roots and encompass more conscious integrated states while increasingly expanding virtually through embodied interfacing modes.

The HMI Human-Machine Interfaces to explore include:

1. person-vr avatar and environment interface (MUVE Second Life®)
2. person-image vídeo streaming or telematic interface
3. person-avatar webcam interface (Second Life®)
4. person-environment biometric interface (Arduíno, Processing).
These interfaces were developed in collaboration with Todd Cochrane (NMI, Nova Zelândia), Artica (PT), Joana Martins (IST, PT), Nick Rothwell (Cassiel, RU), José Coelho (UAb, PT), André Bahiense and others (Ramo IEEE UFBA), in the context of Senses Places project – Mixed Reality Participatory Environment since 2010

Technical requirements before starting:
One or all interfaces need to be activated:
1. Person-vr avatar and environment interface: Have an avatar in Second Life and a computer with webcam and average to fast internet access.
2.3. Person-image videostream interface: 3/4 channels
2.1. Isabel/Butler2 Evelyn: (from Naus Hábitos, Porto)
2.2. Kae/Junkae: to confirm
2.3. Liz Solo: to confirm
2.4. Maus Hábitos: to confirm (from Naus Hábitos, Porto)

3. Person-avatar webcam interface: Get the HUD(s) and instructions to activate interface in Giver at Odyssey SLURL provided.

!!! Estão tod@s convidad@s !!!
!!! All are invited !!!

Participatory performance SCORE

This optional score proposes the participants to engage with oneanother in performative situations based on improvisational and integrative Eastern-Western movement-dance approaches. During the performance, participants-performers choose at least 2 situations and to engage with, change them at will, and are invited to play their own animations or Fullbody HUDs towards emerging connections from the eclectic/hybrid embodiments.
Although there is no fixed sequence, we propose to start in a circle sitting on the ground, getting further closer to each other, including touch or sensing eachothers’ soma (felt body), as well as exploding in all spatial directions. Including moves and auras related to the situations.
The animations (Motion Capture and Artifitial) are grouped inside the HUDs according with the situations

SCORE Situations
A. Rooting – floor poses & moves connecting bodies-environments
B. Standing / Empowering – Avatar Buddha, Yoga & Power poses
C. Traveling Earthy – expanding in horizontal and vertical space
D. Orbiting / Intercorporeal Flocking – like birds and micro-macro quantum-astral elements
E. In Between Earth & Sky – mixing falling, getting up, and flying animations/moves
About SCORE Situations
A. Rooting / Grounding
Engage in seating, lying and moving on the floor relating to webcam-avatar and videostream-images interfaces. Staying and changing poses and movement on the floor, connecting to our inner bodies and the ground, eachother and environment, taking into account occasional touch or intertwining amongst performers and/or avatars.

B. Standing Poses / Empowering
Embodiment of standing poses, choosing a spot in spatial relationship with others, changing location/pose at least once. Changing physical pose/movement within pose affects/changes avatar poses and vices versa.

C. Traveling / Earthy
Moving expanding through space. experimenting to follow someone. Changing energy flow connecting to all body parts, oneanother, and environment. Trying to witness/encompass all. Including walking, running, stopping, Tai Chi and Contact Improvisation.

D. Orbiting / Flying
Floating and moving in aerial space and in closer group connection, including the aerial poses, flocking trajectories, and jumps.

Let’s allow our bodies to interact intuitively, attaining for close/intimate/inner/somatic/energetic/kinesthetic connections, bringing into play our senses and subjective trans-cultural backgrounds. Our common concept is the experimentation and reflection upon the very shared interfacing experience and what kind of dance emerges through this mixed reality approach. The experiment is anchored in the sense of embodying together in augmented networked selves to which we learn to adapt for our own and environment good.


