Max Machina
MAXmachina is a lab where storytellers, artists, scientists, and creative technologists expand live performance, creating work that uses science and technology to explore the promise and peril of our rapidly changing world. Projects include music, dance, experimental and immersive performance
Open Call will be announced in February. Please check back for application details.

Thanks to the MAXmachina artists who created these amazing works for


MAXlive 2023 – Where is My Body?

Lisa Jamhoury – MAQUETTE

Flako Jimenez – MERCEDES

Kate Ladenheim – COMMIT!

Paula Matthusen and the Knights – making the whole world a sky

Paul Pinto and Kameron Neal – WHITENESS (Excerpts)

Matt Romein – BAG OF WORMS

Sister Sylvester – GOOD GENES

Mike Tyus and Luca Renzi – MY BODY IS AN INSTRUMENT

MAXmachina 2022-2023


By Lisa Jamhoury


During her time in MAXmachina, artist-engineer and aerialist, Lisa Jamhoury, will be leveraging motion capture technology, avatars, and dance in her latest work, Maquette. The piece is an exploration of the parallel histories of averaging and idealism in art and society. As an audience watches the live performance, the performers’ movements drive avatars in a projected virtual world creating a genre-bending story that unfolds in both physical and virtual space.


By Modesto Flako Jimenez


Bushwick-raised theater maker, producer, and educator Modesto Flako Jimenez is coming to MAXmachina to push the boundaries of extended reality as he explores community connection, the relationships between matriarchy and ancestors, familial bonds and inherited trauma, and how our own identity can impact our mental health with the next iteration of his live piece Mercedes.

making the whole world a sky

The Knights and Paula Matthusen


After a great run at MAXlive: 2021 with making the whole world a sky, musicians from the Brooklyn-based orchestra, The Knights, will be stepping into the MAXmachina lab to further develop this project with electroacoustic composer, Paula Matthusen. In partnership with the K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Matthusen and musicians from The Knights will investigate the science of how birds sense and communicate. Working with researchers, they investigate the complex interaction between birds and their environment and will incorporate field recordings and observations from across various ecosystems and species into a new composition written by Mathussen. In this work, Matthusen and The Knights hope to expand the experience of birdsong by exploring the sonic and non-human sensory capacities of birds.


By Paul Pinto & Kameron Neal


Paul Pinto, an interdisciplinary performer and Kameron Neal, a video artist and designer, join this year’s cohort to continue their practice of creating immersive encounters to unearth the drawbacks and celebrations of personal, collective, and national self-fashioning. In Whiteness, they’ll marry video, music, and performance in a humorous self-interrogation of Paul’s maddening inner thoughts as a mixed-race American, visibly brown, and invisibly trying not to be so white.


By Matt Romein


Using the OptiTrack Motion Capture System and the Unreal game engine, Bag of Worms a devised theater performance composed of vignettes, monologues, and games inspired by topics as far ranging as body horror, creative violence, the WarioWare video game series, and more. Satirizing video game violence and the increasing context collapse experienced in social media and video games, Bag of Worms dives into the cumulative trauma we experience daily through media and asks what is our breaking point and what happens when we reach that point?



By Kate Landheim


COMMIT! is an interactive performance in which a performer (me) falls repeatedly, throwing myself on the ground trying to execute the most “committed” fall that I possibly can. During the performance, I attempt to measure commitment by gathering qualitative data (real-time responses on perceived commitment from the audience) and quantitative data (collected via sensors that track body shape, speed, and impact). The performance juxtaposes my unrelenting falling, the audience’s feedback on whether or not I “committed,” and projected visuals of collected data. Together, these elements reveal the expectations raised and enforced by technological surveillance and gamified interaction systems, and confront the viewer with the physical and emotional toll of trying to conform.



By Mike Tyrus and Luca Renzi


Music often times drives the creation of dance but what if movement created the score? In “My Body is an Instrument,” Luca & Mike explore the body and its architecture as the primary source of influence for scoring the piece. Collaborating with a German-based Music Company, Instrument of Things, Luca & Mike use motion sensors to make movement more visible when exploring the world of design,visual art,and communication.



