TEDxYYC 2018 Artists-in-Residence: Bianca Manuel & Gabriele Kuzabaviciute

Do advancements in digital communication affect the ways we live and share experiences? We are becoming ever more dependent on the digital world, and devices influence everything we do. With this installation, Artists-in-Residence Bianca Manuel and Gabriele Kuzabaviciute redefine the boundaries between digital and physical worlds.

What can people expect from this year’s AiR installation?

As multidisciplinary artists in computational media and performance art, Manuel and Kuzabaviciute study how technological advancements in digital communication affect the ways we live and share experiences. Most of us are aware that these advancements affect us, through different platforms, especially social media. However, we may not always be conscious of the degree to which they do.

We can all think of a time in recent memory where scrolling through social media left us agitated, gloomy, or even angry. Our engagement with social media shapes our perception of each other and our notion of self.

The name of their art piece is called “Selling the Idea of Yourself.” With the help of Michael Hung to achieve their vision, they will use the lobby to create a live art installation, which requires audience participation in selling the best idea of themselves.

How is the AiR installation relevant today?

With this live art installation, our Artists-in-Residence hope to make people consider how our behaviour on social media is constantly shifting. We became more ephemeral, and our interest in having online traces that define our identity is decreasing. We are moving from online photo albums, to single curated posts, to temporary stories lasting just 30 seconds. We are in constant flux, as are our shared memories.

People are beginning to design how they are perceived by others. They create diverse realities to engage their audiences and networks. The idea is to draw attention to the technological advancement of social media and its effects in the ways we communicate and share experiences.

How is this installation perfect for TEDxYYC 2018?

Our selected artists are both master students graduating this summer, one in Computational Media Design and the other in Drama/Technical Theatre. Both are interested in audience engagement and invitation. TEDxYYC is an opportunity to share their unique ideas for broad audiences to challenge, enrich, and enlarge their perspectives.

They are interested in exploring the intersection between computational media, space, and aesthetic experiences. With this installation, they will investigate the construction of a space and the embodied relation of audience/participants to trigger their awareness.

They are looking forward to applying their diverse knowledge in human/audience interaction, collaboration, and participation designing the final live art installation. TEDxYYC audiences are well known to be curious, open to new ideas, and highly engaged, making them a great fit for this installation.

Who are the Artists-in-Residence for TEDxYYC 2018?

Bianca Manuel is an MFA student in Drama, with a specialization in Design and Technical Theatre, at the University of Calgary. She is researching the role of Scenography within interdisciplinary contexts; how the procedures of collaboration with, and in, performance design can allow the scenic elements to have greater impact.

Manuel studies performing arts in digital environments, through social media experiments, and cyber performances such as Self, Who am I, and E-ntimacy.

Gabriele Kuzabaviciute is a mixed media designer and MSc student at the University of Calgary. She is a member of the interactions lab (iLab) – a human-computer interaction research lab and LabNext maker space. With her research, she is informing the design of touched-based interfaces through the integration of the aspects of interactive technologies, material advancements, and human perception.

Based on her Research through Design approach and interdisciplinary experience, Kuzabaviciute studies the factors that influence audience engagement in social media, interactive technology, and interactive art.

Michael Hung is a new MSc student in computer science at the University of Calgary and is also a member of the Interactions Lab. His final undergraduate year involved investigating novel interaction techniques in digital painting applications resulting from the addition of multiple sensors (e.g. microphone, touch screen, etc.) to a stylus.

From years of personal musical study, he also has some interest in reconciling sound and music with interaction design. Hung will apply his computer science experience to help tackle the technical hurdles to make the team’s vision a success.

We look forward to welcoming Gabriele Kuzabaviciute, Bianca Manuel, and Michael Hung to TEDxYYC 2018!