April 27th 2012
Cyborg Cabaret - Passion, Terror, and Interdependence


We live in a world of technological artifacts and connectivity, already romantic partners; interdependent, disruptive and enabling. Our Cyborg Cabaret explores this relationship at its source by leveraging collaborations between the arts, robotic and technological fields.

Project Co-Directors: Heather Knight, Dan Wilcox

Contact: info[at]cyborgcabaret.org


Billie Steigerwald (act 2)

Billie is an artist completely composed of organic, non robotic materials. A former "idea person", she is now working hard to make manifest numerous ideas in sometimes numerous forms, and is currently focused on performance and video art. She is also an actress specializing in roles as various supernatural entities such as ghosts, demons and angels, but was recently typecast as a "rigid upperclass british bitch" or "russian spy" type, although is sadly a native to the United States. One of the greatest triumphs of her life thus far was to save her money and attend an intensive mime training in London.

Crebots (act 5)

The Crebots (photographed with some human) are generously visiting the Cabaret from Professor Manuela Veloso’s CORAL Lab. Contributors include Thomas Kollar (motion control), Joydeep Biwas (software system), Brian Coltin (software system), Val Head (costume design) and Heather Knight. For one night only, these bots will parade as plants capable of movement and simple expositions of animacy. They are alternately mischievous, curious and awkwardly mechanical.

Dan Wilcox (host, act 7)

Dan Wilcox is an artist, musician, and engineer interested in exploring and expanding the boundaries of Art & Technology in the field of live Human Computer Performance (HCP) through research and experimentation. His robotcowboy one-man band cyborg musical performance project has toured the US and Europe for the last 4 years. Dan previously worked as a Creative Engineer for the Ars Electronica Futurelab in Linz, Austria and is currently pursuing an MFA at Carnegie Mellon University.

Data the Robot (host)
Data is an aspiring robot celebrity and comedian. He is a natural (heh) performer, loves being on stage, and learns from the audience! Programmed by Heather Knight, he is a Nao model built by Aldebaran Robotics. He has toured the US, United Kingdom and graced the stage at TED Women and the Amsterdam Comedy Festival.

Dave Mansueto (act 3)

Dave Mansueto Is one lucky duck! - Getting to act here and there with Pittsburgh's coolest crews like Saints and Poets Theatre, Barebones Productions and now The Cyborg Cabaret. Mansueto co-founded EMayhem.com, one of the web's first user generated online galleries, as well as Libsyn.com the podcasting platform. You can also catch Dave in the Neo Grunge band K-HUN, improvin' with I Love You Stranger and hosting Pub Quiz at the Brillobox most Wednesday nights.

DJ Zombo (DJ)

Bum for 20 years. Stand up comedy for 10 years. Radio and club dj for 20 years. Passable musician for 20 years. Emprisario for 20 years. Bum for 20 more years. Zombo on the radio on WRCT 88.3FM in Pittsburgh Fridays Noon-4:30pm. Streaming live on www.wrct.org Djing coolness at Legume on Wenesdays, Kelly's on Penn Circle on Thursday nights and his uber sexy event....Sexplosion at Belvedere’s every first Friday!

Golan Levin (act 1)

Golan is a professor in the School of Arts at CMU. Through performances, digital artifacts, and virtual environments, often created with a variety of collaborators, Levin applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines, make visible our ways of interacting with each other, and explore the intersection of abstract communication and interactivity. Levin has exhibited widely in Europe, America and Asia.

Gunner (act 2)

Gunner is a party for hire: cakes for special occasions and people with dietary restrictions, stand-up comedy, dance, catering, massage, tents, rap (no dj), balloons, cocktails, meditation, and pushups. To negotiate for services peruse http://gunz4sail.tumblr.com/ for Gunner's contact information, plus a bonus image of its impressively crooked spine.