By Sister Sylvester


Good Genes is a live performance that takes place within the biological matter of the audience, a genetically modified cocktail party that celebrates cellular mischief and light cannibalism: ingesting worn-out scientific narratives and turning them into a science for the people.

Matt Romein | BAG OF WORMS

Matt Romein is an artist and performer based in Brooklyn NY. His work consists of live performance, virtual production, generative computer art, and multi-media installation. His video design and performance work has been shown at BAM, SchauSpielHaus Hamburg, Mana Contemporary, Soho Rep, The Public Theater, 3LD Art + Technology Center, and more. His art installation work has been shown at Sundance’s New Frontier Program, IDFA’s DocLab, and SXSW. He has had artist residencies and received grants from Pioneer Works, Google, CultureHub, Signal Culture, NYU, NEW INC, and more. He is currently a Studio Member at ONX where he is developing a motion capture theater piece called Bag of Worms.

Kate Landenheim | COMMIT!

Kate Ladenheim is a choreographer, media designer, and creative technologist. Her work spans interactive installations, media design, performance and robotics. She researches bodies in motion and how they impact and are impacted by systems of social and technological pressure. Ladenheim holds an M.F.A. in Media Design Practices from ArtCenter College of Design. She has conducted research in motion interfaces for robotics design at U.C.L.A., and was the 2019-2020 Artist in Residence at the Robotics, Automation, & Dance Lab at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Her artistic projects have been presented internationally, including at The Invisible Dog, National Sawdust, GrizzlyGrizzly, Brown University, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and The Performance Arcade (New Zealand). Her work has been celebrated in Dance Magazine as one of their “25 to Watch” and “Best of 2018.”

Sister Sylvester | GOOD GENES / GHOST GENES

Sister Sylvester is a new-media artist based in New York and Istanbul. She is a current resident at ONX Studio; a 2019 MacDowell Fellow;
an alumnus of the Public Theater New Works program and the CPH:DOX lab. Her most recent film, “Our Ark,” co-directed with Deniz Tortum, explores the relationship between computational thinking and the climate crisis. It premiered at IDFA ’21 and has screened at festivals internationally, winning Best Short Film at the Istanbul International Film Festival. In live performance she works with hand-made books that use spatial narratives and spoken and written text to create communal reading experiences, most recently with Constantinopoliad at National Sawdust, commissioned by the Onassis Foundation. She is a self-taught microbiologist, and has made both video and live-performance works with microorganisms. She teaches a class on microbiology and performance at Colorado College, and has also taught and lectured at MIT, Princeton, UCCS, Columbia University and others.


Luca Renzi is a choreographer, movement /creative director and video artist. He was born in Bern, Switzerland and is based in Los Angeles. He trained at the University of Zurich under Jochen Heckmann (Germany) and Andrea von Gunten. He is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts with his Masters of Fine Arts in Dance with a concentration in Choreography & Dance / Technology under the direction of Sean Curran. Luca was a member of the Vivo Ballet Contemporary Dance Company in New York. He recently made his debut as a dancer with Jacob Jonas the Company in spring 2023 in Los Angeles. Luca is the founder of the Choreographic Research LAB, a laboratory that he uses to create his own work and develops choreographers. Luca joined Mike Tyus & Co. full time in 2022 and is assisting the creative director Mike Tyus in Choreography, Management and Development. Lucas’ work can be found on Stage, Music Videos and Film. For more information: @luca_francesco_renzi


