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GlassBox is an immersive performative auto-ethnography of autism, using digital arts and music technology for cross-disciplinary creative research.

GlassBox is a creative research collaboration between McGill’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT), Input Device and Music Interaction Laboratory (IDMIL), Mi.Mu Ltd., MFX Productions and myself linking music technology, neuroscience, electronic art, intermedia and digital art communities as a true multidisciplinary project that establishes neurodivergent leadership. By building a large-scale chromatic hyper-luminous infinity mirror art piece designed in the form of a hypercube or 4D square structure, I can explore digital movement with wireless sensing technology in a ‘glass box’. Representing limitations imposed on me by disability labels, the subjectively invisible barrier makes it difficult to observe and relate to the outer world as the box is only transparent from the outside looking in. I am left with internalized expressions choreographed as reactions, hyperfixations, repetitive movements and more. I am multiplied inside the box unable to see beyond limitation or understand language as a representation of the Mirror-Neuron System (MNS)— brain cells that react both when a particular action is performed or observed, the part of the brain that manages perception. The box, being a hypercube, means at any moment you only see a 3D shadow of the higher-dimensional geometry suggesting that even though the box appears to be defined by limits, its actual size and shape might be vastly different than what is presently visible. The apparent limitations and visible aspects are not the whole picture. Imagine GlassBox: shining glass brilliance, boxed-in-finity, digital backgrounds overlaying deep thought, screeching colors, noises shaped pointy, bent-ended sentences, mind running monologues in hues, light grabbing without asking, expansive reflections, sometimes see-through, sometimes invisible, emotions burning skin, feelings left voiceless as static, nostalgic texture, rawness as homeostasis; a performative technological exploration towards the balance of chaos, order and complexity reflecting the tension between knowing vs understanding, isolating vs belonging, part vs whole.

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