Sarah Drury invited three performers to participate in a collaborative project concerning movement and technology. Drury wanted to work specifically with performers who had struggled with physical “challenges.”
The three women she chose were performers with diverse backgrounds, handicaps, and talents. Students from Drury’s new media department at Temple University assisted with the technology and with programming the interactive designs. Two of the three performers, Lezlie Frye and Shelley Barry, developed specialized gloves that responded to the movements of their arms and hands. For the previous 6 years, Weis had been studying the act of walking. So for this project, she developed a pair of specialized shoes.
Weis’ interest was in making visible the ways in which her bodyweight is distributed through her feet with each step. Temple programmer Seth Erickson fitted the shoes with sensors that sent information back to a computer, which then generated graphic images in response to each step.
The images were projected on the wall behind Weis. If she stepped heel-toe on the outside of her foot, the projection would behave one way; if she stepped toe-heel on the inside, the projection behaved another.