Manifold Motion’s Compos Mentis

Readers in or near Seattle might like to know about Manifold Motion’s latest performance, Compos Mentis. The multidisciplinary performance company has created an evening-length work that uses real-time biofeedback technology to measure the mean heartbeat of the audience and determine the pulse of the dance. They should be pleased I can’t make it though, as my pre-thesis-submission heartrate would have them racing around at a million miles an hour! [Edited to say: The source I read that described how the piece uses biofeedback was, in fact, wrong *grumble* *moan* *self-note about applying proper research methods to blog*. See comment below to find out how the piece actually works. Apologies to Manifold Motion for messing up! — Stacey]

Compos Mentis
March 16-18 & 23-25, 2012
8pm (7pm Sundays)
Washington Hall
153 14th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122


  1. Hi! Thank you for posting about Manifold Motion’s show. I would like to clarify for your readers that the biofeedback technology we use does *not* measure the mean heartbeat of the audience (though that idea would be awesome). The information you read was intended to excite people I’m sure, but not from our press materials nor what we are doing.

    The technology we are using *does* measure the electrical activity in the dancers’ brains, which is communicated through video. So brains not hearts, performers not audience. Still an interesting show though, and I hope your Seattle area readers are interested in attending!

    • Hi Keely

      Thanks for setting things straight on this. Apologies for repeating unchecked something I read in an online newspaper. Best of luck for the performance!


  2. Coincidentally (?), I just got back from Sonorities 2012 at the Sonic Arts Research Centre in Belfast, where a couple of people were talking about using the physiological responses of the audience to determine various musical outcomes. Researchers there were also measuring audience responses to some of the performances — I got some electrodes attached to my fingers and took part in one of these experiments! I’ll write a longer post on the various goings-on at Sonorities as soon as I get time . . .

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