[ISEA2015] Artist Statement: Martin Messier — FIELD

Artist Statement

Sound and light performance (2015)

Exploring the performative qualities of an electrical field while conjuring and animating it, Martin Messier’s latest work lays bare invisible and inaudible power flows through constant plugging and replugging of cables set between a diptych of connection panels. This “field” becomes an instrument and Messier’s body becomes a conduit, a part of the field, as he conducts the electric currents and composes them into sound and asymmetrical rhythm. Light and darkness interplay as wires illuminate and projections of Messier’s movements provide ghostly apparitions of modulated magic. Created in collaboration with Thomas Payette (Robert Lepage/Ex Machina) and premiered at MUTEK 2015, Field produces multiple variations on sound, light and space as he captures, manipulates and visualizes for the audience, a collage of electromagnetic fields. With the help of a microphone that features lectromagnetic transducers, he harnesses residual electrical signals that are imperceptible to the human ear, and uses them as the driving soundtrack for his choreography of interventions.

  • Martin Messier’s work takes shape through the relationship between sound and material; he gives life to sound through various objects such as alarm clocks, sewing machines, film projectors, pens and self conceived machines. He pushes the everyday imaginary into new terrain, magnifying and reinventing their functions, flipping the customary hierarchy, making sound the driving force of movements. Messier has presented his multidisciplinary  work at esteemed events around the world, often in collaboration with Nicolas Bernier. In 2010, he founded 14 lieux, a company dedicated to sound work in the art scene. Holding a diploma in percussion, Martin Messier also has a bachelor’s degree in electroacoustic composition from the Université de Montréal, Canada.  mmessier.com

Text with images (PDF) p. 185