Scena ex Machina

by Scott on 2015/02/12

Monkey C’s “Scena Ex Machina” show started Friday at the Bay Centre as part of this year’s Victoria Film Festival. It is a collection of four vintage machines that have been modified into interactive sculptures, inspired by sci-fi films.

One is an old 1950′s cash register that plays music and movie quotes with sound responsive lighting.

The second piece is a wire recorder from the 1950′s that has been made into an audio processor unit with coloured lights. Put on the headphones, and when you speak into the mic, it sounds like you’re talking to yourself from another dimension. Trippy stuff.

The third is a radio from 1941 that now picks up cellphone, wifi and bluetooth (instead of the traditional am/fm) and uses the cell data to distort the movie “Metropolis” that is projected on the wall (as a commentary on cellphone use in theatres.)

The fourth is an old projector modified into a bubble-shaped screen, that does touch-reactive video mixing, and responds differently to different people and combinations of people. It was a lot of fun on Valentine’s Day when people realized that they could affect the machine differently by working in pairs.

Participants are encourage to touch everything, and explore the works to figure them out. The Film Festival volunteers are asked to not show anybody what to do with the sculptures to allow people to explore it for themselves. Because it’s interactive, participants are required to physically engage with the work, which has created a lot of interesting responses from people, challenged some people’s comfort zones, and introduced some new ideas to people.

Scott spoke with Amanda Farrell-Low about the exhibit on CBC – you can listen to it here:

We’d like to give a shout out to The Bay Centre, The Victoria Film Festival, 10 Acres, The Whole Beast, Tedx Victoria, Kindle Arts, Madrona Gallery, One Net Marketing and Limbic Media for helping to make this happen.

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