Kristin Lucas: Dance with flARmingos

“Dance with flARmingos” is a Mixed Reality experience that features a multispecies dance between humans and flamingos, and pays homage to the flamingo—a consummate showman and embattled victim of environmental neglect—by staging kinship from an ethical distance. Kristin Lucas believes this is an exercise in going beyond a human-centered worldview into a more fluid ecological discourse, through the use of technological embodiment and sensory play.

Humans love flamingos, and flamingos have persevered remarkably despite their hyperreal status. Representations of flamingos in fashion, tourism and lawn ornamentation far outnumber their physical presence in the wild. The ethereal and intangible qualities of a flamingo hologram are ironically heightened by the fact that wild flamingo populations are diminishing worldwide due to the spread of human activity into wetland areas and climate change. Lucas wants to subvert the trend of flamingos adapting to humans, by inviting humans to adapt to flamingos in ways that can be social and fun. Lucas plays a careful dance in this project, staging a relationship between humans and flamingos that is close up and distant, fantastical and factual.

It is not very plausible or practical to dance with a flamingo IRL. In her practice, Lucas uses digital technologies as a means to reimagine, simulate and stage new possibilities. Mixed Reality has poetic and humorous potential which makes it the perfect medium to explore Mixed Feelings.

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Lucas received pivotal production support for “Dance with flARmingos” through five residency programs, including: AR/VR Artist Research Residency at Oregon Story Board, Portland; BAU Institute Arts Residency at the Camargo Foundation, Cassis; Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center Artist-in-Residence Program, New York; Pioneer Works Technology Residency, Brooklyn; and Yafo Creative/Print Screen Festival Digital Arts Residency, Jaffa.

Lucas received major funding through an Engadget Alternate Realities Grant and will premiere this iteration of the work on November 14, 2017 at Ace Theater in Los Angeles.