“Primeiro estranha-se, depois entranha-se” (At first it’s strange, then it gets into your veins) – Fernando Pessoa I am part of the Human/ID team, a collaboration with StratoFyzika and Ian Heisters that probes how identity is rendered legible (or illegible) through movement and technology. Tagging onto the notion of digital flaws and their rich potential […]
About This Artist
StratoFyzika (Berlin/Lisbon) is an intermedia performance collective founded on the meeting of three personalities, three fields (sound, animated images, dance), and three cultural backgrounds (USA, Italy, Czech Republic). They frequently use interactive technologies to link live movement, spatial soundscapes, and projected visuals, creating highly immersive performances that alter audiences’ perceptions of the body, space, and sound.
Founding members Alessandra Leone (IT), Lenka Kocisova (CZ), and Hen Lovely Bird (USA) met for their first collaboration in 2012. Each of the three artists/fields/backgrounds represents one “stratum” (Strato) of perception: audio, visual and movement layers.
They use the laws of physics (Fyzika) as a metaphorical way of explaining material states from the realms of imagination, emotions and spirit – a multi-layered process that echoes the cognitive processes of the mind and the way stories are collected through life, as a tool for learning and orientation.
Daria Kaufman (performer/choreographer) is an interdisciplinary performing artist whose work excavates themes of identity, femininity, and communication. Her solo and collaborative projects have been presented extensively throughout the Bay Area and Europe. Currently based in Berkeley, Kaufman lived in Lisbon for five years and maintains diverse collaborations throughout the US, Portugal, and Germany. Kaufman was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award in 2015. She has been a frequent collaborator with StratoFyzika since 2013.
After performing and presenting dance, sound, and video art in San Francisco for over 10 years, Hen/i (performer/choreographer) immigrated to Berlin, Germany in 2010, where she co-founded StratoFyzika, which has presented original works throughout Europe and Brazil at venues including: Cynetart Festival, Uferstudios (Month of Performance Berlin), Platoon Kunsthalle Berlin, and Galeria de Arte Digital do Sesi-SP/FIESP in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She holds a B.A. in Dance and Intermedia Arts from Mills College (Oakland, CA), where she was the recipient of the “Innovative Choreography” award.
Alessandra Leone ( lighting/video ) is a visual artist, trained (motion) designer, filmmaker and technologist producing multi-disciplinary work. She received a BS in Product Design and a MS in Communication Design, and along with a career of design, she developed her artistic practice through collaborative relationships.Her research focuses on analogue/physical processes to create imagery that pursues new aesthetics in the context of hybrid forms of inter- and trans- mediality. Berlin based since 2009, she has continued to do freelance work for commercial productions as art director and motion designer, while extending her artistry and practice to interactive media, generative design, data-driven narratives, music videos direction. She founded StratoFyzika in 2012, and SF.x – an hybrid label releasing objects and experiences across various mediums – in 2020.
Ian Heisters is a new media artist working with dance and installation. His works use digital film, custom software, and new technologies as entry points to an improvisation-based dance practice. A recurring theme of his work is the collision of social, political, and technological systems with our communities and bodies.
Ian’s installations and performances have shown nationally and internationally at venues including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Root Division, Goldsmith’s University, CounterPulse, and Links Hall. In addition to his art practice, Ian works as a researcher and advisor specializing in performance, digital media, mixed reality, and sensor systems for projects with UC Berkeley, Jim Campbell, Camille Utterback, and the open source community. He was a member of Anna Halprin’s performance lab for several years, and enjoyed a multi-year collaboration with Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts. A native of Northern California, he is based in the California Bay Area, where he tries to spend as much time as possible in the outdoors with his wife and two sons.
Dr. Gautam Agarwal (collaborator) is a neuroscientist at UC Berkeley who specializes in brain-computer interfaces and modeling human behavior in complex environments. Over the last decade, he has collaborated on separate occasions with a sound designer, a visual artist, and a choreographer to develop audiovisual interfaces for rendering the abstract relationships embedded in neurophysiological signals.
About this Project
Human/ID is an intermedia dance theater piece that explores how current technologies are radically altering perception and identity, blurring reality with fiction. Using tools like deepfake technology, face/body filters, and live interactivity merged with live performance, the piece reveals how the elements that make us unique – our gestures and body language – can now be captured, stolen, and re-tooled for mass manipulation.
Created and performed by Berlin-based interdisciplinary performance collective StratoFyzika, in collaboration with local artists Daria Kaufman and Ian Heisters, Human/ID is a visceral deep-dive into fake identities, human programming, and the unseen codes that make us who we are. Centered on a danced dialogue – a collision of movement, word, and gesture – the performers cycle through distinct characters and contexts inspired by stories of identity deception and forgery.
In addition to merging dance with new media and interactive technologies, the artists are working with a neuroscientist to decode and visualize hidden patterns of human behavior and movement. Juxtaposing artifice with truth, and highlighting codes of expression that normally go unnoticed, Human/ID aims to immerse the audience in alternate visions of reality, while compelling us to question the nature of individuality.
Square artist photo of Hen in Kummerang by Dario Laganà
Banner photo of Hen in THÆTA by Dario Laganà
Deep fake dancing and breaking technology I’ve been talking with the StratoFyzika team about how identity resides in the body for their residency in CounterPulse’s Combustible program. We’re researching surveillance technology, machine learning, and dance for a performance in spring 2020. The research is conceptual as well as practical, and the following comprises my notes in building a first […]
We are artists. In some ways, we are sacrificial lambs. We bleed publicly. We can be found dancing naked and crying the necessary tear. We do this so they can name what they have sacrificed. To those without words, we give poetry; those without melody, a song. And to him, that guy, that just can’t […]
Rachael Dichter & Dia Dear are Edge Residency 2020 artists-in-residence. Their new work, WITH, opens at CounterPulse Apr 2-4 & 9-11. Get tickets at counterpulse.org/edge2020. Photos by Robbie Sweeny
I’ve always been a fan of Robbie Sweeny. For years I’ve admired his photographer choreography, his hurried movement and cadence during performances. It takes considerable method and skill to shoot the perfect angle, and to capture the compelling photos that highlight CountrePulse’s Instagram feed. My colleagues and I admire his stylistic editing; together we scroll […]