of Metaformative Architectures & Environments
METATOPIA 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 a nomadic meta-architectural environment for outdoors & indoors spaces that merges Flexinamics Metastructures & digital architectures, spatialised life electroacoustic sound, light and robotics. METATOPIA enhances 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.
METATOPIA is directed by Jaime del Val and the Reverso organization and is part of the Metabody project. Since 2014 Metatopia has been presented in urban spaces, museums, art centres, theatres, festivals, universities, and other venues in Madrid, Rome, Athens, Lesvos, Paris, Toulouse, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Santiago de Chile, Valparaiso, Bogota, Manizales, Guayaquil, 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, in museums, universities and festivals as well as refugee camps, streets and rural areas.
- Participatory Installations
- Metaformances – 1 to 1 experiences
- Microsensory Environments – Therapy
- Disalignments – Street interventions
2019 – METATOPIA 6.0: METAKHÒRA / METAKHORÓS
METAKHORÓS (Metatopia 6.0) is a nomadic opera/game/metaformance/architecture in 4 acts and a 5th element that stages the ontological tragedy of reductive ways of bodily and social organisation grounding sex, gender, emotion, desire, race, species or ability organisations in colonialism, capitalism and their recombination in digital hypercontol, and promotes experiential choral practices (as renewal of the ancient Dyonisian chorus) that disalign these formations while unleashing the swarming power of movement for a radical movement freedom and a movement r/evolution or n-volutions. Metakhorós unfolds in the different instantiations of the Metabody Forum: nomadic events of research-creation, worshops and performances happening during the year in several countries and continents, in spaces like refugee camps, prisons, urban and rural spaces, with indigenous, neurodiverse and queer communities, as well as in art centres, universities and theatres, infiltrating and transforming other spaces, opening them up to indeterminacy.
2018 – METATOPIA 5.0: Microsingularity – Anti-smart ecologies and perceptual mutations.
A singularity is an event that creates its own physical or space-time laws. Currently some of the largest corporations on the planet promote the idea of a technological singularity, associated to total control. Microsingularity is an intra-active environment that does not follow the laws of the Cartesian space nor of the subject-object dualism, an amorphous 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 a new phase of development of Metatopia 5.0 will take place, 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 communities in the AMAZON and suburban communities in Brazil, 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.
SEE AGENDA OF PRODUCTIONS AND PRESENTATIONS IN IMF 2018.
Filming of Wonders Wander with Shu Lea Cheang:
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.
Metasculptures – Installations
Metasculptures are flexinamic (flexible and dynamic) structures that attach to buildings and bodies, indoors or outdoors, suspended or attached to walls or on the ground ,creating amorphous connections between bodies and buildings, as amorphous (meta)organs for a (meta)body that transforms individual and collective perception by generating a sensation of coemergence and inseparability from space, an anticartesian space that emerges with movement and is never finalised.
Metasculptures have peculiar kinetic properties reacting physically to the movement of the environment or the connected bodies and they can also have embedded micromotors that give them autonomous movement while interacting with bodies and environment through sensors, exhibiting varieties of undefined behaviours, like an indeterminate life form in-between the scale of bodies and architectures as architectural and bodily mutation.
Metasculptures can be presented as purely physical suspended sculptures in daylight, indoors or outdoors, inviting the audience to inhabit them as they infiltrate spaces and invite uncommon perceptions and behaviours.
Metasculptures can be perfomed by a dancer or perfomer who moves with them in the gallery space.
Metasculptures can become a more complex environment with projections of interactive digital architectures and spatialised sound in the dark, indoors or outdoors, as participatory installation for the audience and as performative environment where a performer wearing sensors on the body interacts with the metasculpture. The audience can also interact through sensors. The projections on the sculptures are digital architectures that breathe, like metaorgans of an amorphous body modulated with sensors on the body of a performer or of the audience; or skin from the performer or participants projected in real time through cameras on the body, a body without anatomy.
Metasculptures can include robotics (or, rather metabotics: non mechanical and non anthropomorphic robotics, machine un-leraning and anti-AI) with embedded micromotors and sensors, for the autonomous movement of the structures which become a semi-autonomous living organism infiltrating buildings in varied compositions.
Metasculptures are often generated in processes of co-creation with particular communities in particular places as body-specific and sites-pecific projects embodying concepts, local materials and experiences that develop during the process. See for instance the expreince in the Pikpa Refugee Camp in Lesvos in 2017.
Metagaming – Participatory Installations
Metagaming environments are interactive amorphous digital architectures and spatialised sound environments in which participants interact through sensors distributes on the body, avoiding manual control, anticartesian spaces that continuously co-emerge with movement challenging the perception of form and extension, and expanding the proprioception and self-perception of the participant into the amorphous environment.
