The Sensorium Ex Opera will form the core of an integrated web of emergent artistic, scientific and community-driven collaborations which take the key ideas and themes of the Opera from stage to society. Its central themes center around the following questions: What is the nature of voice beyond language, and how can we creatively explore and express forms of non-verbal or non-typical patterns of speech and voice? How might artificial intelligence expand the possibilities for voice and expression - particularly those with non-verbal or non-typical patterns of speech and voice?
Thus, at a deeper level, SENSORIUM is also an experiment, and a pilot platform for emerging approaches to co-creation:
Developing new methods for collaboration and impact between the arts, sciences, and the lived experiences of individuals and communities.
The Sensorium consist of four integrated parts:
- An Opera: Sensorium Ex
- A Documentary Film using the Sensorium Ex Opera as a frame to explore the nature of voice beyond language, across cultures, borders and generations.
- Impact: Exploring questions of disability and voice across culture and community
- Research: Bringing science, technology and social research to life on-stage; mapping methods for co-creation between arts, science and community.
The core challenge is to create a compositional language that portrays nonverbal communication through media technology for principal characters who do not communicate in a neurotypical way.
A corporation conscripts three scientists to develop the final piece of a breakthrough Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm. This component has always been excluded in AI research because it represents the realm of human experiences presumed “non-optimal.”
Mem, the lead researcher, is the mother of Kitsune, a child with a disability, and realizes the corporation has targeted her child’s genetic material to use for their program.
Are these scientists the researchers or the experiment? And is there any escape?
Holding the answers is a child who doesn’t speak but whose disabilities manifest an otherworldly realm.
A mother’s love, science/tech ethics, romance, corporate greed, a mystical escape, and a robot named Sophia come together in this story about what it means to be human.