The Orbitar, a new multimedia musical instrument rooted in the ancient art of poi spinning, utilizes technology to combine play, movement, and music, into a contagiously fun and undeniably good-for-you skill toy. As an extension of the body and a magnifier of our movement, the Orbitar enables you to create a universe of live audio and visual compositions, one orbit at a time.

Press & Exhibitions

TEDxBeacon St

A talk and performance with The Orbitar by Kate Riegle - van West at TEDx Beacon St (Nov 2013)

Columbia
College Chicago

An article about the Orbitar is featured on the Interdisciplinary Arts and Media website at Columbia College Chicago (Nov 2013)

PlayPoi

The Orbitar has a write-up by Thom Thumb on one of the premier skill toy websites, PlayPoi! (Nov 2011)

Media-N journal

The latest Media-N journal, CAA Conference Edition 2011, is now in print, featuring an article on The Orbitar.

Weisman Exhibition

The Orbitar, as a recipiant of the Albert P. Weisman Award at Columbia College Chicago, is featured in the 2011 Weisman Exhibition (Nov 2011)

Salisbury Summer Shorts

The Orbitar is featured in the Electronic Art Gallery at Salisbury University during their "Summer Shorts" Exhibition (July 5th - August 5th, 2011)

College Arts Association

Part of the New Media Caucus at the 2011 College Arts Association Conference, Kate Riegle - van West spoke about The Orbitar as one of 4 panelists on the Instrument as Artwork as Interface panel.

Reviews

"The Orbitar offers a focused play based on physics and physical body motion. Body is the true perceiving tool for this physics and our body also defines this physics with language and our current understanding of science. We have no other way of knowing or perceiving this phenomenon other than through our bodies. Furthermore, we can only articulate the phenomenon of planets, rotation, motion and spinning with our language and the physics that our bodies have created through its perceptions. It is appropriate then, that these physics also shape our world, our understanding and our being through our concentration on them. This toy/device/instrument and its accompanying play/practice enables our being and understanding of our universe and our place in the universe."

- Bryan Saner, [ performance artist at Goat Island Performance Group and Saner Productions, Associate Artistic Director at Mordine and Company Dance Theater, Professor]

"The Orbitar is a canny hybrid of invention and artwork. The use of the traditional model of poi spinning combined with contemporary technological innovations of sensors and triggers makes the Orbitar a truly unique object and process."

- Jenny Magnus, [Co-founder, co-Artistic Director of The Curious Theatre Branch, co-curator of The Rhinoceros Theater Festival, co-founder of The Curious School, Playwright, Actress, Professor]