Heather Knight (host, act 5)

Heather is co-director of the show and a phD candidate at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute. She runs Marilyn Monrobot, which produces comedy performances by Data the Robot, sensor-based electronic art, and the annual Robot Film Festival. Her work also includes: robotics and instrumentation at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, interactive installations with Syyn Labs, field applications and sensor design at Aldebaran Robotics, and she is an alumnus from the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab.

JD Whitewolf (act 4)

JD Whitewolf is a local artist and technologist and is the Technical Director and Lighting Designer for the Cyborg Cabaret. He performs similar duties at Carnegie Mellon University as the staff 'Designgineer' for the Entertainment Technology Center. In a past life he dedicated himself to the theatre, made his living as a scenic and lighting designer, and developed methods by which designers and directors could best effect audiences using space and movement. Of his most recent personal commitment he says, "On my fortieth birthday I finally realized what I'd already known: that no thing is righteous which comes at the cost of someone's suffering."

Julia Cahill (act 3, act 8)

Julia is a graduating CFA student at CMU. Her work critiques a range of topics from the relationship between humans and technology to the portrayal of powerful women in pop culture. With the inspiration from artists of second wave feminism, she focuses on critical issues that concern women, particularly issues among the influence of pop culture.

Laura McCarthy (act 7)

Laura gets to work at the intersection of psychology and computer science as a Technical Consultant at Psychology Software Tools, Inc and is a tech wrangler at Hack Pittsburgh. She quite enjoys working on the cute robot she co-designed and built, the Luna Moth Bot. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh.

Margaret Cox (musician)

Margaret lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA. She is a really good listener. She loves hard-to-hear sounds, finally-found sounds, and born-to-be-bad sounds like freezes, stutters, lags, crashes, slips and a variety of other sound mistakes. Margaret manipulates voice, field recordings, and electro-acoustic devices and has performed at VIA, the Three Rivers Arts-Festival, Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh Biennial and Fantastic Voyagers. Recent collaborators include Michael Johnsen and a table of broken motors.

Matt Wellins (musician)

Matt Wellins works in Pittsburgh, PA. His work deals with creating live situations through the design and performance of analog electronic instruments, real-time video systems, and object-based theater. He is most proud of his on-going collaboration with Sarah Halpern, his recordings with Josh Tonies under the name Dutch Masters, and his electronic archive project with Michael Johnsen at http://www.ubu.com/emr.

Michael Johnsen (musician)

Michael’s work is characterized by a relative lack of ideas per se, and an intense focus on observation, the way a shepherd watches sheep. The extensive patching of large numbers of devices produces teeming chirps, sudden transients and charming failure modes; embracing the dirt in pure electronics.

North Star (act 2)

North Star is a singer, artist, performer. She got her start singing solos in church at the age of 5. She arrived in Pittsburgh in 2007; after following a series of recurring dreams, and was finally able to pursue her goals of becoming a class act performer. She has been involved in many various performances in Pittsburgh and has traveled the U.S. as a street performer. She is also lead organizer of the Rogue Messengers Union, which is a performing arts collective which began to take shape in Pittsburgh late last year. She is also an ambassador of the Intergalactic Space Commission.

Riley Harmon (act 6)

Recent exhibitions/performances Rome, Venice, Amsterdam, Vienna, Dublin, Portugal, US, UK. Published in a number of international publications, including Rolling Stone Italy, apart of several private and permanent museum collections, and has broadcast video works throughout the United States and the Internet.

Sigh Meltingstar (act 2)

Sigh V. Meltingtar's biological birth was a Miracle occurring on Friday November 4th 1983 at 07:25 EST, the night of the NEW MOON, amongst the darkest nights of the year, with his Umbilical Cord wrapped four times around his neck. Comprised, like some of us, as DNA looking out of a Human Body with a Human Brain, a Double-Helix Secret Face floating on a Revolving Celestial Sphere through the Cosmos, making observations of the Magnificent Nativity Scene, awaiting the Singularity and the Ultimate Fate of the Universe. Stars of Varying colors flicker in the sky, some natural and some synthetic. In between years of Traveling, he currently makes art, music, and chandeliers in Pittsburgh PA.


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