Isabel Valverde/Butler2 Evelyn (artistic director, choreographer, performer, PT)
Todd Cochrane/Toddles Aeon (technical director, developer, SL expert, NZ)
Ana Moura/Anisabel (choreographer, performer, PT)
Barbara Teixeira/Kikas Babenko (SL performance artist, PT)
Liz Solo (SL multidisciplinary artist and curator Odyssey, CA)
SaveMe Oh (SL visual theater artist, NL)
Isa Seppi/Janjii Rugani (choreographer, performer, BR)
Clara Gomes/Lux Nix (video artist, performer, PT)
Yukihiko Yoshida/Island Habana (coordinator of Japan node, dance educator, critic, JP)
Kae Ishimoto (choreographer, performer, JP)
Jun Makime (choreographer, performer, JP)
Yumi Sagara (choreographer, performer, JP)
Vasco Sá Cabral (visual artist, physical environment, PT)
Keiji Mitsubuchi (developer, SL expert, JP)
Paulo Fernandes/Genious Bickin (SL designer, performer, PT)
Catarina Carneiro de Sousa/CapCat Ragu (Meta_body avatar design, PT)
Sameiro Oliveira Martins/Meilo Minotaur (Meta_body avatar design, PT)
Artica (biometric interface, PT)
Nick Rothwell/Cassiel (sound interface system, composer, UK)
Mick Mengucci (image-sound interface, developer artist, PT/IT)
Joana Martins/Fonteyn (webcam interface design, performer, PT)
Fernando Cassola Marques (researcher Kinect interface, PT)
José Coelho (developer, biometric-environment interface, PT),
Members of Laboratório Mocap UFBA (mocap animation, BR)
IEEE/UFBA Branch Students André Bahiense, Marcus Cardial, Otávio Cartaxo, Rodrigo Aguiar (biometric-environment interface, BR)
Jean Souza (electronic musician, BR)


Senses Places is a resident project at Odyssey Contemporary Art and Performance Simulator (Second Life®)
Event at Vivarium Festival:

Senses Places at Corporealidades Pós-humanas

Odyssey Simulators

Senses Places – the collective founded and led by Portugal’s Interdisciplinary artist Isabel Valverde – presented a program of work at this year’s Corporealidades Pós-humanas in Salvador, Brazil. Collaborators joined Isabel online at the Senses Places studio on Odyssey. Performers and audiences participated from Brazil via different portals including live streams and Second Life.

Senses Places uses different devices – wii-motes, motion sensors, webcams – to connect avatars to dancers and performers in real space. Dancer movements trigger movements in avatars online. These movements are then reinterpreted by dancers in real time (via projection), creating feedback loops and RL/VR interaction.

Here are some images documenting a Senses Places event at Corporealidades Pós-humanas, from Odyssey’s perspective.
(Images by liz solo – with Kikas Babenco, SaveMe Oh, Isabel Valverde)

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Senses Places at Odyssey/Open Sim Conference

Odyssey Simulators

sensesplacesopensim_030Odyssey is proud to provide a home to Senses Places – a dance based mixed reality project by Isabel Valverde and collaborators. The project runs a mixed reality participatory environment on the Odyssey Simulator in Second Life and this week presented performances and demonstrations at the 2016 Open Sim Community Conference.

Here are some images from one of the performances at the conference.Dancers and other participants in RL (real life) link to their avatars via a webcam interface. The webcam picks up mocap points on the dancer’s body and translates the movement (via the internet) to the dancer’s avatar in world.


Senses Places is a dance-technology collaborative project creating a playful mixed reality performance environment for audience participation. Generating whole body multimodal interfacings keen to a somatic cross-cultural approach, the project stresses an integration of simultaneous local and remote connections, where participants and environments…

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Archiving hybrid-reality performance

Very happy to find this post from Selena Chau regarding her selection of Senses Places as the hybrid-reality performance for the archival collection of Stanford Digital Archive! It was great to work with her 😀

Selena Chau

This summer I have been working with Henry Lowood at Stanford University to create an archival collection for a hybrid-reality performance. Mr. Lowood’s experience in archiving virtual worlds and understanding of the complexities of archiving machinma, and other artists creations using company software has been necessary for guiding my project.

I have explored reasons why virtual reality technology and virtual worlds are an important aspect of performance, especially when it relates to creativity with dance projects

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Mixed-reality performance: dance and virtual worlds

An interesting short article featuring Senses Places by Selena Chau only found now from 2014 😉

Selena Chau

From From

Historically, dance is a presentation, entertainment that is meant to be enjoyed in the proscenium: ballet, acrobatic, opera. Even on screen, audiences have been meant to watch from their “window.” Dance has moved beyond its historical origins in endless artistic innovation and new formulations of existing tools and skills for expression of movement in time and space. Site-specific works, shown in alternative performance spaces, invite the audience closer to the work and to even engage within the dance piece. The inclusion of more vernacular movements and situations allows greater meaning for audiences, and more opportunities to connect with the work. Improvisation allows real-time communication and exploration between participants.

