IMCA 612 / Intermedia III

Emilie Roby / Project Proposal

As much as my research was focused on reconnecting with the performative dimension within my first year in Intermedia, this year will be the pivotal point where I start to weave in my thesis subject/project into practice. Dynamics of embodiment and disembodiment: Interlinked Narratives of Real and Networked Life, consist in a series of musical/art performances featuring my musical persona bleu de minuit, sometimes accompanied by collaborators.

The performances are articulated by means of a theatrical, mediaturgic structure reminiscent of the opera play, and the action shifts between the analog and digital dimensions, investigating temporal formats of entertainment. Using a phenomenological approach in the conceptualization phase of the project, I extrapolate on Guy Debord’s prescient concept of real life being fragmented into an accumulation of spectacles taking place in a pseudo-world (La Societe du Spectacle, 1969).

As a performer about to experiment with digital embodiment, I believe that the resulting reciprocal alienation between real life and the spectacle, exacerbated and updated via networked life, represents an opportunity to initiate new relations within the morphing concepts of identity, place, time and the public, brought on by online culture. Consequently, over the next year I will be exploring different ways in which digital embodiment can be manifested. The Fall semester will focus mostly on video / online performance, and the Winter semester will integrate basic interactive spatial montage, using the mediums of photography (photogrammetry), sound and web.

Concretely, the work will be declined in the following sections:

Performance using live online platform: Preliminary ideas are, with a collaborator (Jonathan Parant) walking with a voluminous but light structure (outside), with our phones attached to the structure and filming each other’s feet as we are moving the piece from outside to inside my home studio which host a microtheatre, consisting of a stage, light projectors and different types of screens. Once inside, the structure is split in 2, one phone filming our backs and one phone filming from front. We sit on the edge of the stage as we put our laptops connected to zoom as well (close up on performers faces) and start sharing live sounds and voice. Switch to temporal montage.


Performance using temporal montage: From the previous laptop framing, start the dreamlike performance where my eyes, nose and mouth are peeling off my face.

Integrating Bonnie Marranca’s principle of mediaturgy with the participation of Jonathan Parant, musician and performance artist, we will explore the narrative potential imbedded within the zoom platform while incarnating simultaneously performing and directing roles, using both our phones and laptop webcams.

Combining performance, cinematography, mediaturgy, music and vocals.

Topics of interest related to digital embodiment:

– Shape Shifting :  Ongoing independent study on the Artefact of the double / Prosthetics of screen / Body  & Screen

– Symbolic Geography :  Loss of origins over Server location (McKenzie Wark), Online communities

– Digital Sublimation 

– Utopia as a form of resistance

Inspiration / Influences

A dream I had, where my eyes, nose and mouth were peeling off my face, while a bird (mesange) was delivering a cryptic message to me: Les symboles accidentels naissent a partir d’eclipses imparfaites.

Suzan Pitt, animation film maker and opera set designer.

(Asparagus excerpt ‘mobile phone excerpt’ as potential frame of reference, citation)

Lena Platonos, who brings pop music, song writing, into videoperformance.

Publié par

Emilie Roby

Performance et musique.