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Torn Space presents LUCA by Tansy Xiao

Tansy Xiao is an artist in residence of Coalesce at UB, presenting an interactive installation/performance piece at Torn Space Theater on Saturday, April 27th.

LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor: the hypothetical single-cell organism from which all life on Earth descended) is a non-linear virtual environment with a non-anthropocentric approach. In the natural world, diverse forms of intelligence operate independently of human dominance. Non-human organisms construct intricate information networks, respond to their umwelt, form complex symbiotic relationships, and communicate through methods that eluded understanding and validation by modern science for centuries. This perspective challenges the notion of human superiority, positioning humans as just one element within the ecosystem rather than at the apex of a hierarchical structure.

Exploring the interconnection and collective agency between human and non-human intelligence, this project utilizes a brain–computer interface, Unreal Engine, Max MSP, and electronic circuits to dynamically shape the visual and sonic elements of a virtual world. Real-time biometric data from performers’ movements and living microbiomes adds a capricious dimension to the experience. Designed to function as an immersive interactive installation or a live performance, the project emphasizes our shared ecological responsibility, projecting the virtual world on screens to enhance accessibility and foster a deeper communal engagement with the natural world’s hidden dialogues.

LUCA by Tansy Xiao
April 27, 2024 7:00pm & 8:00pm
Artist talk to follow each performance

Torn Space Theater – 612 Fillmore Ave. Buffalo
Tickets: $20 General

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Learn More About LUCA


About the author

Jamie Moses

Jamie Moses founded Artvoice in 1990

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