Dance performances have always been highly collaborative–with sets, costumes, music, lighting, and now more and more, with technology. Dance scholar Kerstin Evert (2002) describes the 1960s as a prominent historical period when media technologies integrated with dance. Additionally, she cites…

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Odyssey at Hi-Dance Festival with Senses Places

Fabulous post from Odyssey’s Blog from Senses Places @ Hi-Dance Festival 1.0 showing convergence of different embodiments from Liz Solo’s hybrid perspective with music by Mike Kean

Odyssey Simulators

sensesplacespicOdyssey had the pleasure of hosting another event with Senses Places – Isabel Valverde and Senses Places at Hi-Dance Festival – Dance and Technology, Rome, Italy. Isabel performed live on stage with Odyssey artists/avatars. Avatars performed via large scale projections. Others, including Liz Solo and Mike Kean of The Black Bag Media Collective also participated via live web stream.

Here is some documentation of the event from the BBMC Studio perspective with live streamed footage of the performance by Francesca Fini.

Isabel Valverde and Senses Places – Mixed Reality Performance and Participatory Environment
Hi-Dance Festival – Dance and Technology – Rome, Italy, February 17, 2015
also at The Black Bag Media Collective Studio, St John’s Newfoundland
and The Odyssey Simulator
with Isabel Valverde, SaveMe Oh, Liz Solo,  Francesca Fini,
Rita Paz/Zapa7ir, Isa Seppi/Janjii Rugani, Kikas Babenco, Todd Cochrane and others


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Senses Places in the Studio

About one year ago at lizsolo’s blog.
Soon updated documentation of this performance @ Metsverse Cultural Series / Avacon Feb 4, 2014, and other Senses Places instantiations pursuing the convergence of embodiment’s senses and places. We embarqued in more challenging interfacings at pertaining physical sites, including the Torres Vedras’ Castle at BANG AWARDS Festival (June 2014), and a Dome at Monte das Uvas, Loulé, for Danças Híbridas Festival (July 2014), towards richer mixed-reality intertwining 😀

liz solo

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere is a set of images from the most recent presentation of Senses Places – live at the Metaverse Cultural Series, the Odyssey Simulator and at remote locations participating via live web stream.

These pictures were taken from my studio perspective as me and partner Mike Kean participated by streaming the studio into Odyssey in Second Life and by projecting Odyssey into my studio (see This Post by the Odyssey Simulator  for a better explanation of the technology).

The space was small so rather than interact in the usual way (with movement) we played with music, shadows, mirrors, and interacting with the live projected space in small ways. I am looking forward to seeing more documentation from the other locations including the Physical site at ARTCASA in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Senses Places moves in

From Liz Solo at Odyssey Simulator sharing photos from Mixed Reality Contact Improvisation JAM @ Hybrid Dances #2, November 26, with the collaboration/support of Fábrica do Braço de Prata, Lisbon, Portugal and Odyssey Simulator, Second Life!

Odyssey Simulators

*sensesplacesff1Senses Places has taken up residence on the Odyssey Simulator with a new sky platform for rehearsals and performances.

Senses Places uses a live webcam interface to read movements of participants IRL. The interface then translates these movements to the participant’s avatar in virtual space. Another layer is added as RL dancers in remote locations interact with large-scale projections of these dancing avatars.

At one of Senses Places’ most recent events on Odyssey dancers in Portugal improvised against live projections of Second Life avatars (whose movement are being triggered by the webcam interfaces of Liz Solo and Isabel Valverde)







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Dance Week on Odyssey

We thanks Odyssey Simulator and Liz Solo for the collaboration and support of Senses Places providing a temporary residency.

Odyssey Simulators

*sensesplaces_008Senses Places and Odyssey presented an experimental hybrid reality dance jam session on Odyssey for International Dance Day. The mixed reality participatory environment involved a webcam capture interface and two live streams into Second Life. Movements in Real Life triggered movements in  avatars interacting with the webcam interface. Avatars and live dancers worked together to create unique movement sequences and hybrid interactions.

Isabel Valverde hosted a live stream from  Portugal  and Liz Solo from Newfoundland. Artists and others participated  from many locations via Second Life including SaveMe Oh who created many special effects.

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senses places @ 121212 Upstage Festival

Senses Places @ 121212 Upstage Festival – SL Screenshot of double screening of Livestream from Lisbon, Portugal. Taken at Odyssey Art & Performance Simulator, Second Life). With robot Nao, Ana Moura and Isabel Valverde (by Liz Solo)