Patch Connect: Combustible Artists in Residence at CounterPulse

Discover how dancers and creative technologists are collaborating to create innovative live performance projects

Join us for a discussion with CounterPulse's 2020-21 Combustible Artists in Residence: Pseuda, Kim Ip, and the Team of StratoFyzika, featuring members Alessandra Leone (Berlin), Daria Kaufman, Hen Lovely Bird (Berlin) and Ian Heisters. After an introduction with CounterPulse Artistic & Executive Director Julie Phelps, moderator Tiare Ribeaux will lead a discussion with the artists their process of developing work for the residency and collaborating virtually on movement and performance based artworks that interface with technology, and the themes explored involving our evolving identities and the mediation of our lives through our technological devices.

StratoFyzika is developing Human/ID, an intermedia dance theater piece that explores how current technologies are radically altering perception and identity, blurring reality with fiction. Using tools like deepfake technology, face/body filters, and live interactivity merged with live performance, the piece reveals how the elements that make us unique – our gestures and body language – can now be captured, stolen, and re-tooled for mass manipulation.

Pseuda, Kim Ip, Taurin Barrera and other collaborators are developing a speculative science fiction allegory examining the complexity and multiplicity of our shifting identities as they loop and reflect back to us endlessly. Posing a question about the origins and future of those born into a cyber age, living their lives through a screen, as well as the implications of our ever growing techno-voyeurism.

These works will be developed over the next year and open in April, 2021. Visit CounterPulse to learn more.


Pseuda (Nicholas Navarro)

Nicholas Navarro is a multimedia performance artist who, in 2014, began performing in SOMA’s experimental drag scene under the moniker “Pseuda”. Taking queer nightlife aesthetics, pop music and drag performance structure as a jumping off point, they’ve crafted a distinctly unique and arresting style. Using makeup, costume, practical special effects and the integration of technology they create memorable, emotionally charged images that build to sublime and sometimes grotesque climaxes. Their work is grounded in empathy with the characters they embody, using these antiheroes as avatars to explore otherness and to create space for mutual catharsis with performer and audience. They have performed at the Berkeley Art Museum, SOMArts, Gray Area, SAFEhouse Arts, The Lab, B4bel4b, Milk Bar, Incline Gallery and several nightlife venues across San Francisco and the East Bay.

Kim IP

Kim Ip, "Krimm", has been making work fresh out of her vintage 2014 Mills College swimming pool. Her body of work is determined by her desire to curate a process for her collaborators that allows for a deep study of their idiosyncrasies and how they mesh together to form a collective performance. Lately, her process is influenced by her daily experiences in public and private space, citing her desire to explore her womxn identity as a fearful and exhilarating experience. She is incredibly humbled to be making work with such strong artists and would like to thank B4BEL4B for producing her work and Shawl-Anderson Dance Center for providing a residency to incubate this piece.

Alessandra Leone

Founder of StratoFyzika, Lighting and Visual Designer, creative direction
As a trained (motion) graphics designer and self-taught programmer, Leone is highly fascinated by perception, consciousness and reality, and creates visually striking and challenging work. After studying classical music as a pianist and flutist, she graduated from Politecnico di Milano with an M.A. in Communication Design, and a B.A. in Product Design, writing her Master's thesis on Neuer Deutscher Film (New German Cinema).
As a live visuals artist, Leone has performed at a range of live events such as the Geneva Mapping Festival, B-Seite - festival für visuelle Kunst und Jetztkultur in Mannheim, and Month of Performance Art Berlin, exploring new solutions for interactivity on stage and immersive environments. Leone is currently motion graphics teacher and freelancer, collaborating with different advertisement and design studios as animator and editor, as well as developing personal projects.

