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Nina Waisman | The Laboratory of Embodied Intelligences

Moveable Lab Residency
April 26 – June 13, 2017
18th Street Arts Center and Public Spaces throughout Santa Monica
Major events: April 29, May 28, and June 3

Following a thrilling year in SETI Institute’s Artist in Residence Program, Nina Waisman has brought her Laboratory for Embodied Intelligences (LEI) to The 18th Street Arts Center. She is joined by founding member and movement expert Flora Wiegmann.

In Spring of 2017, LEI will be offering site-specific performances, along with workshops that offer perspective-shifting meditations and embodiment exercises to the public. Both activities aim to make physically palpable LEI’s ongoing discoveries around the following questions: How can humans “try on” non-human behaviors in order to perceive them viscerally, gaining knowledge unavailable through classic data analysis? What can we learn from the highly successful behaviors and communication methods our microbial colleagues and ancestors employ? How do animal and human logics and languages compare to microbial behaviors?

We evolved from microbes, but only recently did we learn that “all mobile unicellular organisms possess the fundamental characteristics of nervous systems” (Dr. Lori Marino). Perhaps fundamental cognitive capacities and “modes of reason” we think unique to humans belong in some form to microbes. We know that they communicate – in fact, they are multi-lingual. They have survived and communicated with each other over 3.5 billion years. Surely there are a few things we can learn from cultures exponentially more long-lived and adapted than we are? Looking into the future, astrobiologists agree that microbes are the most likely form of life we will encounter out in the cosmos. Can our terrestrial bacteria help us communicate with or understand these extraterrestrials?

Through performances, along with science-driven meditations and movement exercises, LEI seeks to give us access to some of the vast treasure of behaviors and communication techniques invented and enacted by microbes. Cognitive scientists have found that to exercise a new behavior is to open the mind to a whole new suite of logics.

Nina Waisman’s residency and its associated collaborative public events and performances are made possible with generous funding from the City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Department, the California Arts Council, and The James Irvine Foundation.

Collaborators and Performers with the Laboratory for Embodied Intelligences:

Vanessa Baish
Jonathan Bryant
Alfonso Cervera
Hyosun Choi
Hyoin Jun
Nehara Kalev
Murphia Moore
Jasmine Orpilla
Gabriela Simon
Juliana Snapper
Micaela Taylor
Flora Wiegmann
Miles Brenninkmeijer
Natali Micciche

Upcoming Events

Performance on Santa Monica Beach

Sunday, May 28
4-5 PM
Santa Monica Beach
Meet at the cannon in Palisades Park
Across from 1415 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica

The Laboratory for Embodied Intelligences will be offering a free public performance on the Santa Monica beach cliff this Memorial Day weekend –
come join us on your way coming or going to the beach. Meet at the cannon monument in the Palisades Park, right across the street from the Georgian Hotel (1415 Ocean Ave). Picnic reception and dialogue to follow the 30 minute performance.

Performance in Santa Monica's 90404

Saturday, June 3
4-5 PM
Meet at the pedestrian tunnel at the corner of
Dorchester and Virginia Aves.
(3000 Virginia Ave, Santa Monica)

The Laboratory for Embodied Intelligences will be offering a free public performance in Santa Monica the first weekend in June –
come join us for a microbial pow-wow! LEI will be offering performances and participatory events in public spaces throughout Santa Monica in May and June.

Move like a Microbe

Saturday, April 29, 2017
3-4 PM
18th Street Arts Center
Main Gallery
RSVP for a free ticket.

Learn about exo-biology while you move your body like a microbe! Join in this participatory, family-friendly workshop with dance-based artist Nina Waisman and her collaborators at the Laboratory for Embodied Intelligence.

Laboratory of Embodied Intelligences: Dialogue with the Public

Saturday, April 29, 2017
1-2 PM
18th Street Arts Center Main Gallery
RSVP for a free ticket

What can we learn from our highly successful microbial planet-mates, and can movement help us do that? Featuring Moh El-Naggar, the USC Robert D. Beyer Early Career Chair in Natural Sciences, working at the forefront of bacterial communication; Fathi Karouia, Senior Research Scientist at NASA, working with microbial behaviors on the space station, in our guts and elsewhere; Christina M. Ford, MD, whose practice focuses on Integrative Psychiatry & Wellness; Anuradha Vikram, Artist Director of 18th Street Arts, a writer, curator, educator, whose research focus is transnational futurism; LEI Founder and Artistic Director, Nina Waisman; and LEI Movement Expert Flora Wiegmann.

Intermittent Performances

Saturday, April 29, 2017
2-5 PM
18th Street Arts Center
Main Gallery
RSVP for a free ticket.

Members of the Laboratory of Embodied Intelligences will be performing movements throughout campus during the Spring Pico Block Party event.

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