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“By creating alternate realities and bodies, I imagine transcendent representations of fantasy that effect how bodies move and are viewed. Normalizing bodies outside the conventions of society breeds optimism and hope by imagining a world that is different. Part of this radicle act of resistance imagines the future delivery of digital performative, embodied art and dance as time-based, iterative, and choice-based.” 

Screenshots by Tara Lee Burns   |   Photo by Crystal Michelle Perkins

Tara Lee Burns’ MFA Thesis in Dance, “ITERATION X” is a series of four works that not only identify as documentation, archive, and performance, but are interchangeable artworks of alternative and simultaneous realities as resistance and hope. The four works bridge aesthetics ranging from the bright colors of the VR and AR environments, thick hot pink elastic cords, and bodies of improvisation evolving from themes circling location, space, and the body as place.

Extending the Body, a live performance at OSU’s Arboretum North in October 2020, exposes a body wearing a VR headset as prothesis and signifier as cyborg or other and was described by audience members as a “cyborg ninja” in the trees.

REVEAL, a dance film, highlights dancer Angela Pujolas as manipulator of her environment as she uses thick pink elastic to stretch and peal back layers of her reality, exposing alternate and simultaneous worlds of vivid color.

a canvasUnBound, a live performance in ACCAD’s Motion Lab as documentation, is an interactive performance using painted imagery from “Extending the Body” as artifacts that react to the movement of the dancer.

moonshot: solos for your home, is an Augmented Reality App that will allow the user to watch motion captured solos activating the small spaces of their home.

Areas of research include a multidisciplinary and intersectional methodology including cyborg feminism rooted in feminist, gender, and transgender studies, digital and 3D cinema, performative drawing, and the phenomenology of the body including embodiment and affect in Virtual Reality.

For the optimal experience, we recommend viewing ITERATION X in Chrome on a desktop browser. 

A Conversation with the Artist

In this interview, Tara Burns discusses her research and ITERATION X with UAS intern, Genevieve Wagner.
CORRECTION: Tara Burns' reference to Isadora Duncan (21:23) should be credited to Loie Fuller.


Extending the Body 

An Experiential Invitation
Play all the videos at the same time, pause, let sounds overlap, create your own world. The sounds and videos are remnants from a live-performance and are layered to allow for a multi-viewing and listening experience.

“As the performer, I inhabit a virtual world while colliding with the physical world beneath my feet. The sounds around me influence the movement score as much as the paints in my environment creating paintings in a 3D alternate virtual world.”
A dark field shows floating elliptical blue shapes. Streaks of green light stretch above the blue shapes. Tilt Brush by Google logo is in the bottom right hand corner.
A black background field is shown with many tubular shapes of varying intense and vibrant colors forming many pattern and paths, interjecting and interwoven into a central area, near the middle of the image. The bottom right hand corner of the image has the Tile Brush by Google Logo.
A digital rendering with a black background and three green chip-like structures going from the top of the image to the bottom. They are illumiated by top light and are next to a much larger green object with a purple, tubular structure that takes up the entire upper right hand corner of the image.
A photograph that shows an autumnal landscape, with trees dropping their yellow and brown leaves, that is slightly darkened. A figure stands on the right side of the image, facing the center of the image, and takes a phone picture of a neon green paper sign that hangs from a neon pink string. The figure wears a dark green pullover sweater and a black face mask and pants.
A figure wearing all black and a VR headset is caught in webs of neon pink string that is strung between trees in a wooded area. Far on the left, out of reach from the figure is digital equipment. and a light
A close up of the figure, wearing all black and a VR headset, in action, attached to the trees by neon pink string.

"Extending the Body" was part of an evening of works surrounding the Arboretum North lake on OSU’s campus by the Department of Dance’s 2021 MFA cohort. Five timed groups were guided to access the real-time embodied painting transmitted from the VR headset and soundscape via their mobile devices. As they crunched through the leaves, they discovered a body bound by thick neon pink elastic amongst the trees.

“As the performer, I inhabit a virtual world while colliding with the physical world beneath my feet. The sounds around me influence the movement score as much as the paints in my environment creating paintings in a 3D alternate virtual world.”

In “Extending the Body,” I embrace the imperfections of streaming technologies in the middle of a garden as part of the experience. When performing in VR, the system often recalibrated and reconnected creating glitches, stutters, and pixilation in the representation of the 3D painted environment. These video traces embrace the alternative translation in this website reimagining. How can this representation show the difficulty of seeing through multiple mediums, the complexity of not only multidisciplinary but the complexity of seeing into another person’s history, situation, or identity? This work laid the groundwork for the addition components in this exhibition.

