Driven Arts Collective : CELSO

Community Emotional Light Sound Organism

CELSO Community Emotional Light Sound Organism


CELSO Community Emotional Light Sound Organism is an ongoing project to design an immersive and reactive performance environment. Dancers will use masks and other sensor activated wearables (facial muscle movement / electroactive sensors) to transmit and “communicate” with sound, light, and other elements of the theatrical space in feedback loops.

About the Collective

Driven Arts Collective is a San Francisco Bay Area based team of makers, dancers, visual artists, musicians, engineers, and thinkers. We investigate planned and spontaneous ingenuity through technologically infused performance art, experimental dance, real-time generative music and video, custom-designed wearable technology, video art and film, and whatever else we can get our hands on!

Our history is an evolution of performance themes and instrument design that reflect a desire for open lines of communication between the body and emerging technologies. We ask audiences to question the impact of technology on the human experience and present alternatives to current technological narratives.

Social Context

Emotion recognition technology is increasingly used to make normative judgements on mental health and body image with the intention of suggesting behavioral and biobehavioral optimizations through quantification and categorization of physiological data into discrete emotional boxes. This technology is deployed in classrooms, workplaces, surveillance systems, and prisons making decisions that impact people’s lives and access to opportunities without consensus on it’s ethics, accuracy, or validity. We will engage audiences through an artistic, speculative process in which multimodal bio-emotion recognition is used to encourage emotional (self)reflection and insight for communities and individuals. Through this process, we seek to raise awareness of the widespread use of these technologies and the potential harm for people who are miscategorized or othered.

We aim to bring together audiences who use and think about data —academics, scientists, designers and policy-makers— with audiences who typically don’t, but nevertheless use and produce it. We imagine a future in which biosensing technology benefits people rather than attempting to define them in limiting categories such as consumers or products of carceral systems. CELSO seeks to mobilize critical conversation around data consent, along with the use and misuse of biodata, while welcoming audiences to perceive themselves in the performance.


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