[ISEA2020] Artists Statement: Jeremy Michael Segal, Roxanne Sirois & Michel Didier (Local Group Collective) — Proteus

Artists Statement

Tags: Interactive Art, Interface, Public Art, Responsive System, Touchscreen

Commissioned by Concordia University as the inaugural piece for the newly built Visualization Studio, Proteus is an interactive public art piece which creates a sense of wonder and immersion through interactions with a dynamic particle system. A 30-foot touchscreen array becomes the interface between two worlds, as you comes face to face with a mysterious creature. Proteus is imbued with a sense of ‘aliveness’ through fluid and impulsive motion which reacts to your touch and movement. The system is aware of your presence and follows you through space, enticing you to play. Complete with a responsive, generative sound design and an interactive color system, you are met with a sense of dark wonder as you are invited to approach the unknown.

Proteus was designed to feel alive and for its actions to reflect its own agency and intentions—rather than it simply being an interactive particle simulation. Artworks such as Proteus provide a moment of first-contact for the general public to encounter a digital system that is capable of sensing, reacting, and provoking empathy; thereby engaging with questions of non-human sentience in a meaningful and memorable experience.

Jeremy Michael Segal : Co-Creator / Creative Director
Michel Didier : Co-Creator / Creative Technologist
Roxanne Sirois : Co-Creator / Art Director
Joseph Browne : Sound Designer

Video: Proteus Documentation 2018

  • Local Group Collective (CA)—Jeremy Michael Segal, Roxanne Sirois & Michel Didier— is an emerging cluster of new media artists dedicated to implementing digital technologies in the creation of immersive audiovisual experiences.
  • Jeremy Michael Segal is a theatre and new media artist from Montréal, Canada, with degrees in Acting (Dawson College) and Computation Arts (Concordia University). His practice ranges from multimedia theatre to interactive installations. He is co-Artistic Director of Youtheatre—a 50-year-old company producing innovative work for young audiences—and co-Founder/Artistic Director of experimental theatre company Title 66 Productions. Jeremy’s video installation Molecular Futures was nominated for a 2018 International Lumen Prize, and his work as a theatre director has been presented within the scope of the Fantasia International Film Festival, SQET’s 2019 international theatre conference, and Printemps Numérique. In 2016 and 2017, Jeremy participated in the Watermill Center’s International Summer Program, led by renowned theatre director Robert Wilson. He later performed in Wilson’s rendition of Turandot at the Canadian Opera Company in Fall 2019.
  • Roxanne Sirois is a Concordia (Montreal, CA) alumnus with a Bachelors in Painting and Drawing and a Specialization in Computation Arts. She has a passion for experimental and playful aesthetics and has embraced a wide range of multidisciplinary art forms such as studio arts, photography, 3D, UI, and game design. Roxanne worked as Art Director for TwinSoft Studios (an indie game company in Montreal), and won the Best Creativity and Integration of Theme Award at the Ubisoft Game Lab in 2016 for her game Lumina.
  • Michel Didier (CA) is a Montreal-based creative technologist and multidisciplinary developer.With a BFA in Computation Arts from Concordia University, and a background in the web and software industries, he has worked on an exciting variety of projects. Michel continues to experiment with immersive arts as a Creative Developer at Moment Factory.