Oculus Quest, Tilt Brush 3D Painting Environment, Pink Parachute Elastic, Climbing Harness, OBS Streaming, Twitch, Soundcloud, the personal device of the user

Choreography of the camera by Katherine Logan
Digital Video

Live-streamed recording of embodied painting in Tilt Brush
Recorded, edited, and performed by Tara Lee Burns

Digital Photos of Tara Lee Burns by Abby Koskinas

Digital Photos of embodied 3D painting in Tilt Brush by Tara Lee Burns
“Extending the Body” 2020

Special Thanks to Collaborators and Key Supporters
Norah Zuniga Shaw, Valerie Williams, Oded Huberman, Jonathan Hunter and my amazing cohort who I shared this event with: Emily Craver, Davianna Green, Laura Neese, Andi Pei, and Yildiz Guventurk, KJ Dye, Emily Kaniuka, and Alessandra Christmas.




A black and white photograph of a figure from a very low perspective. The background consists of trees, open sky, and sun flares. The foreground shows three vertical, transparent pinkish-red stripes.
A color photograph of a landscape. A pink path curves along a green bank of grass and dark green pine trees and into the distance.
A black and white landscape photograph that shows a path curving around a bank of grass and pine trees. Three pinkish-red lines extend diagonally across the image from the bottom left corner, to a figure far off down that path.

Film by Tara Lee Burns
Performed by Angela Pujolas
Movement collaboration by Angela Pujolas
REVEAL 2020 00:02:57

REVEAL, performed by Angela Pujolas and filmed at OSU’s Arboretum North explores location as memory. Pujolas stretches and separates the hot pink extensions of her frame, imagining and opening alternative and simultaneous worlds of vivid color. Whispers and shades of color and light augment and question identity—the history—collected and embodied. “Where are the boundaries of your flesh and who determines them? How do we affect our surroundings? What is revealed from our actions? Are you listening? Do you see?

Special Thanks to Collaborators and Key Supporters
Mitchel Rose for his critical feedback and Angela Pujolas for her honest authenticity of the movement when filming.



a canvasUnBound

“a canvasUnBound” is a performance with an interactive system including 20 panels of 10-second recordings that fade in and out in relation to the body’s coordinates in space. In an attempt to recontextualize the memory of embodiment, the archive of panels is filmed and edited from the 3D paintings in Tilt Brush created in the performance of “Extending the Body.” Performed in the ACCAD’s Motion Lab, the movement was based on the history of the artifacts and merging of body and environment. A live outdoor iteration of “a canvasUnBound” will be performed at the Drake Film Festival on April 13, 2021.

woman working on a computer

In rehearsal with Oded Huberman & Katie O’Laughlin in ACCAD’s Motion Lab. 

woman dancing

Special Thanks to Collaborators and Key Supporters
Alex Oliszewski for the platform and support, Oded Huberman for going along with all my crazy ideas and sitting in the dark to figure them out, and Katie O’Laughlin for her beautiful enthusiasum, footage, and photos.



moonshot: solos for your home


Created by Tara Lee Burns
Performance and choreography by Tara Lee Burns
Materials: Beta version for Android Phone created through Unity, Maya, ACCAD’s motion capture lab & conceptualized in VR 3D painting program Tilt Brush

still from Itreration X

This project began with a concept image created in Virtual Reality (VR) 3D painting program Tilt Brush through live painting improvisation. Choreographing and performing a solo in a motion capture session and connecting that movement to a fluctuating polygon 3D Model (Maya) before bringing it into Unity to create functionality on a device.

“imagination augments the values of reality.” – Gaston Bachelard “The Poetics of Space”

"Moonshot: solos for your home" places a more than human identity in the home of the user. By imagining a pre-recorded/motion captured solo made alive in the user’s space I am exploring audience as performer and archive as performance. The audience member becomes the performer by engaging with an Augmented Reality (AR) entity in the space through watching from a distance, moving around 360*, or sitting immersed in the body of the performer. The choreography and movement of the dancer was archived through motion captured choreography of dancer and performer. By placing this danced archive in the hands of the user, I am questioning the essence of performance and exploring alternative performance venues.

Download BETA version of this App to your phone (ANDROID DEVICES ONLY):

DownloaD APP 

Special Thanks to Collaborators and Key Supporters
To Shadrick Addy for the meetings and scripts that deepened the uses of Augmented Reality (AR). To Vita Berezina-Blackburn for all those motion capture sessions. To Norah Zuniga Shaw, again, and again.


Special Thanks to Emily Oilar and Hybrid Arts Lab for their support and providing this opportunity to showcase and contextualize the connective tissue of my work.

Iteration X is presented in partnership with Urban Arts Space’s Hybrid Arts Lab, a multi-venue learning lab that experiments with how art is imagined, made, viewed and understood.