Ilinx is a performative environment for the general public provoking an intense bodily experience that blurs the senses of sight, sound and touch. In the environment, a group of four visitors at a time wear specially designed garments. These wearables are outfitted with various sensing and actuating devices that enable visitors to interface with the performance space. During the event, a ritualistic progression which lasts approximately twenty minutes, the natural continuum between sound and vibration, vision and feeling becomes increasingly blurred, extending and stretching the body’ boundaries beyond the realm of everyday experience.

The project is inspired by work in the area of what is called sensory substitution – the replacement of one sensory input (vision, hearing, touch, taste or smell) by another, while preserving some of the key functions of the original sense.

The term ilinx (Greek for whirlpool) comes from the French sociologist Roger Caillois and describes play that creates a temporary but profound disruption of perception as is common in experiences of vertigo, dizziness, or disorienting changes of speed, direction or the body’s sense in space. “…An attempt to momentarily destroy the stability of perception and inflict a kind of voluptuous panic upon an otherwise lucid mind.”

Wearable garments, custom hardware and software, LEDs, LEDCON2 DMX controllers, DMX interface, audio interfaces, servo motors, Acouspade beam based loudspeakers, computer

Canada Council for the Arts’ GRAND NCE Media Artist and Scientist Collaboration scheme.

Direction and Sound: Chris Salter + TeZ
Wearable Direction and Design: Valérie Lamontagne
Wearable Development: Isabelle Campeau + Marie-Eve Lecavalier Lemieux
Technology Direction/Hardware-Software: Ian Hattwick
Lighting Collaboration: Omar Faleh
Production Assistance: Panagiotis Tomaras
Hardware-Software/Haptics Research: Marcello Giordano
Hardware-Software: Ivan Franco
Haptics Research: Deborah
Robotics development/Production Assistance: Morgan Rauscher
Sketching Software: Ian Arawjo
Photo: Etienne Saint-Denis