Danielle Garrison (1984, Chicago) creates interactive horizontal aerial experiences to re-ignite embodied interaction (or synthetic touch) in a post-touch era. As digitality becomes more essential to communication, her concern is framing the sensory experience of the suspended body as a rich site for interrogation for non-direct physical encounter. Grounded in transdisciplinary collaboration, her projects investigate material relations, the ethereal space of those relations, examining how they interact on different media—aerial objects, video screens, news stories and the body. The object of this research traverses beyond image and participates within the sensorial contact between people, cultures, news media, synthetic fabrics and media screens; essentially, questioning the binary between the virtual and physical body by moving through various fourth walls. The nexus of her work is addressing new forms of empathy / apathy and the consciousness of geographic situations by bringing audience in contact with news media through a sensitive experience.
Danielle is an MFA dance graduate with emphases in aerial dance and somatics from the University of Colorado (May 2019). During 2017-2018, Danielle was a Fulbright France Scholar and a Resident Artist at La Grainerie in Toulouse, where she worked on her multi-disciplinary project MAPS (Multicultural Aerial Performance Stories), resulting in four performance installations that explored the topics of grief, response and empathy within the intersection of embodied performance and news media. In 2018, Tethered, a dance film on suicide Danielle made with Franck Gonnaud and David Allen, was screened at the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema. Recently, Danielle was a resident artist at Nils Obstrat (Paris), where she collaborated on a VR/360/3D/drone film that obscures drone and human body suspension to arouse a destabilizing proprioceptive experience for the audience. Furthermore, Danielle has worked as a multi-faceted artist for Aerial Dance Chicago, Cirque du Soleil, the Joffrey Ballet, the Colorado Ballet, Frequent Flyers® and the Paloma Project, and has performed and/or taught at the Berlin Circus Festival, Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance Festival/Boulder, Santa Barbara Floor to Air Festival, Aerial Greece, the San Francisco Aerial Dance Festival, and Les Rencontres de Danse Aérienne/Nantes. Danielle also participated in the Circus Dialogues Project residency at Le Château de Monthelon in Avallon, where we deconstructed issues with contemporary circus and published a letter proposing change. Throughout 2019, Danielle held an archival research position at the University of Colorado Boulder where she created a two-year embodied exhibition containing Post-Holocaust poetry/films/photos. Spring 2020, Danielle was a resident artist at SBCAST in Santa Barbara where she collaborated with neuroscientists on creating parasympathetic responses via aerial fabric community improvisations as part of the TACTUS retreat. Additionally, Danielle was selected to represent Boulder artists for the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema Community Project as well as invited to be a part of B.E.A.T (Boulder Experimental Arts and technology) exhibition for fall 2020. Danielle is continuing her research as a PhD student at Concordia University in Montréal.