Hen Lovely Bird

Founder of StratoFyzika, Dancer/Choreographer, creative direction In addition to StratoFyzika, Hen has been a founding member of three other performance collectives, primarily centered in San Francisco: A.R.G. (Anomolous Research Group), Suki Tawdry, and The Black Cactus Choir. She has performed with these groups mostly as a dancer/choreographer, but also as a sound artist and physical/narrative actor. In addition, Hen has been a performance artist in fashion shows, music videos, and dance-for-camera films. She holds a B.A. in Dance and Intermedia Arts from Mills College (Oakland, CA), where she was the recipient of the “Innovative Choreography” award.

Daria Kaufman

Daria Kaufman is a contemporary dancer and choreographer whose work deconstructs notions of perception, gender, and how the body conveys meaning. Her pieces have been presented throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Portugal, at venues including ODC Theater (SF), the Joe Goode Annex (SF), Escola Superior de Dança (Lisbon), and Atelier Concorde (Lisbon). In 2015, she was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award (“Izzie”) for Individual Performance for the show In her tower. Her work has been generously supported by the Gulbenkian Foundation, the European Cultural Foundation, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation. She has also been awarded many Artist-in-Residencies throughout the SF Bay Area and Europe, including Shawl-Anderson Dance Center (Berkeley, USA), Devir Capa (Faro, Portugal), and ÇATI Dans (Istanbul, Turkey). Since 2014, she lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal.

Ian Heisters

Ian Heisters is a new media artist working with dance and installation. His works use digital film, custom software, and new technologies as entry points to an improvisation-based dance practice. A recurring theme of his work is the collision of social, political, and technological systems with our communities and bodies.
Ian’s installations and performances have shown nationally and internationally at venues including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Root Division, Goldsmith’s University, CounterPULSE, and Links Hall. In addition to his art practice, Ian works as a researcher and advisor specializing in performance, digital media, mixed reality, and sensor systems for projects with UC Berkeley, Jim Campbell, Camille Utterback, and the open source community. He was a member of Anna Halprin's performance lab for several years, and enjoyed a multi-year collaboration with Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts. A native of Northern California, he is based in the California Bay Area, where he tries to spend as much time as possible in the outdoors with his wife and two sons.


StratoFyzika is an intermedia performance collective founded on the meeting of three personalities, three fields (sound, animated images, dance), and three cultural backgrounds (USA, Italy, Czech Republic). They frequently use interactive technologies to link live movement, spatial soundscapes, and projected visuals, creating highly immersive performances that alter audiences’ perceptions of the body, space, and sound.

Tiare Ribeaux

Tiare Ribeaux is a Hawaiian-American interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker based in the Bay Area. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of B4BEL4B gallery, and co-founder of REFRESH. As an artist, her work explores the interfacing of technology with our human bodies and the environment, and employs storytelling to make visible social and ecological imbalances while imagining more regenerative futures. She is interested in re-centering indigenous technology, and stories that include indigenous futures and the modern indigenous experience. Her recent work at the intersection of art + biology aims to redefine and subvert the binaries of the natural versus the unnatural, and technology versus nature. She has shown work both nationally and internationally, including ISEA Gwangju and ISEA Hong Kong, IZOLYATSIA in Ukraine, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the Copenhagen Fashion Film Festival, and the Imagine Science Film Festival in NYC. She was awarded a web residency with Akademie Schloss Solitude + ZKM in 2019 and selected for the American Arts Incubator in 2017-18 with the ZERO1 Art + Technology Network. She curated the Soundwave Biennial in San Francisco in 2016 and the CODAME Festival in 2015. She has won numerous grants and awards for her artistic leadership including two New and Experimental Works Grants from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, the Building Demand for the Arts Grant from the Doris Duke Foundation, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, and the Center for Cultural Innovation, among others.



CounterPulse is building a movement of risk-taking art that shatters assumptions and builds community. We provide space and resources for emerging artists and cultural innovators, serving as an incubator for the creation of socially relevant, community-based art and culture. CounterPulse acts as a catalyst for art and action; creating a forum for the open exchange of art and ideas, sparking transformation in our communities and our society. We work towards a world that celebrates diversity of race, class, cultural heritage, artistic expression, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation. We strive to create an environment that is physically and economically accessible to everyone.

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