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Valencia James
Pictured is Valencia James, a Black dark-skinned Dancer, wearing a light gray no-sleeve cable-knitted jumper over a darker gray full body, long-sleeved loose leotard. She stands in with arms apart in a dance pose, being recorded by a handmade volumetric motion capture device (her project). She dances in an empty space of her living room, around a light grey couch.

Credit: Whitney Legge

Date and place of birth
b. 1987, Barbados
Current location
Redwood City, CA
Year(s) of residency and/or fellowship
2020, Rapid Response Fellow
Member of
Volumetric Performance Toolbox (Valencia James with Thomas Wester, Ben Purdy, Holly Newlands, & Sorob Louie)

Valencia James is a Barbadian freelance performer, maker and researcher interested in the intersection between dance, theatre, technology and activism. Valencia’s work explores remote interdisciplinary collaboration with creative technologists and how emerging technologies like machine learning and computer vision might enhance creativity in her contemporary dance practice and vice-versa. This research has resulted in collaboratively built, novel open-source software tools that push the boundaries of live performance. 

In 2013 Valencia co-founded the AI_am project, which explores the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence in dance. She was a 2020 Rapid Response Fellow at Eyebeam, where she co-founded the Volumetric Performance Toolbox, a project that responds to the global pandemic by envisioning live online 3D dance performance as a new way for artists to connect to audiences from their living spaces using minimal equipment.  Valencia was invited by Golan Levin to join the Spring 2021 Remote Residency for Open-Source Software Art Tools at Carnegie Mellon University’s Studio for Creative Inquiry. She served as dance expert and interaction designer on Dr. Vernelle A.A. Noel’s project entitled Artificial Intelligence + Carnival + Creativity funded by Mozilla Foundation’s 2021 Creative Media Award. Valencia has presented her work at TEDxDanubia, TEDxGöteborg, the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires , ISEA 2015, SIGGRAPH 2021 and Gray Area Festival. Her latest work, Suga’-A Live Virtual Dance Performance, has been selected for the 2022 New Frontier exhibition at Sundance Film Festival.

Eyebeam models a new approach to artist-led creation for the public good; we are a non-profit that provides significant professional support and money to exceptional artists for the realization of important ideas that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Nobody else is doing this.

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