Synaptic Motion: Colin Ho Designs Tensegrity-Inspired Dance Apparatus

Graduate student Colin Ho has been collaborating with Jodi Lomask, artistic director of Capacitor, on a show revolving around the neuroscience of creativity. He helped design the interactive tensegrity structure that was used in the dance performance.  The show took place at the YBCA in downtown SF, from Sept 18-21st, 2014. Colin gave a pre-show talk (photo below, right) on what went on behind the design. BEST labbers joined him with Jodi Lomask in the photo below (left).


Info on Synaptic Motion:

What does the act of creativity look like? San Francisco’s internationally acclaimed science and technology dance company Capacitor tackles this question head-on in the world premiere of “Synaptic Motion.” Conceived and choreographed by Artistic Director Jodi Lomask, the multi-sensory experience is inspired by brain scans taken at UCSF to capture the mind during the act of choreography.

Media collaborators Mary Franck, Johan Bichel Lindegaard, Wesley Grubb, and RJ Muna have transformed this data into an immersive visualization of the creative process to the sound of Danish composer Toni Martin Dobrzanski and in a set designed by Erik Walker. Travel through a larger-than-life neural forest experiencing memories, future self projections, and mirror neurons in action, while Capacitor’s unique cast of dancers, acrobats, contortionists and aerialists challenge notions of the creative process. Let them take you on a trip through multiple states of mind utilizing tensegrity apparatus. Shows include pre-show talks on the neuroscience and technology behind the performance.

Through art, science, and technology, “Synaptic Motion” addresses the question: What does creativity look like? Not the art (the products of creativity), not the artist (the vessel of creativity), but the act (the activity in the mind that generates what we call creative work)? Neuro-imaging, conducted by project neurologists at the Gazzaley Lab, will form the basis of this inquiry. The Gazzaley Lab at UCSF is specifically focused on the study of neural mechanisms of memory and attention. For the development of “Synaptic Motion,” Lead Neuroscientist Dr. Adam Gazzeley and Engineer John Fesenko will use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) – a procedure that measures brain activity by detecting associated changes in blood flow – to monitor Lomask’s brain function while choreographing a new work. The fundamental assumption of fMRI is that cerebral blood flow and neuronal activation are coupled: when an area of the brain is in use, blood flow to that region also increases.


Hero .. add image below feet to make it looklike he's hanging higherin the air. Maybe double the amount below his feet now.

The Making of Synaptic Motion from Jodi Lomask on Vimeo by Vytas SunSpiral.