"Ilinx" plays with the power of disorientation through light and sound via sensory substitution. By temporarily disrupting the viewer’s perception, "Ilinx" opens up spaces for new experiences that extend past the body’s senses into new realms of experience.
Appearing for its German premiere at CTM 2015, the work takes shape as a performative environment, provoking an intense bodily experience. In the environment, a group of five visitors at a time wear specially designed garments. These garments are outfitted with various sensing and actuating devices that enable visitors to interface with the performance space. During the event, a ritualistic progression, which lasts approximately twenty minutes, the natural continuum between sound and vibration, vision and feeling, becomes increasingly blurred, extending and stretching the body’s boundaries beyond the realm of everyday experience.
The project is inspired by work in the area of what is called sensory substitution – the replacement of one sensory input (vision, hearing, touch, taste, or smell) by another, while preserving some of the key functions of the original sense. The term "ilinx" (Greek for whirlpool) comes from the French sociologist Roger Caillois and describes play that creates a temporary but profound disruption of perception as is common in experiences of vertigo, dizziness, or disorienting changes of speed, direction, or the body’s sense in space. "An attempt to momentarily destroy the stability of perception and inflict a kind of voluptuous panic upon an otherwise lucid mind."
Credits: Chris Salter + TeZ: Direction / Valerie Lamontagne: Wearables Direction and Design / Isabelle Campeau: Wearable Development / Marie-Eve Lecavalier Lemieux: Wearable Development / Ian Hattwick: Technology Direction/Hardware-Software / Omar Falleh: Lighting Collaboration / Panagiotis Tomaras: Production Assistance / Marcello Giordano: Hardware-Software/Haptics Research / Ivan Franco: Hardware-Software/Technical Direction Berlin / Deborah Egloff: Haptics Research / Morgan Rauscher: Robotics development/Production Assistance / Ian Arawjo: Sketching Software
Ilinx is funded by a Canada Council for the Arts GRAND NCE Media Artist and Scientist Collaboration grant. The presentation of Ilinx at CTM 2015 is supported by the Mondriaan Funds, the Embassy of Canada, and the Quebec Government Office in Berlin.
Valérie Lamontagne is a Montréal-based digital media artist-designer, theorist, curator, and PhD scholar researching “Performative Wearables: Bodies, Fashion and Technology” at Concordia University, where she also teaches in the Department of Design & Computation Arts.
Maurizio Martinucci is an Italian interdisciplinary artist and researcher currently based in Amsterdam. He uses light, sound spatialisation, and binaural beats as a means to perform and explore perceptual effects in the relationship between audio, sight, and space. TeZ is also the founder of the Amsterdam’s Optofonica platform for immersive art-science.
Chris Salter is Director of the Hexagram Concordia Centre for Research and Creation in Media Art and Technology, Co-Director of Hexagram|CIAM, and Associate Professor in Computation Arts in the Department of Design and Computation Art at Concordia University, Montreal.