Mike Tyus is an award winning dancer, choreographer, and creative director from Los Angeles California. He has been performing and creating dance works for the stage and screen for over 15 years. As a performer Tyus has worked with Cirque Du Soleil in “IRIS” at the Kodak Theater in LA and “KOOZA” as “The Trickster” – “a devilish ringleader” and lead character. Tyus Joined Pilobolus Dance Theater in 2013 performing works by Sidi Larbi Cherkoui, Penn & Teller , Israeli choreographers, Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollack and Spanish choreographer Javier De Frutos, while also creating company repertory that is still performed today. He recently performed “Trio A with Flags’ ‘ by Yvonne Rainer at the Broad Museum in LA. He is a founding member of Jacob Jonas The Company and an Associate Producer for Films. Dance, a platform focused on dance film creation through unconventional collaboration. In 2020, Tyus created Mike Tyus & Co, a dance company that focuses on the creation of Tyus’ work with over 13 films and 3 live works. 1 specific creation called “Hunger” was developed at Orsolina28, a dance residency in Moncalvo Italy. Tyus’ choreographic works derive from techniques and styles from his past. Circus theater, acrobatics, ballet, and greco-roman wrestling are abstracted and synthesized to create something unique. He has created works for dance companies, museums, pop-stars, and universities alike. Recently Tyus has worked for Visceral Dance Chicago, Chicago Repertory Ballet, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, Manhattan Youth Ballet, Ziru Dance, Utah University, Vassar College, CLI by Teddy Forance, Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet, TL Collective and Hedwig Dances Chicago. In 2020 Tyus directed and choreographed a dance film called ELSEWHERE on Whim W’him Contemporary Dance Company that was showcased on PBS. He’s created dance films for The Broad Museum in LA that were featured on StandardVision billboards throughout the city. Tyus was selected to create a work for the Joffrey Ballet Academy for the Winning Works program presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art. He also choreographed a Facebook commercial directed by FKA Twigs that now lives in the MOMA’s archives because of its cultural significance. Tyus has choreographed music videos for Nigerian Pop-Star Adekunle Gold and new comer Anna Margo, and assisted Daniel Ezralow in the creation of an art film for actor and musician Jim Sturgess, bringing art-world sensibilities to pop culture. As a creative director Tyus has developed branded campaigns for Vaara, Anthropologie, Veuve Clicquot, Club Monaco, SONY, Apple, and Abercrombie & Fitch, focusing on the relationship between dance and commerce and utilizing his large social media network to share the power of dance worldwide. Community and Creation are at the core of Tyus’ mission and continue to drive his efforts in crafting work that feeds the human spirit and reflects the times in which we live.

Lisa Jamhoury | MAQUETTE

Lisa Jamhoury is a Lebanese-American movement artist and programmer creating embodied, computational experiences. Rooted in contemporary circus and mindfulness as means to engage trauma, her practice includes interactive performances, installations, and websites that encourage a consensual, celebratory approach to humanity’s shared physicality. She is a Y8 member of the New Museum’s NEW INC Extended Realities Track, and recently completed residencies with the 2021 session of the Conference on Movement and Computing, and New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), where she completed her masters degree and is an adjunct arts professor. As an aerial acrobat, she has choreographed and performed across the United States, including commissioned work for the Streb Lab for Action Mechanics and TEDx Brooklyn. Her computational work has been recognized by Ars Electronica, Meta Open Arts, Contemporary Art Society, CultureHub, Google/NYU xStory, and others.

Modesto Flako Jimenez | MERCEDES

Modesto Flako Jimenez is a Dominican-born, Bushwick-raised theater maker, producer, and educator. In 2016 he received the ATI Best Actor Award and Princess Grace Award Theater Honoraria. HOLA Outstanding Solo Performer for 2017. Flako is best known for original productions and three signature festivals produced with his company Oye Group. Flako has appeared in Taxilandia (Oye Group, New York Theatre Workshop, the Bushwick Starr, & The Tank, NYTimes Critic’s Pick), Early Shaker Spirituals (Wooster Group), Last Night At The Palladium (Bushwick Starr/3LD), Yoleros (Bushwick Starr/IATI theater), Conversations Pt.1: How To Make It Black In America (JACK), Take Me Home (3LD/Incubator Arts Project), Richard Maxwell’s Samara (Soho Rep.), Kaneza Schaal’s Jack & (BAM). In 2018 he became the first Dominican-American Lead Artist in The Public Theater Under The Radar Festival with his show Oye For My Dear Brooklyn. in 2021 he received a Jerome Foundation fellowship and Foundation of Contemporary Arts award in performing arts and theater.

