Myriam Bleau, Nien Tzu Weng

Meta.Morf 2024 – [up]Loaded Bodies / Kjøpmannsgata Ung Kunst / Performance April 20 /

Concert night! One ticket includes the whole night with three performances.
Student NOK 100 / Ordinary NOK 200: Ticket

21:00 – 21:40
Second Self
Myriam Bleau, Nien Tzu Weng
22:00 – 22:30
Turing Gaia: Composing the ((Non)Human) Martinus Suijkerbuijk, Øystein Fjeldbo
22:30 – 02:00
Astral Boombox DJ set! Apex Anima

Second Self (avant-premiere), 2024

“Second Self” is an audiovisual work and the first collaboration between choreographer and performer Nien Tzu Weng and composer and digital artist Myriam Bleau. Through movement, sound, and video, the performance explores the object of the screen as a tactile interface, prosthesis, mask, and mirror.

Custom-made small LED screens of irregular shapes are worn on the bodies of the performers (Weng and Bleau). Gestures on the surface of these interactive devices inform the sonic and video elements. Amplifying the sense of touch, they reveal the porous and elusive surface delimiting our idea of a separate, autonomous self.

The project’s title, “Second Self,” refers to Sherry Turkle’s book, published in 1984. The theorist suggests that intelligent machines that exhibit human characteristics act as a mirror or ‘second self’ through which we define the image we have of ourselves. The object of the screen, omnipresent in our societies, mediates this relationship to our ‘second self,’ acting both as a portal towards a hyper-connected network and also as a mirror, reflecting back an altered image.

Through different scenes, the artists explore the symbol of the mirror, social dynamics, and the myth of Narcissus and Echo. While specular and auditory reflections (echoes) multiply as in a mirror palace, a strange ritual unfolds, the performers becoming, in turn, reflections of the other, infra-human creatures, twins, shadows, or machines.

At the center of my ironic faith, my blasphemy, is the image of the cyborg. 
– Donna Haraway, 1985

Myriam Bleau (CA) is a composer, digital artist, and performer based in Montréal. Using music and sound as a point of departure, she creates audiovisual performances, video works, installations, and interactive interfaces that articulate sound, light, and movement. Her work is mainly channeled through performance, embracing ephemeral and elusive contexts. From code and machine learning to physical computing and devices, she considers technology as another agency that co-creates the output. Her hybrid practice explores porous spaces between the physical and the virtual world, between the natural and the synthetic. Her work has been recognized and presented internationally in festivals and events such as Prix Ars Electronica (AT), Sónar (ES, HK), Transmediale (DE), Sonic Arts Award (IT), Elektra (CA), Mutek (MX, CA, JP, AR), ISEA (CA, KR), ACT (KR), L.E.V et LABoral (ES), Scopitone (FR), Café Oto (UK).

Nien Tzu Weng (TW/CA) is a Taiwanese-Canadian interdisciplinary dance artist and lighting designer based in Montreal. She aims to build bridges between disciplines, pursuing an experimental approach to contemporary performance and a laboratory-based approach to lighting design. As both a choreographer and lighting designer, Weng is curious about the relationship between movement and new media practices and plays with the balance between reality and fantasy. She uses light and multimedia in order to play with perspective, perceiving performance as a process of transmitting dialogues between inner and outer space, where presence and image build multiple, overlapping conceptions of time.

Her projects have been shared in Node Digital Festival (Frankfurt, DE), Biennale Némo (Paris, FR), Ars Electronica (Linz, AUT), Les Percéides (Percé, QC), SummerWorks (Toronto, ON), 1-act SHIFT Theatre (Vancouver, BC) as well as OFFTA Festival, Elektra, Akousma, Tangente Danse, La chapelle, and MAI Theatre in Montreal. She co-created the collective: Double Fantasy and is currently a member of LePARC (Milieux), one of the supported emerging artists with CCOV, as well as a resident artist at Topological Media Lab, where she develops her research on presence and interactivity.

Header graphics: “Second Self”, video-still, Tanja Busking.
Portrait photo Myriam Bleau: Agustina Isidori. Portrait photo NienTzu Weng: Vjosana Shkurti