Melody Chua is a pioneering force of her generation in the development of interdisciplinary performances with new technologies. Her portfolio includes works with 360° touchscreens, 360° videos, Ambisonics, motion capture systems, live-coding, pressure-sensitive shoes, real-time projection visuals, microcontrollers, and sensor-augmented instruments, while at the same time reflecting critically on the multifaceted issues surrounding human-machine interactions.
Chua’s current doctoral research at the Zürich University of the Arts focuses on the development of visual representations for improvisation machines—specifically using her own improvisation machine (AIYA) as a starting point—where she examines the human-machine relationships, shifting posthuman identities, and forms of agency that manifest from performances with this machine. The intricate technologies used in her work serve both as vehicles of narrative expression and as opportunities to destabilize the normatives present in one’s relationship with such technologies. The aesthetics of her work gravitate towards immersive futuristic fictions, oftentimes with undertones of nostalgia and introspection, pulling audiences into intimate worlds.
Awarded a Fulbright-Swiss Government Excellence grant for the development of a sensor-augmented flute (Chaosflöte), Chua has performed and presented internationally at various festivals and conferences, including the Zürich Digital Festival, Zürich Design Biennale, New Interfaces for Music Expression (NIME) Conference, Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Next Generation Festival, Geneva International Film Festival, Network Music Festival, La Côte Flute Festival, Swiss Digital Day, My Behavioral Surplus Festival Stuttgart, PAM-Hörmal Festival, Immerse: Creative City Project, and the USF New Music Festival. She has also had engagements at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology Zürich (artist residency), Immersive Arts Space Zürich (diploma residency), University of South Florida (artist residency), Atlantic Festival Future Music Lab (fellowship), Montreal Contemporary Music Lab (as a performer), Performing Media Festival (as a featured guest artist), Kein Museum (solo exhibition + workshop), and the Timucua Arts Foundation (artist residency), among others.
Chua has been a guest lecturer on electroacoustic music, machine improvisation, and interactive music programming at institutions such as the Zürich University of the Arts, University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart, University of Central Florida, University of South Florida, Wayne State University, The Melrose Center, and the Atlantic Music Festival.