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ABOUT JILL BRAMMER WARE

As a movement artist and researcher, my expertise is in dance performance, choreography, and embodiment. I have had a long and productive history with Virginia Commonwealth University’s VCUarts Dance and Choreography Department as a teacher of ballet, modern, improvisation, and other dance and performance forms. I’ve toured nationally and internationally as an Artistic Associate with Amaranth Arts where I’ve performed in numerous works by Artistic Director Scott Putman, and I have choreographed many works for the company. I have participated in TEDxRVA as both a speaker, and as a presenter in the immersive galleries concerning my work with Embodied Empathy. I hold a BFA in dance performance from SUNY Purchase and an MFA in dance from George Mason University.

 

In 2016, John Henry Blatter (VCU Sculpture) and I began a collaborative project called Embodied Empathy that would explore the use of embodiment within Virtual Reality (VR). Utilizing narrative first person hemispherical video along with real time haptics we were able to create a body transfer illusion in which users were able to fabricate a visceral experience of what it was like to be another person (to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes). Our first research project was in the Dance Department and studied how it would affect my first year ballet students if they were to perform a traditional plié combination using VR goggles and to embody a professional dancer. What we discovered is that there was an immediate improvement in the students confidence, accuracy and fluidity of movement. From there we began to collaborate with multiple units across the medical college including internal medicine, neurology and rehabilitation. It is this knowledge and expertise that I bring to this bedside procedural surgery skills training project. With this project I intend to work with our team in order to create VR training modules that will increase training access for students, reduce costs for the institution, and improve outcomes for the patient.

We use Virtual Reality technology to build 1st person training modules from the vantage point of an experienced hand.

Embodied VR is a collaborative team of artists designing Virtual Reality training tools for the medical field.  

 

Completed and ongoing projects include:

  • A Virtual Reality Controlled Study in Empathy in First Year Medical Students – To reduce elder bias and increase empathy towards the elderly in first year medical students.

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis & Embodied Empathy: Experiencing ALS – To allow ALS patients’ family and home care givers an insight to the experience of having ALS. 

  • Combining Mindfulness-based Movement Therapy and Virtual Reality to Treat Chronic Low Back Pain. – To use as an alternative treatment to increase mobility and reduce kinesiophobia.

ABOUT JOHN HENRY BLATTER

As a new-media installation artist and researcher, I have been exploring the themes of identity, body and self for over 20 years. Currently I am working with hemispherical video and virtual reality (VR) to create fully immersive or embodied experiences. My installations and collaborative works have been exhibited in New York, Miami, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Omaha, Pittsburg as well as internationally in British Columbia, Basel and Istanbul. I was Artist in Residence in the High Arctic, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art and the Vermont Studio Center and a recipient of the Jacob Javits Fellowship. In 2005 I founded the Daily Constitutional, an artist-run publication that focused on the Artist’s voice.

 

In 2016, Jill B Ware (VCU Dance and Choreography) and I began a collaborative project called Embodied Empathy that would explore the use of embodiment within VR. Utilizing narrative first person hemispherical video along with real time haptics we were able to create a body transfer illusion in which users were able to fabricate a visceral experience of what it was like to be another person (to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes). Our first research project was in the Dance Department and studied how it would affect Jill’s first year ballet students if they were to perform a traditional plié combination in the VR as a professional dancer. What we discovered is that there was an immediate improvement in the students confidence, accuracy and fluidity of movement. From there we began to collaborate with multiple units across the medical college including internal medicine, neurology and rehabilitation. It is this knowledge and expertise that I bring to this bedside procedural surgery skills training project. With this project I intend to work with our team in order to create VR training modules that will increase training access for students, reduce costs for the institution, and improve outcomes for the patient.

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