Insert yourself into the frame in this series of interactive behavioural video works.

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UrbanScreen at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, 13458 107a Ave

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Rencontres Imaginaires is a series of interactive behavioural video works. Viewers onsite at UrbanScreen are invited to insert themselves into the frame to engage in imaginary encounters with ‘virtual friends’ in real-time through a large-scale projection and interactive kiosk. The pre-recorded videos of virtual friends prompt the viewer to react to their gestures. Referencing and recalling the first tricks of early cinema by filmmakers like Georges Méliès over a hundred years ago, this artwork uses techniques of illusion to encourage play in public space.

Originating from the Rhône-Alpes region of France, Grégory Lasserre and Anaïs met den Ancxt collaborate under the name Scenocosme. During a residency at the Gallery, Scenocosme created new video works here in Surrey. The public was invited to participate in the September 12–15 filming sessions and become a virtual friend—creating new virtual hand and face behaviours for someone to interact with at UrbanScreen.

Participants included: Thomas Anfield, Charis Au, Karen Cancino, Elizabeth Carefoot, Clarissa Chupik, Amelia Davies, April Davies, Chris Dawson-Murphy, Amelia Epp, Rhys Edwards, Polly Faminow, Janis Foster, Polly Gibbons, Zoe Gibbons, Sean Kenny, Simran Kang, Anthony Mojuly, Ravneet Sandhu, Harry Singh, Amanda Thompson, Jennifer Uy, Tony Uy, Lyn Verra-Lay, and Mandeep Wirk.

This exhibition is currently featured as part of the 2017 Capture Photography Festival and was previously presented as part of the 2016 New Forms Festival.

Surrey Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges Creative BC, the Province of BC through the BC Arts Council, and French Consulate Vancouver/Consulat général de France à Vancouver for their support of this project.

Rencontres Imaginaires is accompanied by an essay by Rhys Edwards as part our Surrey Art Gallery Presents series. Rhys Edwards is a critic, artist, and curator. He has written for The Capilano Review and BC Studies, along with multiple Vancouver-based art blogs. He is currently the Assistant Curator at Surrey Art Gallery.

Curator: Alison Rajah
Origin of Exhibition: Surrey Art Gallery

Image credit: Scenocosme, Rencontres Imaginaires, 2016. Photo courtesy of artists.