The architectures are projected onto flexinamic (flexible and dynamic) translucent physical modules that are attached to the body of the participant, moving with her/him, indoors or outdoors, as large scale installation or in more intimate and small portable environments. Participants interact one by one for periods between 10 and 20 minutes or as small groups for periods of 20 to 60 minutes of immersion in the space. The digital architectures are like alien creatures or amorphous tissues connecting bodies.
Metagaming is an augmented reality mobile game for disseminating indeterminate behaviours and recovering the complexity of full body intra-action in times of digital control. Metagaming tours in Villages, urban and suburban areas like a Barraca of the XXIst Century, in Hommage to Federico Garcia Lorca’s nomad theatre “La Barraca”, also like a Dyonisian Chorus. Metagaming is developed always in new site-speficic and body-specific versions with communities along borderscapes including Refugees, Indigenous people, prisoners, neurodiverse, queer, etc.
The Metagame is about becoming an “indeterminator” an agent who infuses indeterminacy in the field, intra-acting with other agents, co-creating non-cartesian spacetimes and nondualist perceptions.
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. The perfomer is not in control of the space but co-emerges with it.
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 machine unlearning and anti-AI are also part of the ecology.
The perfomer is 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 durational experinces of 10-30 minutes inhabiting the expanded body of the performer in an intimate but indeterminate and alien experience. It can also be agroup performance and a durational performance.
It consists of one to three parts:
- Amorphogenesis – Anticartesian Space Beyond Form and the Grid
- Microsexes – Alien Intimacy Beyond Anatomy and the Subject-Object Dualism
- Illegible Affects – Microaffective Vibrations Beyond Universal Emotions
Metagenesis – Metaformances and one to one encounters
Metaformance: experience of perceptual and ontological hacking
Between performance, shamanistic and medical practice, and others, the metaformance proposes an intimate experience of ontoart: an experience of perceptual modification that hacks basic assumptions of reality, ontological presuppositions as the notions of extensive Cartesian space, form, subject-object dualism, sex and anatomical body or universal emotions, in several modalities:
- Amorphogenesis (approx. 25 min): intra-active metagaming environment to experience non-Cartesian and amorphous spaces as extensions of the proprioceptive body. Amorphogenesis is an experience of non-cartesian space in which the interactor wears sensors and creates an amorphous 3D and sound environment that invites the body to explore unconventional movements, sensations and perceptions, focusing on an expanded and alien sense of proprioception.
- Microsexes (approx. 25 min): antiperspectival machine to become a postanatomic body report of infinite indeterminate sexes. Microsexes is an experience of postanatomical body in which a performer mediates a transformation in the bodily selfperception of the audience participant who will see herself transformed into an amorphous landscape of closeup visions in constant transformation, challenging the perception of form, identity, intelligibility and anatomy, in an alien intimacy with the performer where bodily boundaries are blurred. The performer moves on the skin of the participant with small surveillance cameras in closeup projected on a surrounding flexinamic (flexible and dynamic) translucent structure, while his voice is processed life. The encounter may happen indoors or outdoors, in dedicated rooms or in homes. It’s a ritual of undoing a historical tradition of framing the body at a distance for the purpose of categorizing it, an exorcism of perspective, anatomy ad Cartesian subject-object divides, where the body becomes an amorphous process in excess of binary sexes. The metaformance takes the form of a doctor’s consultation (or alien brothel-laboratory) in which the audience waits while reading instructions in a large waiting room and is introduced by assistants wearing white overalls and headlights into the smaller room where they interact with the performer. It can be presented in theatre, festival, museum or gallery formats yet with the mentioned consultation setting.
Metabody Lab offers multisensory interactive experiences on a 1 to 1 basis through its Metacave system of portable immersive environments. Information and reservations to request a meeting / experience of metaformance in the Center Reverso / Metabody or in homes, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Microsensory Environments for Neurodiverse Futures
Metabody Lab offers multisensory interactive experiences on a 1 to 1 basis through its Metacave system of portable immersive environments.
The experiences are based on proprioception (internal bodily movement sensation) micromovement, microsensation and multisensory integration, with a focus on disalignments from established modes of perceiving and the exploration of transformative modes of perception that enhance the ambiguity and indeterminacy of multisensory experience.
Come and explore our pioneering interactive METATOPIA environments with new technologies in which micromovements create multisensory landscapes of projections, light and sound.
The environments stimulate movement and plasticity of perception and cognition.
Apt for neurodiverse and neurotypical, as therapy or for personal growth.
Metabody Lab offers multisensory interactive experiences on a 1 to 1 basis or for small groups both in our premises and in your venue or home, through its Metacave system of portable immersive environments. Permanent rooms can also be designed.
Information and reservations to request a meeting / experience of metaformance in the Center Reverso / Metabody or in homes, write to email@example.com.
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)
Concept, metastructures, sound and visuals: Jaime del Val (Reverso)
Choreographic strategies: Jean Marc Matos, (K.Danse, France) and Jaime del Val (Reverso)
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