IMF 2018          Multiversity         Ontohacklab


 of Metaformative Architectures

imf-2016-8-brasil-9z-metatopia-jaime-del-val-1Metatopia Studio of metaformative and performative architectures develops site-specific and body-specific installations and interventions based on the Metatopia concept and techniques. Metatopia proposes dynamic, wearable, nomadic architectures that induce a shift in perception foregrounding an indeterminate sense of coemergence with the environment.

METATOPIA is an architectural paradigm of indeterminate space, enacted as a nomadic, interactive & performative environment for outdoors & indoors spaces that merges dynamic physical & digital architectures, with 3D and multisensory immersion, focusing on indeterminacy, unpredictability and open-ended relation to bodies and surrounding environment, an indeterminate space of emergent behaviours and movements that defies prediction and control in the Big Data Era.

Since 2014 Metatopia has been presented in urban spaces, museums, art centres, theatres, festivals, universities, and other venues in Madrid, Paris, Toulouse, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Santiago de Chile, Valparaiso, Bogota, Manizales, Lima, Ciudad de México, Brasília, São Paulo, São Carlos, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, New York, Montreal, Durham, Berkeley and Seul, with over 60 presentations for over 10.000 people.


METATOPIA 5.0:  Microsingularity – Perceptual-architectural mutations.

A singularity is an event that creates its own physical or space-time laws, impossible to know outside of it, such as the Big Bang or a black hole. Currently some of the largest corporations on the planet promote the idea that the current technological acceleration of digital culture advances towards a technological singularity, associated with the emergence of an artificial superintelligence, and paradoxally also with a will to reach individual immortality and to digitize and subject the world to total control.

Microsingularity  proposes an intra-active environment  composed of suspended flexinamic modules of interactive physical architecture and projections of digital architecture and spatialised electronic sound with which the audience interacts through sensors on the body, indoors or outdoors, intervening any space as perceptual-architectural mutation.

Microsingularity is an intra-active environment that does not follow the laws of the Cartesian space nor of the subject-object dualism, an amorphous, anti-object and anti-perspectival environment emerging from the movements of the audience with a focus on multisensory micromotion and perceptual ambiguity as a characteristic. Microsingularity is a neuroplastic anti-smart environment, as alternative for contestable futures in face of the domination of digital control.

In the framework of the International Metabody Forum IMF 2018 with a new phase of development of  Metatopia 5.0 will be elaborated, exploring new suspended flexinamics building techniques, habitable spaces, robotics, VR, AI, new technical and artistic developments, new metaformance formats of audience involvement, therapeutic applications, co-creation environments with neurodiverse people, refugees, prisoners, indigenous people and other communities, itinerating in rural areas as well as cities. Like in preceding years new site-specific and body-specific versions will be elaborated in each city and country, expanding the processes from previous years into deeper, more sustained collaborations and processes.


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Metaformance/Metagaming/Intra-activity: Indeterminate ecologies in the Algoricene

Hommage to Loïe Fuller, Iannis Xenakis, Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Clark

METATOPIA proposes a reflection on the role of embodiment in the Big Data era where increasing prediction and modulation of behaviours occurs by reducing the complexity of gesture to calculable elements, inducing expressive homogenisation while affording unprecedented control. Metatopia environments propose to reintroduce the full spectrum of embodied expression highlighting indeterminacy and empowering people to recuperate public space and the body as resistance to the ways in which current media tend to invade or erase these transforming them into hipercontrol spaces.

METATOPIA is based on the novel Flexinamics techniques developed by Reverso in the European project METABODY, based on flexible and dynamic structures, a concept of wearable architecture that blurs the boundaries of body and environment, with flexibility of all components and the constant physical dynamism and mutation of the modules. It consists both of bare physical structures connected to bodies, and of embedded systems of micromotors, sensors and other embedded systems as well as of associated movement techniques: architecture conceived as emergent and indeterminate movement relations.

METATOPIA is a swarm of intra-active, intelligent, nomadic architectures in urban spaces or indoors, an Occupy 2.0 or “refugee camp” for the new digital world order: embodied spaces of  indeterminacy as resistance in Big Data and Hypercontrol society, a new distributed life-form.


