Projects

Philomene_longpre_Cereus CEREUS | Cereus defies the constraints of the gravitational pull between heaven and earth, life and death, light and darkness. It presents a sensory exploration in the subversive spirit of the Lettrism movement. Digital interface, virtual character, robotic structure, and abstract sounds envelop the visitors, making them co-conspirators in the unfolding action. Philomène Longpré recreates a nocturnal world where stem-like machinery, cables and tubes operate a responsive video membrane, the heart of Cereus.
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Xia Interactive Video System Philomene Longpre XIA | A responsive system in which visitor’s presence triggers different emotional stages of a projected virtual character. In a darkened gallery space, on a luscious, luminous carnation ground, a velvety black charcoal bloom – like the dusky, polleny heart of a poppy – is both the setting and the trace of a captive’s struggle. The caught creature’s body is sheathed in pale pink; periodically a dark vermilion wing unfurls from the body or curls around it. In a state of rest, she appears to float weightlessly in her dusty den, but she springs into activity as the viewer approaches.
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Illusio Interactive Video System Philomene Longpre ILLUSIO | An interactive video system where, based on the location and motion of the visitors within the space of the exhibit, a character responds and reacts to the predicament of being trapped by the shadow of its own environment. Designed in Chicago, this installation originates from the environment of the Midwest capital city and its perpendicular grid characteristic of modern urbanism. Between Lake Michigan and Chicago River, the passer-by appropriates the space of the street, the avenue and the park.
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Philomene Longpre, "VITA", 2005, Chicago. VITA |  An Interactive video system where the virtual character is represented both by a blue light and a blue human form, which functions as an energy field rather than an actual identifiable individual. When Vita recognizes visitor presence, its own mechanical environment changes, and its bodily consciousness begins to realize its limitations. The shift manifests as altering imagery and an outpouring of multi-influenced sounds in the designated space. The installation collapses the separation of body and mind as the structure transforms from a mere video screen to a membrane of polyethylene tubing. This metamorphosis occurs as multiple temperature sensors in the tubing respond to touch and infrared sensors locate the participants.
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Philomene_longpre_Formica FORMICA | A strong metallic frame that houses a delicate video membrane consisting of a series of horizontal elastic slats.The visitors transform and trigger bonds with the character as infrared sensors pick up their movements and ultrasonic sensors detect their locations. These interactions are visually expressed on the membrane like firing neurons weaving a tapestry of associations. Depending on the duration of the encounters, the membrane’s skin—the screen—could reflect physical tension and expand. It could also contract with forceful affection or revulsion. Formica seems to notice, feel, and learn as it adjusts to the shifting strata of social interactions. The screen reacts directly to the video presented within, similar to the way that visitors’ bodies respond to their suddenly changing environment.
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Philomene_longpre_Octopus OCTOPUS | This interactive video system consists of a virtual character projected onto a robotic structure holding a see-through membrane of narrow vertical slats. Through direct interaction visitors experience up to three modes of communication triggered by reed switches and infrared sensors placed strategically within Octopus’ environment. As the structure and character awaken, moving from a state of calm to extreme agitation, then back to stillness, the installation elicits reflections on how associations and interactions are influenced by space we occupy.
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Philomene_longpre_Passage PASSAGE | Video Installation where kinetic structures are part of the performance itself. As new elements are introduced there is a visual transformation of both the individual and the space. This video installation communicates a personal reflection on the cycle of departure and arrival, and the experience of continual change: the impermanence and renewal of each moment. The performance appeals to multiple visions of everyday life, and emphasizes abandoning ones familiar milieu while also bringing it with oneself.
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Philomene_longpre_Underlayer UNDERLAYERS | A virtual character that occupies the space between walls. The character observes the viewer and performs, challenging us to confront the desire to return the gaze and observe the character’s evolution. By this interaction, in which viewers are being watched, UnderLayers elicits reflections on the significance of issues revolving around surveillance and urban vigilance. This installation, composed of a small LCD screens inserted within a wall, gives voice to the memory of the physical environment and captures the deep incertitude and urgent feelings.
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Philomene_longpre_Iris IRIS | An interactive video system that presents the urban dynamism of Hong Kong via a sonic experience. Visitors are invited to take a pause to capture the image of a sound by looking throught the hole of a black box. This project was realized throught a series of observations, as well as data accumulation at specific sites in Hong Kong. This project was realized through the collaboration the Artists: Spencer Ng, Dez Leung, Meli Yeung, Nicholas Tse, Pansy Tang, Kn Brick, Poon Kan Chi, Li Chu Yin Clifford.
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Philomene_longpre_Telematic EAST/WEST TELEMATIC | is a live networked system highlighting the conceptual aspects of exchange and communication, which took place in Hong Kong and Chicago simultaneously during the international Looptopia Festival. This venture was made possible through a collaboration between the Hong Kong Art School and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. All passers-by in Hong Kong were invited to peep through the hole of a customized box and gaze far beyond their reach. The eye of the observer was visually captured and instantly transmitted via internet. In Chicago, there was a similar peeping box inviting viewers to look beyond the familiar. Each “eye” from east and west were then featured on a large projection and the collage of the two ‘eyes’ displayed came from two different faces, one from each city on opposite sides of the world, divided by a 13 hour time difference.
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Philomene_longpre_Silent SILENT | A system that features a virtual character projected onto a large box covered with white elastane. Microphones are placed around to capture the variations in noise levels, which influence the character’s behavior. During the noisiest period, a mechanism of steel rods inside the box force the fabric outwards creating a three-dimensional simulation of the character trying to push itself out of the confined space. Both the movement of the structure and the video sequences visually communicate the concept of a call to silence.
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Philomene_longpre_Cycle CYCLE |  A system that involves a large-scale gyroscope whose spinning action triggers different video sequences representing seven lives of a virtual character projected on a floor. The body’s narration reveals itself as each visitor is physically engaged. Their presence activates the movement of the gyroscope, while their distance affects the revolutions per minute. The faster the gyroscope spins, the faster the life of the character passes through its various stages, until it finally disappears. Cycle captures the essence of the relationship between time and space and how different factors tend to influence our perception of it.
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Philomene_longpre_PlatoCavern PLATO’S CAVERN | A character projected onto a large-scale drawing where its movements are directly related to the evolving layers of lines being drawn. An 3D effect builds as the drawing undergoes gradual change in thickness and density related to the newly constructed superimposed layers of video. This installation explores the notion of time and space, where one confronts the fear of its own disappearance.
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Philomene_longpre_Others OTHERS | A series of robotic sculptures, photographs and paintings where memory fragments are expressed through existing or invented objects.
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