i/o is a live art piece by Joe Diebes and Phil Soltanoff that fuses sound installation, physical theatre, and opera to explore how people and machines co-exist today.
Six performers on wireless microphones are paired with six human-scale loudspeakers on stands, networked together via a computer program. Using voice recognition, the loudspeakers actually respond to the vocal gestures input by the performers, creating a dynamic feedback loop between the two. The sung, spoken, and physical gestures make up small vocabularies that are constantly reconfigured, delayed, and spatially multiplied, to generate a disorienting and hypnotic complexity from the simplest means.
The piece is conceived as a suite of sonic / choreographic movements, each with a radically different spatial arrangement: a traditional proscenium, a large circle surrounding the audience, a small square inside the audience, a wall in front of the audience, and randomly dispersed through the performance space. Each configuration - simply defined by a new arrangement of the performers and loudspeakers - invites the audience to arrange and define themselves in relation to the piece and each other. Thus, choosing where to stand, what to see, and how to receive i/o becomes an integral part of the experience.