Here is the full performance of "Action Potential" by Torino:Margolis with choreography by Dana Kotler and sound by Lee Azzarello, performed at the Piksel 09 Electronic Art Festival in Bergen, Norway. Performed by Jenny Torino, Dana Kotler, Benjamin Margolis and Dana Kotler.
In our new media/dance work, "Action Potential," we explore the physiological and sonic difference between volitional and non-volitional movement. We do this though Electromyography (EMG), a method of sensing electrical potentials generated during voluntary action. During the performance, EMGs capture a dancer's actions, and a wireless radio interface is used to transmit the information to software for audio processing. A second dancer physically manipulates the connected dancer, such that the physiological difference between volitional and non-volitional movement is illustrated through sound and silence. In this way, "Action Potential" seeks to exemplify the dancer's free will.
"Action Potential" utilizes biomedical tools and open source software and hardware to harvest the dancer's neuronal impulses and transform them into sound. Six EMG machines are attached to the surface of the dancer's body via electrodes. The information captured by the EMG is sent wirelessly via the XBee and XBee Shield (connected to the Arduino open-source electronics prototyping platform), which communicate with Pure Data open source software. Using these tools and the human body we have created a new instrument called the electromyographone.