In Compliant Gait

Sharmi Basu (US), John Brumley (US)

Digital bodies are constructed through the various gestures, data and objects we release into virtual space. Our own digital labors maintain such beings, and it is only through constant engagement with social media that the elusive memories of our own selves momentarily breach into the feeds of our followers and friends. As such, the corporate filters imposed by the apps that support and display our patchwork bodies partially imbue our digital selves with branding via watermarks, limited distribution, and licensing. In Compliant Gait, an invisible creature is given temporary form through the labor of an audience. After connecting to a local wireless network, audience members can use their mobile phones to instantiate digital objects within the hull of the creature. One by one, these objects fill the hollow shape of the creature’s body, revealing its form as it moves with a compliant gait across a barren landscape.

Sharmi Basu attempts to catalyze a political, yet ethereal aesthetic by combining her anti-colonial and anti-imperialist politics with a commitment to spirituality within the arts. She is the founder of an all people-of-color improvisation MARA Performance Collective in Oakland, CA.

John Brumley explores emerging conceptions of virtuosity, new modes of learning, and the eminence of “weird tricks” and investigation into the memetics of the mediated physical.