tell us about Me & the Machine and the type of work that you create:
Me and the Machine is a performance and visual arts collective. Our work combines live encounters with inventive use of everyday audiovisual technology - subverting, highlighting or reinventing conventional ways of relating to technology, through technology, around technology, despite technology. Audiences are engaged into hybrid realms, somewhere between actual, virtual and poetic realities.
What is the role of the participant in your work and How does it impact the results?
The role of participants is at the centre of our work and most of the time it involves some kind of role play and instructions, so audiences are never passive watchers.
We aim to create situations where their position in relation to each other and to technology is unfamiliar, pointing out the strangeness of the mediated relations we do establish regularly on our everyday lives. The aim is to reveal the artificiality of some of those relations, and how, since they are constructed (and not natural), they are also liable to be changed and reinvented.
What excites you at the moment in terms of digital arts?
Currently, I am interested on researching how we (humans) are coping with the incredible speed at which technological development is changing the way we relate emotionally to the world and to other people. I also find very intriguing the power relations that emerge out of these new technologies, both in terms of the macroeconomic structures that underpin their development, and, again, in the way they shape our everyday material and emotional exchanges.
How has the increased developments in media affected our social attitudes?
My observation is that we tend more and more towards the creation of disposable bonds with persons and environments, to relations that don't require high doses of commitment, and I think this is tightly linked to the channels we use to communicate: fast, ephemeral, always available, always dismissable.
Amongst many other topics, I also find important the changes happening around our autonomous capacity to generate fantasies - which is becoming more and more dependant on machines and their experts and less the human joyful capacity that perhaps it used to be.
How was your recent visit to Montreal?
I was very surprised by the strong presence of VR technologies in Canada, not only on the field of artistic creation, but also on mainstream media and publicity. I think this is not the case in Europe yet, so it was a bit like traveling into the near future for me, the future coming.
What are some of your upcoming projects?
At the moment, we are at the early research stage for the creation of a new immersive theatre and 'wearable video’ piece exploring the limits of the actual and the virtual on everyday experience.
To see more of Me and the Machine and read about their upcoming projects, click here!