Pioneers ’19: Your Chance to See A Cyborg Drummer

By March 3, 2019June 13th, 2024No Comments

Photo Credit: Michael Sharkey

Our flagship event might be all about future technology, but we love it when we can find an entertaining way to showcase just what the latest innovations make possible. Our always-memorable opening and closing shows are known for doing just that, with our 500-year-old imperial palace venue providing the perfect contrasting backdrop.

One thing we’ve never had on stage is a drumming cyborg activist, but that’s going to change at Pioneers ’19 on May 9th-10th in Vienna. We’re proud to announce that visitors to the Hofburg will be able to enjoy Catalan avant-garde artist and Cyborg Foundation Co-Founder Moon Ribas giving a rendition of her Seismic Percussion performance.

As Ribas will explain in her talk, what makes this display of drumming unique is that the rhythm is composed by Planet Earth. To put that a little more clearly, Ribas will be hammering out the seismic vibrations she’ll feel in her feet. That’s where the tech comes in: she’ll pick up the earth’s tremors from the online seismic sensor she has implanted in her body.

This device, which Ribas developed, is called Seismic Sense. It allows her to perceive the earthquakes taking place anywhere on the planet in that moment. She can translate this not only into drumming, but into dance as well. You can get an idea of the latter performance, entitled Waiting For Earthquakes, via this video.

But Ribas’s stage performances are just the shop window for her work as a cyborg activist. The ‘enhanced abilities’ the Seismic Sensor gives her, after all, are a perfect match for the definition of a cyborg, a term that was coined in the 1960s. While it’s a concept that still has science fiction connotations, the march of technology means it’s now anything but.

Ribas will prove exactly that on stage at the Hofburg. And showing the potential of technology when integrated with the human body fits snugly with our event narrative, of course. As previously announced, this takes the form of a technological walk through human life.

In 2010 Ribas co-founded the Cyborg Foundation, an international organisation that aims to help people become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights and promote cyborg art.

In 2017 Ribas also co-founded the Transpecies Society, an association that gives voice to non-human identities, defends the freedom of self-design and offers the creation of new senses and new organs in community.

To get a feeling for the Seismic Percussion performance, check out this video. But for the full acoustic experience that comes with seeing it in a mighty ballroom, you’ll have to be at Pioneers ’19!

Want to experience two days of magic at the Hofburg Imperial Palace? Pioneers ’19 goes ahead on May 9th-10th in Vienna? Reserve your spot here.