Immortelle, First XR Production of a Music Festival is out for Release!
2018, Monument National. A/Visions 1. Premiere of Immortelle, the audiovisual performance. Line Katcho stands very still, yet her screen is full of gestures. Incessant, bold, its four sides barely containing the outburst of what she’s come here to say tonight. She is deploying Immortelle, a performance where colors contort, complexities surface, and the artist, transfixed and alive, is submerged by an electrical current that has no choice but to conduct the audience. Standing ovation.
© Trung Dung Nguyen
We’ve come four years since the striking original performance of Immortelle at MUTEK’s 19th edition. Since then, it’s toured around the world, from Germany to Japan, recently rekindling in South Korea. And today, its life cycle is prolonged with the release of a completely reinvented version.
MUTEK is proud to announce the release of Immortelle, the Extended Reality (XR) version, now available on SteamVR, VIVEPORT and soon available on more online distribution platforms.
Instead of electrifying a room, this artwork now also has the power to take flight in one sole viewer, in a closed and immersive environment.
Atmospheric and cathartic, Immortelle is a narrative lifted by movement, filled with jostling scenes and seasons. A story told by Katcho at a time of upheaval, showing both the softer and fiery sides of her fighter spirit. Unafraid of daring colour palettes and ricocheting landscapes, she confronts herself, and the viewer, with the inevitable permutations of environmental and individual changes.
“I want to shake up the viewer, I want to disorient them, for them to lose grip on what’s going on (…) it’s part of Immortelle’s essence”
Immortelle and the rest of MUTEK's Immersive Collection are part of the catalog of Astrea, the largest international distributor of immersive productions.
New Medium, New Tool, New Conceptual Approach
With so much to say, Line Katcho has never shied away from finding modes of expression that expanded her range and deepened the contours of her expression. From a classical piano background, she went back to school to study electroacoustics and then widened her palette to include graphic and visual composition. XR art now allows her a horizon-expanding venture into 3D design.
“Working with the headset and in Unity 3D, Katcho soon realised that she had to deprogramme her mind to think about the concept of VR, to think about this concept of having eyes all around. New medium, new tool, new conceptual approach.”
In order to create in VR, Line Katcho had to learn to channel her compositions into the video-game creation engine Unity. To translate the sense of intimate and vulnerable reflection at the core of Immortelle, Katcho played with the expanded volumetric and spatial boundaries. To reach the viewer’s body, and not just their mind, she employed a fast-paced rhythm, upheaving temporal structures. Her affinity for cinematic soundscapes ties everything together, aligning physical sensation, sensorial perception, and headset experience.
Ultimately, the medium of XR is a fitting one for her primary artistic subject matter - the visceral expression of movement.
What freedoms did this new medium unlock? What new limitations did the tools of creation pose? How has the spirit of the original performance persevered?
"Immortelle" is a journey, filled with movement and plays on perspective. Katcho wants to bring the spectator into her universe. She surveys our mortality and our relationship to the environment.”
While the online version will be available via SteamVR and forthcoming distribution platforms, Immortelle is also making international waves through exhibitions in festivals. After a Canadian premiere at MUTEK Montréal 2022, and an international premiere at the HYBRID Biennale by Hellerau in Dresden, Germany, Immortelle will travel to:
- Church of VR at Immersive Tech Week, Rotterdam
- FilmGate Festival at Miami Art Week, Miami
- MUTEK Mexico
- MUTEK Tokyo
And more to come!
Part of MUTEK's Immersive Collection
This release is the first out of the three projects of the Immersive Collection, which mark MUTEK’s beginnings as an XR content producer. Not documentary nor classic fiction, not concert nor game, these works defy traditional genres and define a new category of audiovisual XR experiences that are deployed from original concepts, non-traditional narratives and advanced digital creation tools. They combine abstract and figurative interpretations, spatialized sound design, radiant visuals and the playful and persevering mindsets of artists venturing into new grounds
MUTEK acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Words: Lola Baraldi
French Translation: Grégoire Chevron