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When Words Fail

A participatory exhibit that adapted to a variety of spaces and contexts.


At first, this project began as explorations with the Microsoft Kinect to create "microsequences" of dance choreography, and layer them with each other to create the concept of dialogue through movement.

Turning it into an exhibit

A few months later, we had the opportunity to present some of our work at Alphawood Gallery, coinciding with the exhibit at the time, "Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties."

We decided to create an exhibit where visitors to the exhibit could create their own microsequence, contributing to the greater conversation, where random interactions between different recorded sequences overlaid with each other.

Evolution of dialogue and of software

Through multiple different showings of the work, from a presentation with Danztheater Ensemble, our exhibit at Hyde Park Art Center, and at the Chicago Cultural Center, the work evolved again, this time with larger number of participants, sometimes upward of 20 in one frame. I introduced color to add some more visual interest, and added an additional iPad interface to allow the exhibit to run on its own, without facilitation by me or others on my team.

The iPad interface
The standalone installation