Paul Pinto | WHITENESS

Paul Pinto is a composer, performer, opera-sermonizer, and multi-disciplinary dabbler who makes music, new media, micro-theatres and durational performance by himself and with his friends. Some of those friends include the collectives thingNY, Varispeed and LoveLoveLove. His last few releases include Just Love, Patriots with Jeffrey Young, Empty Words with Varispeed, and Robert Ashley’s Improvement and eL/Aficionado. He’s toured Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King, originated the role of Balaga in Dave Malloy’s Great Comet of 1812, and wrote and performed in the autotuned opera Thomas Paine in Violence, the dance arias 15 Photos, and the cyclorama video installation Whiteness: Part One. During COVID times, Paul’s created music for the Prototype Festival, Colgate University, The Fisher Center, the Look + Listen Festival, American Opera Projects, Culturehub, LaMama and online and interactive shows with thingNY. Recent commissions include The Approach for Quince, I pass’d a church for Rhythm Method String Quartet, and Overture for Yarn/Wire. This year: Dom Juan at the Fisher Center’s SummerScape, 15 Photos with Kristin Marting and HERE Arts, and Whiteness: Part Two with Kameron Neal and WNET

Kameron Neal | WHITENESS

Kameron Neal is a multidisciplinary artist working in video, performance, and design. He uses technology as a tool to encode history and craft compelling performances of self. A Princess Grace Awardee, NYU ITP Fellow and NYSCA/NYFA Fellow, Kameron is currently a Public Artist in Residence in the NYC Department of Records where he is researching new ways to engage with the city’s municipal archives. He recently directed Whiteness: Part One, an immersive 360° video cantata in collaboration with Paul Pinto that was presented at CultureHub and La MaMa. In 2020, he co-created MukhAgni with Shayok Misha Chowdhury, an irreverent multimedia performance memoir that was presented at Under the Radar. His work has been featured in music videos and performances by Billy Porter and Rufus Wainwright. Kameron’s work has been written about Forbes, The New York Times, National Geographic, HYPEBEAST and presented by a variety of institutions including The Public Theater, BAM, Ars Nova, SohoRep, Digital Graffiti, New Orleans Film Festival, the Williams College Museum of Art and SoundScene at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum.‍

The Knights | making the whole world a sky

The Knights are a collective of adventurous musicians dedicated to transforming the orchestral experience and eliminating barriers between audiences and music. Driven by an open-minded spirit of camaraderie and exploration, they inspire listeners with vibrant programs rooted in the classical tradition and passion for artistic discovery. The Knights evolved from late-night chamber music reading parties with friends at the home of violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist  Eric Jacobsen. The Jacobsen brothers together serve as artistic directors of The Knights, with  Eric Jacobsen as conductor. 

Paula Matthusen | making the whole world a sky

Paula Matthusen is a composer who writes both electroacoustic and acoustic music and realizes sound installations. In addition to composing for a variety of different ensembles, she also collaborates with choreographers and theater companies. She has written for diverse instrumentations, such as “run-on sentence of the pavement” for piano, ping-pong balls, and electronics, which Alex Ross of The New Yorker noted as being “entrancing”. Her work often considers discrepancies in musical space—real, imagined, and remembered. Recent areas of creative inquiry include extensive field recording, which has led to compositions and sound projects in aqueducts, caves, and sites of historic infrastructure.

These projects are developed in consultation with the following scientists and institutions: Dr. Nicole Clayton, Cambridge University, Dr. Tom Griffiths, Princeton Cognitive Science Institute, Dr. David Haskell, Sewanee: The University of the South, Dr. Carl Schoonover, Columbia University, Dr. Bill Thompson, University of California at Berkeley, and ONX Studio for Extended Reality with Sensorium.

MAXmachina artists and their teams expand their artistic capacity through science and technology while exploring the impact these innovations have on our society and our planet. We look forward to welcoming you to our MAXlive festival 2023, Nov 9-11, to enjoy these works.

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and scientists light the way.