Claudia Robles-Angel: How to perceive the imperceptible – The body seen as an audio-visual instrument

SKIN (2012) by Claudia Robles-Angel / VG Bild und Kunst. Photo: Andrej Topas

‘…. Claudia Robles Angel’s performance used wires that connected her brain to a system of projected images and sounds. What the audience received was a combination of pre-chosen images as well as the way that Angel’s brain was processing and reacting to them in real time. The other performances had similar arrangements, but Angel’s was the most extreme: watching her, the body became a wired machine, producing cold sounds and abrupt visuals very unlike what we associate with the brain, or with human feelings… ”

by Adela Yawitz, Berlin Art Link

Claudia Robles Angel’s artistic work and research focuses on different aspects of visual and sound art and is centered around the human organic body, specifically its internal imperceptible vibrations, pulsations and fluctuations. The works she creates explore the potential of the human body to be an audio-visual instrument, modifying music, sound and light in real-time through measuring and transforming diverse physiological parameters of the human body.

Claudia Robles Angel’s work wants to prove that our body is not obsolete – totally to the contrary. She applies technology and collaborates closely with scientists, in order to dig deeper into and reveal the unseen and unheard side of the bodily system through and with which we live. To render this hidden side visible and audible she employs diverse interfaces measuring biomedical signals (e.g. heart signals, skin response, blood flow, electrocardiography). This biomedical data in turn gets sent to computers equipped with software responsible for visual and audio effects, which can process and translate this data to produce audio-visual environments in real-time.

Claudia Robles Angel builds diverse multimedia installations and therein makes use of performative as well as interactive methods. She gives audiences a chance to experience audio-visual environments created through a performer’s body. She also offers the possibility to audiences to have their own physiological parameters measured and thus become creators of their very own audio-visual environment. One example for this is her interactive multimedia work SKIN (2014), in which visitors had the possibility to use a GSR (Galvanic Skin Response) interface to measure their skin’s moisture which is an indicator for a certain emotional state, a certain level of stress or relaxation. Within the installation, this data influenced the imagery on 3 screens; being more chaotic the higher the stress level and calming down, turning in to a growing blue line, with the relaxation of the visitor. It also influenced the sonic environment.

This process creates great intimacy, as visitors experience the invisible inner ways of their bodies made tangible. To Robles Angel this is one of the most important parts of her work – to create an awareness for our bodies constant inner liveliness, which would normally go unnoticed and to point to the fact that we are able to control it in a conscious way.

Originally from Colombia, Claudia Robles-Angel momentarily is based in Cologne, Germany and active worldwide. She has been granted residencies and fellowships by several renowned institutions, such as the Musikfonds (Germany), the CMMAS Mexican Center for the Music and the Soundarts, Morelia (Mexico), the ZKM – Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (Germany) and the KHM Academy of Media Arts, Cologne (Germany).

Her works are presented at festivals and solo/group exhibitions worldwide, such as, ZKM Center in Karlsruhe (Germany); KIBLA Multimedia Centre in Maribor (Slovenia); Bauhaus Museum für Gestaltung Berlin (Germany); Portrait Concert, Auditorio CMMAS, Morelia (Mexico); the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) in Copenhagen (2007), Montréal (2009) and Utrecht (2016); International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) in Istanbul (2011), Manizales (2017), Durban (2018) and Gwangju (2019); at RE:SOUND Festival and MAH Media Art Histories in Aalborg.

Recent exhibitions at Kunst – Station Sankt Peter Köln (2019, Germany); Museu Gerdau – das Minas e do Metal, Belo Horizonte (2021, Brazil); Festival INTERZONANZEN Potsdam (2021, Germany).


Read the original article on ADA – Archive of Digital Art

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