Balam Soto and his 13 year old daughter, Jade Soto, presented Westport’s Mini Maker Faire in April this year. They made quite a team at the World Maker Faire held in New York City at the NY Hall of Science Museum this past weekend. They were awarded two Editor’s Choice ribbons for their performance of “The Body Sound Suit”, an original piece that combines Balam’s technological innovations with Jade’s dance performance.
Balam, a visual artist who develops artistic, interactive technologies, developed “The Body Sound Suit” to allow performers to generate their own music and visual projections through their movement. Jade, who studies ballet and modern at the Connecticut Concert Ballet in Manchester, began working with Balam on the suit about three years ago. “When I dance in the Suit, I am in complete control over my environment which is both challenging and fun as a dancer. I dedicate a lot of my time to dancing every week and being awarded not just one Editor’s Choice, but two, is really exciting!”
“I love having the chance to work with my daughter. She’s such a talented artist and choreographed the piece we performed this weekend on her own. Since we began working together on this, she has given me a lot of important feedback, which has allowed me to improve the suit. Our next step is to expand the performance to include an electronic instrument that I developed. This will get me on stage performing with her,” said Balam.
The development of this suit was supported by the City of Hartford’s Artist Grant, which Balam won in 2010. He recently won another grant from the city, the Hartford Business Grant for Innovative Entrepreneurs. This grant is supporting the development of Balam’s innovative technologies into do-it-yourself electronics kits that teach people about electronics through fun projects. These new kits were also unveiled at the Maker Faire event over the weekend.
“The city of Hartford has been very supportive of my artistic and technological works and that support has made it possible for me to succeed as an artist and a developer,” commented Balam.
Balam Soto is the co-owner of Open Wire Lab, a company dedicated to the development and sale of creative, innovative technologies. For more information, visit www.openwirelab.com.