“Chair de lumière” by Marjolaine Béland: How Disruptive Conditions and Mimicry Capture Attention and Favor Empathetic Resonances

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Bodies and Presence

Presentation Title:

  • “Chair de lumière” by Marjolaine Béland: How Disruptive Conditions and Mimicry Capture Attention and Favor Empathetic Resonances

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • (Short paper)

    Keywords: Apparition, double, light, mimicry, movement, empathy, mirrorneurons, performance, reflection, projection.

    This paper examines the experience of Chair de lumière, an artwork by media artist Marjolaine Béland, that aims to create conditions of the apparition of the double, our double of light. By analyzing the disruptive conditions of illusions and performances that the artist orchestrates, we come to understand how cumulative effects –the architectural components and accessories, the involved audio and video technologies, the infiltration of two performers in the space and the interplays with light, transparency and reflection– build an aesthetic event in five different Times. The key factors of the aesthetic event are the mimetic human or non-human performances. The resulting empathetic experience with projections/reflections/refractions and the performing bodies induces ambiguous and tense sensations. Then the phenomena of mirror neurons contribute to clarify these ambiguous feelings, by distinguishing the visuomotor and the visual aspects that are entangled. Finally, the miming gestures of the participant and one performer and vice versa are exemplary of an intense affective moment constructed by micro-disruptions and resonating in the suspended Time.

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