Heather Raikes is a physical/media artist.
Her artistic and research interests revolve around dynamic interfaces between the body and technology that merge sensate experiential embodiment with abstract computational data. She creates intermedia performance, screendance, electronic text, and interactive media. Her work is fundamentally inspired by an interdisciplinary inquiry into contemporary mythos, informed by a convergence of perspectives from indigenous belief systems, science, engineering, humanities, and the arts.
Raikes is currently completing her PhD at DXARTS, the University of Washington’s Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media. Her doctoral research is a multi-faceted engagement with the body and technology that encompasses mixed reality performance, stereoscopy, physical-digital choreography, and posthuman embodiment. Her current work-in-progress involves stereoscopic projection of motion capture-based 3D animation in relation to a live dancer. It will premiere as both live performance and stereoscopic screendance.
Raikes’ artwork has been presented throughout the world at such venues as HEREArt Mainstage (New York), Aaron Davis Hall (New York), On the Boards (Seattle), The Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), SIGGRAPH (Boston), The International Festival of Performance (Barcelona), Culturgest (Lisbon), E-Poetry (Paris), Imaginaria International Film Festival (Conversano, Italy), Inscriptions In the Sand (Famagusta, Cyprus), the San Diego Museum of Art, and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Her writings have been published in Body/Space/Technology, the American Communication Journal Special Interactive Performance Edition, PoeticaNet, and New River Journal, and in the book Technologically Expanded Dance. Conference presentations include the Society of Dance History Scholars Conference (USA), MAIA: International Conference on Media Art and Information Aesthetics (China), Technologically Expanded Dance (Portugal), SCANZ 2009 (New Zealand), and PixelRaiders2: International Forum on Cross-Disciplinary Art and Digital Practice (UK). Recent awards include recognition from the Nebraska Digital Workshop and the National Stereoscopic Association.
Raikes grew up in Nebraska. She studied theater, dance, film/video and literary theory as an undergraduate at Duke University, and went on to earn her masters degree from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. Following ITP, Raikes was a founding partner in Silicon Alley media design company Media Farm, and worked extensively as an interactive designer in the New York new media industry of the 1990s.
Concurrent with her early digital work in New York, Raikes was a dancer with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, performing classic modern dance repertory at such venues as The Joyce Theater, the American Dance Festival, and Jacob’s Pillow. She studied dance and physical artistry with Erick Hawkins, Cathy Ward, Gloria McLean, Todd Rosenlieb, Lynn Simonson, Katiti King, Diane McCarthy, Miguel Godreau, David Life, Sharon Gannon, and others, and was a soloist performing the choreography of legendary Hawkins dancer Cathy Ward. Raikes studied performance composition and with Anne Bogart, Richard Schechner, and Lucia Dlugosziewski. She developed early multimedia performance work with the trio Gemini, in collaboration with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company dancer Daniel Russell Kubert and Erick Hawkins/MOMIX dancer Pi Keohavong; and with performance collective Harakti Multimedia, in collaboration with dancer/choreographer Kim Whittam.
From 2000-2006, Raikes held university positions at Temple University and the University of California San Diego. At Temple University, she was New Media Producer-In-Residence for the School of Communications and Theater, and Assistant Professor of New Media. Raikes piloted numerous interdisciplinary initiatives, and served as founding director of both Temple’s New Media Interdisciplinary Concentration and New Media Performance Laboratory. At the University of California San Diego, she was Research Associate with the Center for Research in Computing & the Arts (CRCA); Media Design Associate with the California Institute for Telecommunications & Information Technology (CALIT2), and Innovation Coordinator for the Culture, Art and Technology Program.
From 2006-2010, Raikes pursued her doctorate at DXARTS while teaching undergraduates at the University of Washington. She studied with Richard Karpen, Shawn Brixey, Juan Pampin, James Coupe, Stephanie Andrews, and Jennifer Salk, and conducted research encompassing DXARTS, UW’s Dance Program, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, and UCSD’s Performative Computing Lab in the Center for Research in Computing & the Arts.
In 2011-2012, Raikes will join the Planetary Collegium as an Advanced Research Associate of CAiiA: the Center for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts, University of Plymouth, UK. Her postdoctoral work will focus on artistic explorations of technoetic mythos, and articulating a new poetics for physical/media composition.
Heather Raikes currently resides in the Seattle area with her husband and young daughter.