Materializing Interactive Research (MIR) is a computing lab for artists and designers created as a IDEA Hub Student Enterprise. MIR focuses on how physical, social play can meaningfully inform the ways we use sensing technologies in digital art and new media. This exploration of the relationship between the human body, motion-sensing, and responsive environments finds its most meaningful expression through a series of immersive creative-coding workshops.
A focus on work that promotes human-to-human computer mediated interaction, rather than siloed human-to-machine interaction aims to disrupt the often isolating nature of computer artworks. During workshops, MIR instructors will guide participants through embodiment exercises where they will examine the relationships between the body and space, the body and technology, and the body with other bodies. These exercises are rooted in theater, dance, mindfulness, and play therapy.
We hope to encourage artists and designers to consider the importance of the body and embodiment in their work, and to offer a counterpoint perspective to the Descartian dualism that often dominates the dialogue about how humans and machines should interact. In addition to providing opportunities for artists and designers to create their own works, MIR will use its experience to also operate as a consultation service, providing guidance for installation considerations, and produce plug-in software tools for artists looking for turn-key solutions.