METATOPIA proposes a novel format called metaformance, hybrid of installation and performance, focusing on the perceptual experience of the participant, in a move away from established spectacular formats, while challenging traditional accounts of robotics, VR and AI. Metatopia proposes the notion of Metagaming, a concept of interactive multisensory platforms across the physical and digital for outdoors and indoors involving full body interaction, non-goal oriented activity, non-quantifiable and non-competitive play, favoring diversity of gestural interactions, embodied and non-verbal communication and away from the aesthetics of simulation and control. Metatopia evolves in always new site-specific and body-specific versions to be elaborated in each city and country.

METATOPIA can be presented in a wide variety of spatial compositions and scales, from large urban interventions to small intimate performances.



Installation including robotics with embedded micromotors and sensors for the autonomous movement of the structures which become an autonomous living organism infiltrating buildings in varied compositions.

Participatory Installation indoors/outdoors:

where the audience enters the modules and activates the physical space as well as the digital architectures and electronic sound. This format can include performative aspects or moments or hybrids of installation-performance.


Solo performance indoors/outdoors – Amorphogenesis:

interactive 3D digital architectures and spatialised synthetic sound endlessly transforming through on body sensors.

Solo performance indoors/outdoors – Microsexes:

Surveillance cameras on the skin and electronically processed voice that generate an amorphous body without anatomy. Including 1 to 1 encounters with the audience members.

Solo performance outdoors – Architectural dialogues

Both of the above environments may be outdoors performances involving dialogues with specific architectural environments. (Below in the National Museum of Brasília by Oscar Nimeyer)

Group performance indoors/outdoors:

with 4 dancers/performers – including interactive 3D digital architectures and spatialised synthetic sound transforming through on body sensors.


In an apparent future that could be the present a planetary cyberorganism, or hipercyborg, called Big Data Brother, traces, cuantifies and modulates every movement of every human and non-human body and space. There is a diffuse guerilla of Metabody agents that aim at deprogramming the hipercyborg through mobilizing unquantifiable movements, untraceable behaviors, emergent perceptions and illegible affects, towards increasing diversity of bodies and behaviours, infusing indeterminacy into the system. Metatopia is the architectural, kinetic and perceptual laboratory of the Metabody agents, XXI century Quixotes that undo the invisible strata of power disseminating diffuse actions across all spaces, a metapolitics for a potential Occupy 2.0 movement in the era of global surveillance.


METATOPIA tests 23 jan 2016 - 1

METATOPIA tests 23 jan 2016 - 2

METATOPIA tests 23 jan 2016 - 3


Credits :

Metatopia Concept and general direction/coordination: Jaime del Val (Reverso, Spain)
Flexinamics building techniques: Cristian García and Jaime del Val (Reverso, Spain)

Microsexes – concept, visuals and sound: Jaime del Val (Reverso, Spain)

Amorphogenesis – concept, visuals and sound: Jaime del Val (Reverso, Spain)

Amorphogenesis – 3D visuals programming: Dieter Vandoren (Netherlands) after concept by Jaime del Val (Reverso, Spain)
Amorphogenesis – 3D meshes: Jia Rey Chang (TUDelft-Netherlands) after concept by Jaime del Val (Reverso, Spain)

Original Sound processing software by Gregorio Garcia Karman
Disalignments movements techniques: Jaime del Val (Reverso, Spain)

Development of embedded sensors, motors and actuating systems: Marije Baalman (STEIM-Netherlands) (hardware and software engineering), Nicoló Merendino (STEIM-Netherlands) (design) and Jaime del Val (Reverso, Spain) (concept).

Motor interaction software: Dieter Vandoren and Alberto Caruso

Light interaction software: Alberto Caruso
Illegible Affects – concept: Jaime del Val (Reverso, Spain)
Illegible Affects – Software for analysis of movement expressive qualities: Casa Paganini-InfoMus Research Ventre, University of Genoa.

Collaboration on audience interaction and choreographic strategies: Jean Marc Matos, (K.Danse, France)
Design consultant: Michele Danjoux (Dap-Lab, UK)

Dancers: Marianne Masson, Pauline Lavergne, Chloé Caillat, Ambre Cazier.

Collaborations in sound performance and interactive lights: Marije Baalman

Research on tactile interfaces: Marcello Lussana



Supports: EU Culture Programme, Spanish Ministry of Culture, Region of Madrid, Townhall of Toulouse, ONCE Foundation