Creation and performance Michael Martini & Callan Ponsford
Ligthing design Nien Tzu Weng
We began this project interested in each other’s disciplines, with a goal not to prioritize one of our practices over the other. First, we used chalk and other materials to explore mark-making in public space- traces of the body. We then became drawn to skid marks, bruises, and notation. In theatre, notation serves to block scenes, to remember choreography. What if notation was considered as visual art in itself? We became interested in how different lines and colours might be treated as abstraction and/or instruction, and we turned to notation within sports in pursuit of equal footing between us.
By creating a work in which we read and respond to images, we give ourselves permission to poke fun at an especially adolescent competitiveness to read and understand artworks as correctly as possible, no matter how abstract the image. In Beep Test, we’re drawn to artistic as much as athletic competitiveness.
Michael Martini is a theatre artist who creates performances for various contexts, from the black box to the gallery to the cabaret. Since graduating from Concordia University in 2018, he has worked across Montréal’s bilingual interdisciplinary scene, often collaborating with dancers and visual artists. Notably, his co-creation Ça a l’air synthétique bonjour hi has appeared at festivals OFFTA and Summerworks, receiving numerous accolades along the way. In 2023, his first full-length production as a playwright-performer, Landscape Grindr, will debut at La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines. His creations shift between the banal and the eccentric, layering text, video and dress-up with a highly social, DIY atmosphere.
Callan Ponsford is an artist specializing in drawing. Inspired by natural phenomena, he creates large scale works that exhibit a keen interest in both abstract and representational mark-making. His most recent body of work focuses on the biological processes of mimicry and camouflage. Rendered in coloured pencil, the pictures reference micro and macroscopic organisms in equal measure. While completing his BFA at Concordia University, he was awarded both the Lise-Hélène Larin and the Cecil Buller – John J. A. Murphy scholarship in drawing.
Nien Tzu Weng is a Taiwanese-Canadian interdisciplinary dance artist and lighting designer based in Montréal. She aims to build bridges between disciplines, pursuing an experimental approach to contemporary performance, and a laboratory-based approach to lighting design. She is currently a resident artist at Concordia University’s Topological Media Lab, where she studies the relationship between movement and new media practices.
Creation Jonathan Chomko
Choreographic guidance Andrea Peña
Facilitation Noël Vezina
Lighting design Nien Tzu Weng
Creative consultation Simon Portigal
Sound design Kízis
Software development Orgonomy Productions
Graphic design Huot Vallentin
Videography Isaac Vallentin
My background is in media arts, and much of my earlier work took the form of interactive installation. www.grindruberairbnb.exposed stems from my experience touring these interactive works, observing visitors in different cities performing the same types of gesture with my works.
Interacting with systems of social media networks, I noticed similar patterns in my behaviour; the systems encouraged certain actions, and discouraged or made impossible others. This work explores the prescriptive nature of the technological experience, narrowing the scope of possibility between interface and action.
Developing the work shifts between building technical systems and exploring the choreographic language the system makes possible. Through movement, I aim to build a sense of collective consciousness, bringing participants in and out of sync, as a way to explore the question of why we do not feel a greater sense of collective possibility despite our networked reality.
Jonathan Chomko (b. 1988, Canada) is an artist working with and against technology. His works examine the seam between physical and digital worlds, exploring how digital forces translate into and act upon the physical world, and how physical phenomena and expression are modulated as they enter the digital. Jonathan Chomko’s work has been exhibited at institutions such as the Museum of 21st Century Arts (Italy, 2013), Sydney Opera House (Australia, 2014), Media Ambition Tokyo (Japan, 2016), London Design Museum (UK, 2015), Cube Design Museum (Netherlands, 2020), and Théâtre du Chatelet (France, 2020). His public work has been shown in Bristol (UK, 2014), London (UK 2016), Tokyo (Japan 2016), Austin (USA 2019), and Paris (France, 2020).