Data Sensorium is a transmedia performance work that semiotically and sensuously expresses migratory data through movement, graphics, and sound. The work explores environmental migration data from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) with the intent to raise awareness on the relationship between climate and disaster displacement.
Data Sensorium is a metaLAB (at) Harvard project with seed funding from the Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE). The project will begin development in 2022 via a research residency at the ArtLab at Harvard.
Why Data Embodiment:
Given a dataset about people, humans are often enumerated as indices, understood in aggregate, and rendered as dots or areas in charts. How can this dehumanizing treatment of data inspire a humanitarian response? Through a process of data embodiment, we explore the stories that data tell in performance. Specifically in this first iteration of Data Sensorium, we will tell the harrowing story of disaster displacement in relation to climate change.
Artistic Innovation / Social Impact:
Data Sensorium pushes the dance discipline by experimenting with data embodiment as a creative methodology. While similar methodologies have been researched, such as data visualization in the realm of design and data sonification in music, data embodiment has yet to be explored in dance. The content, environmental migration accelerated by climate change, makes realizing this work urgent. In 2020, more people migrated due to environmental disasters than human war, and 30 million of those displacements were due to floods, storms, or wildfires. Data Sensorium draws attention to this important issue while simultaneously innovating data embodiment as a creative methodology in dance.