METATOPIA          IMF 2018         Jaime del Val

Metabody/Metatopia – Performances

Metabody/Metatopia is a performance in which one or more performers activate and interact with an amorphous environment of flexinamic (flexible and dynamic) translucent structures, digital architectures, life video, spatialised sound, light and robotics. The environment is an extension of the performers body, who wears sensors on the body and enters a trance of perceptual modification while inviting the audience, in small groups, to inhabit the space moving around and entering the structures, in proximity and contact with the performer, avoiding having an external spectator and inducing a perceptual shift in the participant as well.

Metatopia proposes an experience of non-cartesian space beyond form and the grid, a space that continually coemerges with movement, challenging the perception of form and of space as external and objective, which inducing continual reconfiguration of the perception and subjectivity of the participant, inducing a reverberation and nonconsious state of perceptual emergence and indeterminacy and openness maybe close to dream or to an Ayahuasca trip but also to a child’s cognitive plascitity. Metatopia also challenges bodily perception beyond anatomy, in an alien postintimate encounter between the audience and the performer.

Metatopia is an expanded body in constant becoming and transformation. Flexinamic structures attached to the performer’s body are like a second skin, organically moving with the performer and inviting the perfomer to move, on which projections of the perfomer’s skin as well as digital architectures are projected, surrounded by a spatialised sound of electronically processed voice and synthetic processes, so that the performer engulfs the audience in his expanded body. The structures have openings that invite the audience to enter it. The moving shadows of the audience, the shadow and light play and the projections falling on the surroundings create an indeterminate space in which sensory modalities and space-time sensations shift for the audience, who thus shares part of the perceptual transformation that the performer is experiencing. Interactive lights and non-mechanical robotic movements of the structures, evolving through AI are also part of the ecology.

The perfomer is partially suspended and in an extatic symbiosis with the moving structures, digital architectures, spatialised sound, lights and expands in the environment embracing the audience in an indeterminate space of perceptual emergence. The audience enters in small groups for  experiences of 10-30 minutes inhabiting the expanded body of the performer in an intimate but indeterminate and alien experience. It can also be a  performance with several performers, and a durational performance. It can also be for a middle size audience of about 50-80 people moving around and inside the metastructures who will be able to interact wth the performer if they wish. It can happen in any indoors or outdoors space, provided certain conditions, in dialogue with the architecture, surrounding and bodies, normally with a residency or production workshop for a site specific and body specific piece.

The performance has numerous references and deconstructive citations of European culture, from the Vitruvian Man of Leonardo or the Kinesphere of Laban, to the wedding dress (here an alien and postqueer bride), masks and carnivals (here a kind of abstract drag) , as well as hommàges, references to science, anatomy and biology, with the newly discovered metaorgan called Interstitium, to aquatic creatures like Medusae, octopuses, to cells and protoplasm; references to the Chthonic and to ancient Greek Tragedy and the Dyonisian Choruses, and to Donna Haraway’s Chthulucene and to Lovecraft via Haraway; references to cinema (as a continuation of Kubrick’s 2001 final journey and to alien cocoons), and the arts: Loïe Fuller, Iannis Xenakis, Lygia Clark, Helio Oiticica, Stelarc, Philippe Petit, Theo Janssen, Char Davis, Janet Echelman , and I Like Amerika by Joseph Beuys … but who is the coyote? …

Metatopia also connects with works such as the opera Die Soldaten by Bernd Aloïs Zimmerman, with its radical deconstruction of the temporal and spatial unity of the scene and the music, which here expands to the de facto creation of a (meta) body that exceeds Aristotelian-Cartesian conceptions, involving the “public” in this new corporeality.

Metatopia enacts a post-cyborg aesthetics where the body expands and transforms its very self-perception in a multilayered architectural becoming: multiple layers of perceptions, sounds, visuals, spaces, times, concepts, references, and potential meanings hovering always on the verge of indeterminacy.

New – Milán 2018

It consists of one to three parts:

  1. AmorphogenesisAnticartesian Space Beyond Form and the Grid
  2. MicrosexesAlien Intimacy Beyond Anatomy and the Subject-Object Dualism
  3. Illegible Affects – Microaffective Vibrations Beyond Universal Emotions



Group performance – developed in 2016 with K-Danse and Metabody-Toulouse: