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• Wings of Desire

A paradise built for two and their audience

Have you ever looked at a person in VR?

While growing up we learn, as a social rule, that it is rude to stare at people. Yet the act of viewing is something we all do, in secret, bored, with our phones in hands.

People masked by VR-goggles don’t know they are being looked at. With their faces hidden, only a «ghost image of a human » remains. Doesn’t that make something of their core even more visible then?
Through Wings of Desire, a performance made for 2 and their audience, we wanted to play with the potentiality that VR has to be watched and do have an audience.
In it, fictional VR headsets serve as a macguffin to stimulate the spectator to experience embodied moving bodies in a different way. To provoke their fantasies, based on the performer's body gestures and bodily interactions, of an unknown virtual utopia in which the performers appear to be in.

This way the (non-)narrative relies on the imagination, empathy and the skill of the spectator in reading body language.

Performance presented in the MORPH exhibition during Salone del mobile, Milan 2019 and in K11 Guangzhou, 2019.

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• Embodied in the ground of otherness

A Virtual Reality Experience

Plugg yourself into a pre/post life intermezzo.
In the middle of MORPH’s show We Couldn’t Find the Door, during Fëy Art, you find Anna Aagaards piece, Dear mother. A bed shaped like a womb, that for this special occasion you are allowed to enter, and rest on for a little while.

Inspired by the idea of reincarnation, we made this bed into something more than a place to enter the realm of your dreams. Here you enter an alternate dimension. Did you just die? Or is this just that familiar feeling, right before you are being born (again)? A procession of your fellow visitors follow you on foot through MORPH’s exhibition. One by one, entering the vision of a final resting place. Just waiting to return to life.

Performance presented in the MORPH exhibition
We Couldn’t find the Door, during Fëy Art
Festival in Villecien, France 2019

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• Forms of Social Engagement V1

A mixed reality performance/ Ongoing Research

Faced with the fear of otherness, dominant dominated models and the oblivion of empathy, we believe in the necessity to hack these systems of our time and re-invent our affective and corporeal links. How do we interact together as humans in the era of Screens and mobile social-media?
To answer this question, we believe in deconstructing the different modes and systems of communication to go back to the preamble: The Body.

Our research project, called FOSE, Forms Of Social Engagement, is a triptych of physical and virtual theater pieces from which FOSE-V1 is its first episode. A series of performances through which we want to refocus our participant’s attention back to the first tool of experiencing life, the prerogative of being human: the physical body under the government of your own free will. And its communicative capacity vis-à-vis the surrounding world.

We want to encourage our audience to look at the complex intersubjective field of human relations with new eyes. To help re-evaluate their use of the body as a tool of communication with themselves and others. We believe there is a need o present contemporary interaction in its extremes: the opposition of the embodied social presence and the disappearance of the individual through digital media.

The first part of the triptych called FOSE-V1, is based on a modern form of hermit, originally emerging from Japan in the 1990 ’s : the Hikikomori. A psychological current, that has since spread globally, where people deliberately shut themself away from physical society to merely live life through digital connections. Eventually reintroducing themselves into the social world after some months or even years, facing up to the problem of reintegration into the physical society status quo, its own rules of behaviors, its own systems.

FOSE-V1 firstly presents the interaction between two individuals: a woman and a man that beyond gender, sexual or love connotations, introduce two humans facing each other with their similarities and differences.
Before coming in, you have been invited to switch ON your phone during the show and download an augmented reality application conceived for it. This app, supplanting visual information on the intertwined bodies, allows you to circulate he dancers in your own way and look at the performance through a selection of perspectives. Focusing on the difference between the screen and actual presence by carrying your own 4th wall with you. As you do every day.
FOSE-V1 allows you then, to delve into the complexity of human non-verbal communication skills and the system of a 1 to 1 interaction.
This project is still in the research phase in regard to the possible options of the technology we want to use and the possible dramaturgical options related to it.

Theses preliminary Researchs were made possible with the help of Stimuleringsfonds, Makershuis tilburg and IGG team of the ICube laboratory of Strasbourg University.

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• Meta-Movement-Land

A mixed reality performance/ → Next project

Meta-Movement-Land is a crossover installation that takes place in 2 dimensions:
the Virtual, through a VR-experience and the Real, by the theatrical installation that surrounds it.

A multi layered drama about our inner persona questioning how we embody our bodies,
envisioning our innards as a garden of life & playing with the dichotomy of contemporary reality.
A reality where the virtual constantly merges with the physical.

The audience will be guided through the whole experience by an actress. Here, in her space, she has decided to close her eyes, to stop looking outward, to detach herself from our era of appearances and image-led self-presentation induced by social media.
Blind, she waits for a presence to connect with & share what she has dreamt up: an alternative representation of herself. Her inner world to re-spark your imaginations for what lies within.

The overall, is framed by a set design & a dramaturgical structure to make VR a collective experience.

We strongly believe Imagination is a tool to rise above ourselves, to surpass the way we represent ourselves and which inherently, induces us to think better of each other, together.

Closing the eyes, as our actress will do, is accepting being in the dark. Like a long night in an empty natural landscape where you don’t see much but finally get to see the stars above you. It is accepting not understanding everything, it is accepting dreams, desires, fantasies and feelings that you didn’t know you had. The refusal to look outward is an invitation to feel, imagine and discover differently. For us this project, through its crossover with performance and new technologies (VR), is an invitation to grasp our audiences self doubts and their insecurities to emphasize the power of Imagination as a tool to understand each other. It is an invitation to trust yourself, trust others and connect differently to one another.

This project is made possible with the help of Stimuleringsfonds and Makershuis tilburg.
Here, we are collaborating with Niek Jonker, Stephane LAB, Xenia Lucy Laffely, Amédée de Murcia & Merit Vessies.

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• Remaining distortion

Did you ever find a facebook profile in memoriam?
Regrouping all the personal digital souvenirs and data vestige present there, it is used as a digital shrine from the person that has deceased.
Left to be remembered by their loved ones online. This raises the question, what are we leaving behind?

Vestiges involve excavations, and relate to archeology as a science that researches what has been lost by digging into what remains to find and understand its stories.

Here we leave traces of a performance that should have happened.
A stiffened remnant of a certain time, of certain actions and emotions. A virtual bas-relief, a digital fossilized landscape for people to dig into what is left.

Where are our minds and where do our bodies go?

Performance presented in the exhibition Might Delete Later
during Dutch Design Week 2020
Eindhoven, october 2020