Alain Mongeau, Eric Mattson, Suzie Dumont: Onyrisk

  • ©,

Artist Statement:

    “Onyrisk” is a word play in French: «ony» comes from the term «onirisme», which refers to the dream state; «risk» was added to qualify the unknown involved in the interactive experience.

    Onyrisk offers interactive surrogate travel through allegorical representations of dreamlike sequences. It is an experimental work that develops tools for a new interactive art form, which explores the limits of interactivity as applied to time-based material. The eerie texture of the visual, combined with an equivalent soundtrack, were chosen to enable greater connectibility among the different components; the global interactivity of our work is enriched by its combined potential.

    In our normal state of consciousness, we are continually assailed by images surrounding us; we store those that are personally meaningful. By the time they settle in our memory, and eventually our unconscious, these images have been transformed by the filters of our personal perceptions. According to our differences and previous experiences, we create associations, arrange them in hierarchies of meaning, and give them emotional qualities.

    During the sleeping state, the unconscious draws on this large repertoire of images and plays with them, juxtaposing, superimposing, and giving them an ambient and a symbolic quality. Onyrisk reproduces this process, but unlike dreams that remain essentially private, it exteriorizes the process and creates a communal and interactive experience.

    Onyrisk is an attempt to implement true computer interactivity in the deep layers of the audiovisual, tracking and taking each of the viewers’ decisions into account before moving on to the next sequence. Its interface is both fluid and full of the unexpected: it offers diverse images and sounds to the user in a fashion of ordered randomness.

    Each user assists the computer in the creation of a unique path reflecting his/her own aesthetic and emotional patterns. In the process, s/he performs a sort of public dream. The experience is again analogous to the dream state in that only significant fragments are remembered. And these images will in turn perhaps become the source of new unconscious recombinations and transformations in future dreams.

    Onyrisk is both a work in progress and a continually evolving project. It is the tangible expression of our theoretical work on interactivity, art, symbolism, and the conceptualization of hypermedia applications.


    Serge Roy, Marc Lavallee