Developed through a series of one-to-one cultural exchanges between American and Egyptian composers, programmers, dancers, and new media artists, the new interactive installation Mycelial: Street Parliment draws from the experiences of activists during the Occupy Wall Street Movement and Egyptian Revolution in 2011. This American-Egyptian collaboration has implemented new and emerging technologies to dissect the collision and collusion of bodies occupying both digital and physical spaces.
In the gallery, the public will be prompted by gaming technology to choreograph, collaborate, and mix different movements to address questions exploring social media’s role in social uprising, creating an embodied response playing on the use of gifs and emojis in today’s society. Movement responses are then archived and fed into the gaming technology for the next audience member to view, mix, and respond.
Furthermore, the gallery space will be activated by Egyptian and American performers during the first two weeks of the exhibition run. At the beginning of the performances, visitors will be assisted with installing a mobile application to their phones, enabling content to be pushed through their mobile devices as they move through and around the installation. Rhythm, rate, and motion analysis of twitter feeds will inspire the performers’ movements, and create the sound scores heard in the installation space.
Mycelial: Street Parliament culminates in live multimedia, and participatory events in both Cairo and Chicago, including community hubs such as Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Dance Theater Ensemble, and the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) to create a community-driven performance experience. Ultimately, Mycelial: Street Parliament strives to be an immersive platform where embodied experience can spark deeper a conversation around “otherness” and artistic practice as cultural diplomacy.
Organized and conceived by Erica Mott, Mycelial: Street Parliament collaborators include: sound composer Ahmed Saleh; programmers Ziad Osama and Badr AlKhamissi; UI/UX designer Yasser Nazmy; program manager Shawn Lent; composer, sound designer, and electronic performer Ryan Ingebritsen; artistic advisor John Toenjes; audience interaction designer M. Anthony Reimer; creative technologist and new media artist Hugh Sato; and performers Nejla Yatkin, Silvita Diaz Brown, Ezzat Ismail Ezzat, Mounir Saeed, Christopher Knowlton.
Partial support for Mycelial: Street Parliment is generously provided by the Alphawood Foundation, The ATHENA Fund, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, the MacArthur International Collaborations Fund, Ginger Farley & Bob Shapiro and 3Arts 3AP.