IOTA Institute is embarking on a new creative research stream into the interventionist quality of bodies in movement through familiar expressions of dance and performance art. “Interventionist” refers to the performance methods artists use inside and outside the institution of dance, to disrupt and expose existing expectations around embodied movement. We consider small acts such as blinking, breathing, or collective bodies in motion through public space as examples of ‘movements’ that can be documented, scored, and presented as new forms of art. Here, artists, choreographers, curators, and collaborators use technology to bring the experiential movements to a viewer by creating knowledge exchange around performance strategies, studies on the body that enter the realm of bio art (using biofeedback sensors), interventionist public art, choreography for art video production as a form of dance dissemination, and visual artworks using a health devices to perform analysis of bio-electrical activity in the body.
This project is made possible due to the support of Canada Council for the Arts and Arts Nova Scotia.
Brendan Fernandes & Home Ex
Brendan Fernandes is entering into a mentorship with I’thandi Munro and the Home Ex art collective. Munro is conducting research in the creation of art videos for dance and wearable sculpture worn during dance performances and this mentorship supports the collective’s direction in choreographing movement with the use of props.
Jacinthe Armstrong from the Dance Collective SiNS (Somewhere in Nova Scotia) is working with IOTA as a mentor for project planning, consciously integrating an artistic/curatorial approach into the administrative work of contemporary dance.
They are particularly inspired by IOTA’s innovative approach to facilitation and dissemination of artistic research and production, tailored uniquely to each artist/group and addressing pressing socio-cultural issues, hoping to see if these similar threads could be applied to the support of dance professionals.
Germaine Koh & Lou Sheppard
In their research partnership, Germaine Koh & Lou Sheppard are they are looking into public art and how it intervenes and directs body movements within a public space.
Sarah Prosper & Jeanette Kotowich
Sarah Prosper & Jeanette Kotowich are embarking on a fluid movement-based mentorship. In Jeanette’s words, “We are two artists, asking ourselves and each-other questions about our independent indigenous dance practices. Sarah and I met one year ago, and we instantly fell in love with the Spirit generated between us. This is a fortunate opportunity for us to deepen our artistic connection and look to the future of our bodies in movement. All my relations.”
Amanda Dawn Christie
As a former contemporary dancer, many of Amanda Dawn Christie’s works involve reframing and reclaiming value for technological systems as well as human bodily systems that are different, disabled, breaking down, and/or otherwise deemed unworthy of maintenance by dominant cultures. Her most recent project involves collaborating with plasma physicists at HAARP to create radio transmission artwork related to space science. The artist is now preparing to move from space science to medical technology as her focus shifts from electromagnetic waves in outer space, to electrochemical neurotransmissions inside the human body, as a means to investigate bodily relationships to medical research and technologies. Working with her own body and impairments as a starting point, the artist is developing a project that will use electrical impulses from her own body to generate audio and images that address gender bias in medical research. She is using EEG sensors, heart rate monitors, and a pelvic biofeedback probe to generate audio and image works from the electrical impulses emitted from her brain, heart, and pelvic floor muscles. She foresees developing this research through interdisciplinary partnerships with medical researchers and computer coding technicians, with the goal of developing an interface that will allow for the creation of choreographies for deep muscle tissue and the autonomic nervous system.
Brendan Fernandes (b. 1979, Nairobi, Kenya) is an internationally recognized artist working at the intersection of dance and visual arts. Based in Chicago, Brendan’s projects address issues of race, queer culture, migration, protest and other forms of collective movement. Committed to creating new spaces and new forms of agency, Brendan’s projects take on hybrid... Read More
Jacinte Armstrong is an Acadian artist based in K’jipuktuk/Halifax, NS. Her work explores embodied practice through performance, choreography, collaboration, and curation, communicating the experience of the body in relation to objects, materials, and people. Jacinte is Artistic Director and co-founder of SiNS (Sometimes in Nova Scotia) dance, Administrative and Artistic Producer at suddenlyLISTEN, and performs regularly with Mocean... Read More
Wisunn na Sarah Prosper (she/they/nekmow), Mikmaw/L’nu e’pite’s of the Eskasoni Mi’kmaq First Nation. Amalkewinu (dancer) holds a BSc Therapeutic Recreation, is a MA in Leisure Studies student, and a proclaimed community artist of the Wabanaki East Coast. Her first work created as an artistic director and choreographer is the Merritt Award winning show SAMQWAN in 2021-2023... Read More
Originally from Treaty 4 territory Saskatchewan , Jeanette Kotowich creates work that reflects Nêhiyaw/Métis cosmology within the context of Indigenous performance, Indigenous futurism and contemporary dance. Her creations have been presented at theatres and festivals across so-called Canada, including Kwê at Matriarchs Uprising and The Dance Centre’s Dance In Vancouver. In the summer... Read More
Lou Sheppard is an interdisciplinary artist from K’jipuktuk/Halifax. Sheppard graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2006 and then studied English and Education at Mount Saint Vincent University. In 2017 they received the Emerging Atlantic Artist Award and in 2018 they were long listed for the Sobey Art Award.
Germaine Koh is a Canadian artist and curator based on the west coast of Turtle Island, in traditional Coast Salish territories. Her work adapts familiar situations, everyday actions and common spaces to encourage connections between people, technology, and natural systems. Her ongoing projects include Home Made Home, an initiative to build and advocate for alternative forms of... Read More