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An interactive project designed to celebrate the infinite intimate connections between people through play, sensuality, and flow.

Video by Dimitri Kouri, with visuals by Elijah Parker (our visual designer) and Ryan Challinor (our programmer), and music by Kendall Clark (one of our sound designers)

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So what is Synapse?

Infinite Intimate Connections

Synapse is an interactive project designed to celebrate the infinite intimate connections between people. We want to encourage a state of euphoria through play, sexuality, tribal dance, and flow. One “player” unlocks the music and psychedelic projections by dancing within the soundscape in front of a Kinect camera. The other participants are situated in a comfortable environment to soak in the audio/visual experience. 

The installation goes through four stages.

Play - Kids: Laughing children, playful bursts of color, and playful music

Intimate - Sex: Heavy breathing and moaning, internal sounds of the body, visuals of fire, faces, and intimate close ups, thick dance music

Tribal - Gaia: Natural sounds of the forest, mandalas created with natural footage of water and earth, tribal percussion music

Flow - Cosmic: Frequencies and feedback loops, spacey drone, solfeggio healing frequencies, cosmic mandalas and fractals

What's the Budget?

Just a few days ago, Synapse was fully funded up to $25,000. Unfortunately, tragedy struck our patron before finances were solidly in place, and we now find ourselves without proper funding.

The good news is, since we thought we were fully funded, we've been working hard getting Synapse ready for Burning Man! The phase 1 program is practically finished, and that's the most complex hurdle complete.

The bad news is, without $25,000 solidly in place we have to tighten our belts and make some sacrifices. The two budgets below reflect our minimum and ideal budgets. $10,000 plus $5,000 from me is enough to bring Synapse to Burning Man, but every dollar earned past that will go into making Synapse bigger, better, more complete, and more properly attended by her loving crew.

We are actively seeking patrons for this ambitious project.

Scaled Budget ($14,449):

Travel and Transport: $4000
Projector: $1500
Backup Projector Lamp: $300
20' Dome: $6500
Kinects: $300
Passable speakers: $700
Power: $1149
Software: $1794

Awesome Budget ($27,699)

Travel and Transport: $8000
BIGGER Projector: $2500
2 backup lamps: $600
20' Dome: $6500
Cuddle-Puddle structure: $700
Kinects: $300
Custom Computer: $3500
Huge speakers: $3000
Power: $2599
Software: $1794
Kyma Synthesizer: $3062

What's the history?

This is my second experiment in a series exploring the power and potential of immersion. The first, a game installation called "Deep Sea," just won the Independent Propeller Award for Innovation at this year's SXSW. Joystiq.com headlined it as "The Scariest Game Ever," and one player got so involved that he fainted.

But "Deep Sea" was only a first step. Fear is potent, and exploited all around us for art and commerce. But moving participants to euphoria - reminding them of the sensual pleasures of being a perceptual being - that's a harder and, I like to think, more noble goal.

If you're at E3 this week, come find me at the Indiecade booth to give that first experiment a try. The lines tend to be long, but if you pledge $100 or more, I'll usher you to the front.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    5 backers

    A limited run button-pin for supporters only. Show your support for progressive interactive arts with some bling! Includes shipping to the U.S. and Canada.

  • Pledge $15 or more
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    5 backers

    A unique Synapse patch, produced for supporters only.

  • Pledge $19 or more
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    1 backer Limited (399 left of 400)

    LIMITED: Digital copy of the playa-generated music AND video to burn your own DVD.

  • Pledge $30 or more
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    5 backers

    FRIEND LEVEL: Audio of playa-generated music from Synapse, and button pin (shipped to the US and Canada).

  • Pledge $50 or more
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    7 backers

    ENABLER LEVEL: A DVD with playa-generated audio/visual output from Synapse. Great for a unique psychedelic living-room experience. Includes pin, patch, and shipping to the U.S. and Canada!

  • Pledge $120 or more
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    0 backers

    BUILDER LEVEL: "Synapse" tee-shirt and both DVD and CD, as above, and a button pin! And our eternal gratitude! Includes shipping to the U.S. and Canada.

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    PARTICIPANT LEVEL: Everything you need to have a Living-Room version of Synapse running in your own home, except hardware and software prerequisites! Awesome for parties. These and the Benefactor Level will be the only non-installation versions of phase 1 given to anyone. You still need: A reasonably powerful mac computer running Ableton Live A Kinect AV system Only 5 rewards available at this level of donation.

  • Pledge $3,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    BENEFACTOR LEVEL: Everything you need to run a living-room version of Synapse in your own home, except a reasonably powerful mac computer to run it off. These and the Participant Level will be the only non-installation versions of phase 1 given to anyone. Includes: License to Ableton Live + Max for Live All our software. A kinect. It goes without saying, that if you contribute at this level, you are making a huge contribution to Synapse and we are deeply grateful.

  • Pledge $10,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    PATRON LEVEL: You get an *extremely* limited copy of Deep Sea, currently owned by no private citizen. This game will never be mass produced, so this copy will be hand-crafted for you. It includes *everything* you need to play the game, including the computer. Also includes software updates as they occur. Scare the bejeezis out of your guests. Start every morning off right with 25 minutes of anxiety and unnatural breath control. Have the worst acid trip of your life. But seriously - if you contribute at this level you're making something really special happen, and I want to make sure that you have something awesome to show for it. This is pretty awesome. And we will be eternally grateful. Even more than the amount of grateful already included in the other packages.

Funding period

- (30 days)