MÆ – Motion Aftereffect & MESH

Freya Olafson with Yagiz Mungan and Kinetech Arts
SEP 7-9, 14-16, 2017, THU-SAT 8PM
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Join CounterPulse for a double bill evening featuring works by our 2017 Combustible Residency artists.

CounterPulse is broadening the international dialogue on art and technology by turning our focus to the creation of new works synthesizing body-based arts and new technology. In the Combustible Residency, CounterPulse has brought together innovative choreographers and leading creative technologists to create new works during an eight-month residency period. The creative duos, Freya Olafson and Yagiz Mungan, and Kinetech Arts (Weidong Yang and Daiane Lopes da Silva), have created bold new performances that antagonize and rediscover the corporeal body using virtual reality technology and data visualization. 

Freya Olafson, James Phillips, and Lise McMillan, photo by Josh Dookhie

Freya Olafson, James Phillips, and Lise McMillan, photo by Josh Dookhie

Freya Olafson, a radically interdisciplinary artist who synthesizes a classical dance training with a critical and bold use of new media, has teamed up with Yagiz Mungan, an interdisciplinary artist and developer creating at the intersection of interaction, VR/AR, and virtual worlds. Performed by Freya Olafson, MÆ – Motion Aftereffect intends to reveal how virtual reality technology can destabilize the meaning(s) of the corporeal body. The project engages with ready-made content from the Internet: motion capture libraries, 3D models and monologues of individuals recounting their experiences with VR in live gameplay, explorative worlds and VR porn. The MÆ project catalyzes conversations about contemporary culture and performance while imagining society’s future with advances in VR technologies.

Maria Sotnikova and Daiane Lopes da Silva, photo by Weidong Yang

Maria Sotnikova and Daiane Lopes da Silva, photo by Weidong Yang

Kinetech Arts’ new work, MESH, juxtaposes old and new technologies to tell the story of personal struggle against a life-threatening illness. A medical device – a mask made of mesh – holds the dancers’ suffering and fear, but also their hope and resilience. The mesh restricts the dancers, but it cannot restrict their imagination, their love, or their spirit, expressed through the movements of their bodies. Their spirit is refracted by a painter who uses their bodies as a canvas on which to paint a digital landscape that augments their inner states.

During the performance, a virtual body is created for the dancer through motion data captured live. The dancers’ physical and virtual bodies communicate with each other, reveal and share emotions, and at times deal with a handicapped body.

Navigating through these juxtapositions, dancers explore their fears, fall and catch each other, and deal with conflicting feelings. They find strength in their physical and emotional limitations while constantly supporting one another.

Post-show discussion with the artists on Thursday, Sept 14, facilitated by CounterPulse Artistic Director, Julie Phelps.

And come early on opening night, Thursday, Sept 7, for our Won’t You Be Our Neighbor Mixer, 5:00pm-7:00pm.

Concessions sponsored by Fort Point Beer Company and House Kombucha


Applications for Combustible 2018 are open! This is a 6-month residency program that supports artistic collaborations between choreographers and technology-based artists. Applications are due Monday, August 8th at midnight.

Read more about the program and apply >>


The Combustible Residency is generously supported by the Ken Hempel Fund for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

[Cover photo of Freya Olafson by Josh Dookhie]



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