Augmented in California

Three zig zag corners away from the building that houses the Department of Creative Media and Behavioral Health Center, School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California there is a relief in Greek and its translation in Latin which says: Ανθρωπος ψυχήν και σωμα συμμετρος (man is a balance of body and soul).

This is in walking distance from the lab. Man takes the elevator from the 3rd floor where the institute is, walks out the main entrance of the building and crosses the crowded pedestrians of people bicycling, skating and walking and there it stands: a quote, a trace.

“Ανθρωπος” is the Greek definition of the word “human”. The creature standing on its two feet each leaving its individual trace while choosing a different path and rhythm.

In Prof. M. Gotsis’ lab the main focus is on enabling artists to design patterns of communication and accessibility for various subjects based on biomechanics, neurophysiology and innovative technologies. Artists blend with scientists. Her team is a group of people who work in the transdisciplinary domain of art and engineering and they have so far presented various successful models concerning accessibility creating training/patterns that are fun and aim to re-balance body and soul according to the needs of contemporary society and the demands of our physical capacities. V. Lympouridis is one of her team’s experts in such successful projects.

For the last five days a team of three – Prof. Gotsis, researcher Dr. V. Lympouridis and myself – have created an immersive environment based on the calibration of walking according to the balance of “body and soul” (the need for a destination, the weight balance and the trace behind) – the combination that creates our orientation skills and drive.

LA is a land of surprises. A just-another-Sunday at Malibu beach turn out to be an experience of watching whales playing with dolphins within walking distance from the shore. The whales are probably back in Alaska by now and I, too, am far away from LA, but the lab is a walking distance for anyone who is interested in experiencing the new age and the achievements of the mixture of art and science and experiencing their individual traces as a form of improvisation and knowledge.

– Esthir Lemi