orbiting together: participatory performances

January 26 & February 23, 2017, 7-9pm
Seattle Art Museum Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, WA

Learn more about the project on our project website: orbitingtogether.com

Ideated & Choreographed with Eric John Olson & Tamin Totzke
Participants: Over 200 attendee's of the SAM Winter ART ENCOUNTERS. 
Collaborators/Performers:  Aiko Kinoshita, Rachael Lincoln, Brandin Steffensen, Aaron Swartzman & Tamin Totzke

Orbiting Together's participatory performances juxtaposed the mundane and the impossible side by side. Building upon the research and experiences accumulated throughout our winter residency at the Seattle Art Museum Olympic Sculpture Park, Tamin Totzke, Eric John Olson, and I choreographed two participatory experiences that playfully embraced and critiqued the ways we interact with technology. Throughout the performance, participants received text messages directing them through a series of movements, acts of connection with strangers, and imaginary landscapes. The instructions corresponded, in real time, to satellites passing overhead. Two projectors in the space also digitally presented the instructions. As the performance progressed, participants naturally shifted from being guided by their phones individually to experiencing the instructions together. During the second event, performers embedded in the group responded to the collective, expanding the limits of what felt possible.

Where we once used the stars and our intuition to locate ourselves, we now look to our phones, rarely considering our bodies in relation to celestial objects orbiting overhead. Orbiting Together was a participatory project created in collaboration with artists Eric John Olson and Tamin Totzke. This project uses a network of satellites flying over the Seattle Art Museum Olympic Sculpture Park as triggers for messages encouraging participants to engage their somatic awareness. Individuals opted into the system create a rhizomatic positioning system composed of people in the place of technology.

February ART ENCOUNTER (above): Photography by Jonathan Vanderweit.
January ART ENCOUNTER (below): Photography by Jen Au
Video forthcoming.


ORBITING TOGETHER was generously funded by the 2018 Seattle Art Museum Olympic Sculpture Park Winter Residency and a grant from the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation.