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Art Department


iET+I Brings Matreyek to Cornish

iET+I Brings Matreyek to Cornish

: iET+i's Robert Campbell with Miwa Matreyek at Cornish after the 12:30 performance. Photo by Mark Bocek.

iET+I Brings Matreyek to Cornish

: Courtesy of the artist.

iET+I Brings Matreyek to Cornish

: Courtesy of the artist.

iET+I Brings Matreyek to Cornish

: iET+i's Robert Campbell with Miwa Matreyek at Cornish after the 12:30 performance. Photo by Mark Bocek.

iET+I Brings Matreyek to Cornish

: Courtesy of the artist.

Myth and Infrastructure 4 minute excerpts from Miwa Matreyek on Vimeo.

: Excerpts of "Myth and Infrastructure" courtesy of the artist.

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iET+I treats Seattle audiences to the transcendent shadow art of Miwa Matreyek with Myth and Infrastructure, a live performance with projected animation.

From the flickering of ancient campfires to the philosophical analogies of Plato’s cave to kids with a flashlight and a bed sheet, shadows have eternally captivated the human mind. There is an absolute and undeniable connection between an object and the shadow it casts, yet shadows seem to live in a different realm where continual permutation is the norm. Shadows fascinate and they absorb. Their enigmatic, shape-shifting hold on reality suggests that somehow everything is capable of the drama of transformation. In this way, art created with shadows is by its very nature highly theatrical. Animator, designer and multimedia artist Miwa Matreyek takes this inherent theatricality to a new height, working with shadow in the context of animation. The shadow-casting in real time catalyzes the prerecorded movement of the animation, bringing it to life; the animation is the light source for the shadows, creating an expansive stage for the live performance. End result: mesmerizing.

Matreyek and her magical performance piece, Myth and Infrastructure, are being brought to Seattle by the new Institute of Emergent Technology + Intermedia (iET+I) at Cornish. There will be two performances on Monday, February 3, at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the PONCHO Concert Hall. The first performance will be followed by an artist talk. iET+I is opening the performances to the public at no charge, but take note: seating is limited. RSVP for free tickets now.

Myth and Infrastructure is described as “a live performance with projected animation. The artist’s shadow is constantly present in this piece from beginning to end - sometimes in semi close-up and sometimes as a full figure - as the world around her shifts and transforms. Her shadow becomes an integral part of her own fantastical animation worlds, as she traverses oceanscapes, cityscapes, and domestic spaces to conjure dreamlike scenes with light and shadow.”

Instrumental in bringing Matreyek and her work to Cornish was Robert Campbell, professor of art and a prime mover of iET+I. “In Fall of 2012, Nancy (Cornish President Nancy Uscher) and the art department sent me to the annual ISEA conference (International Symposium on Electronic Art) in Albuquerque, NM, where I first briefly met Miwa, who was performing there,” says Campbell. “I met her again at the Currents Santa Fe International New Media Festival last year — we were both exhibiting there. We became friends, and even though iET+I hadn’t yet been officially formed, I expressed interest in bringing her to Cornish, especially since I knew that Nancy is a big fan. You see, Miwa was a student at CalArts during Nancy’s tenure there as Provost.

“Once iET+I was official,” Campbell continues, “Miwa was on the top ten list. She happened to be scheduled for performances at the PUSH festival in Vancouver, B.C., so we were able to snag her on her way back to Los Angeles. She’s very much in demand these days, so we are lucky to have her.”

Myth and Infrastructure feaures original music by Anna Oxygen, Caroline, and Mileece, with additional music by Mirah. It was created in 2010 with Special Projects Grant by Princess Grace Foundation, Seed Grant by Under the Radar Festival and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

Matreyek’s piece was premiered at TED Global 2010 in Oxford, England, and has since toured internationally to various festivals, theaters, and schools. Some of these include ISEA Conference in Albuquerque, Anima Mundi in Rio de Janeiro, New Frontiers at Sundance Film Festival in Park City, the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the TBA festival in Portland, Theatre de la Cité in Paris, and many others including venues in Mexico, Slovenia, Chile, New York, Beijing, Spain and Edinburgh. 

“Miwa Matreyek is an animator, designer, and multimedia artist working in Los Angeles,” the artist’s intro reads. “She creates animated short films as well as works that integrate projected animation and live performance/installation. Matreyek is interested in how animation, when combined with body and space, takes on a more physical and real aspect, while body and space acquire a more fantastical quality.”

Myth and Infrastructure, February 3, 12:30 and 7 p.m., PONCHO Concert Hall at Kerry Hall, Cornish College of the Arts 710 E. Roy Street, Seattle, WA


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