Myriorama (2004)

Myriorama is a performance that takes place simultaneously on the street and in a theatre.

Inspired by the novel Un re in ascolto (A King Listens) by Italo Calvino, the project Myriorama holds the public, in a way, like a prisoner in a transparent tent, around which a dancer circulates. At the same time, a roamer/performer on the street sends text messages (SMS) via a cellular phone, describing his impressions of the smells, atmosphere, and geography encountered along his way. The content of these messages is then integrated in a map indicating the position of the roamer (transmitted by GPS), projected on the tent. The projections are finally manipulated and transformed live, via a system of sensors, by the movements of the dancer who manoeuvers around the tent. The dancer attempts to keep watch on, manipulate and dominate his environment - as does the king in Italo Calvino's novel.

With the goal of questioning the fact that our cities and private lives are infiltrated by multiple systems of localization and surveillance, we took the cellular telephone, GPS and sensor systems, which are some of the frequently used means for observation and espionage, and gave them an artistic function. In creating a work with this form of representation, we also wanted to put certain conventions of performance in perspective: How can we surpass the physical limits of the theatre? How can we integrate an urban journey in the theatre space? 


Concept, development, production: ambientTV.NET (Manu Luksch and Mukul Patel) and kondition pluriel (Martin Kusch and Marie-Claude Poulin) / Performance: Martin Belanger / Roamer: Locally recruited / Tent: Camalo Gaskin / GPS/GPRS architecture, visualisation co-development: David Muth / Additional Max/Jitter programming: Alexandre Burton / London/live roamer: Shane Solanki; pre- recorded annotated walks by Pete Gomes, Christian Nold, Lottie Child, Diana Baldon

kondition pluriel, Montreal, and ambientTV.NET, London

With the support of:
Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Canada Council for the Arts,
Conseil des Arts de Montréal



Project Space,
London, UK

ISEA2004, Kiasma Theater,
Helsinki, FI