Where Bodies Meet: Performance & Workshop

Join us for a global “digital happening” and workshop focused on VR experiences.

Photo Courtesy of Mélodie Mousset

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 800, San Francisco, California 94111 United States


February 1, 2019
9:00am - 12:30pm
San Francisco



Sound & Vision will connect San Francisco to Barcelona, Brussels, and Paris for the debut of an immersive live performance within the VR space of HanaHana, working together to create a collective lightning-making ritual. This “Digital Happening” is led by HanaHana’s creator, Melodie Mousset, from within the game’s world. Participants at swissnex San Francisco will be virtually linked to the Swiss Cultural Center in Paris where Melodie’s exhibition L’épluchée  is on view.

After the performance, we will present a unique workshop lead by SFAI visiting faculty Mark Hellar and Kent Long, in which attendees will share a collaborative creative process aimed at facilitating a chance encounter between “Sound” and “Vision.”

Sound & Vision presents two virtual reality works by Mélodie Mousset: HanaHana 花華 and Sing a JellyfishThese experiences invite us to enter a world of digital synesthesia that blurs our sense of body and mind.

Sound & Vision Workshop

Workshop participants will break into 2 groups. Group 1 will work on creating a virtual environment using the MagicaVoxel app, while Group 2 will collect sounds around swissnex San Francisco’s location at Pier 17 and design a soundscape. The two audio-visual components will then be combined to create a novel virtual environment.

Visual Participants interested in working with MagicaVoxel should arrive with a laptop, and are encouraged to install and familiarize themselves with the app: ephtracy.github.io. Audio participants are encouraged to bring a smart phone or other audio recording device. Both workshops are accessible to novices. No coding knowledge is required, though familiarity with apps and software interfaces is assumed. Also sign up for a https://glitch.com/ account as the final experiences will be published there for viewing in virtual reality.


9:00am — doors open (breakfast provided)
9:30am — HanaHana Ritual Performance with Barcelona, Brussels and Paris
10:30am— Sound & Vision workshop
12:30pm — doors close


Mark Hellar

Mark Hellar is a creative technology consultant for cultural institutions and owner of Hellar Studios LLC. He specializes in innovative yet practical digital media and software-based solutions for multimedia artists and the institutions that support their work, with an emphasis on developing systems and best practices for exhibition, documentation, and long term preservation. Before opening Hellar Studios LLC in 2009, he worked as a systems architect at the Tides Foundation, digital studio manager at the San Francisco Art Institute, and as the digital media specialist at Bay Area Video Coalition. Mark is currently working on new media conservation initiatives at SFMOMA, including the conservation and care of their software-based artworks. He is also the software developer for the studio of artist Lynn Hershman Leeson and oversaw the installation of her retrospective at the ZKM Center for Art and Media in 2014. He is faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute and teaches on the topics of virtual reality, augmented reality, and physical computing.

Kent Long

Kent Long is a film and sound artist and educator based in Richmond, California. He is deeply interested in the perceptual manifestations of human-environment power dynamics. His practice employs audiovisual tools and technologies as conceptual starting points in the realization of evocative spaces and experiences. He frequently collaborates with filmmaker Vanessa O’Neill on the creation of 16mm projection and sound performances, under the moniker Beige. In addition to his creative practice, he works as Technical Director for film festivals, arts exhibition spaces, and live music events.

Mélodie Mousset (appearing virtually)

Melodie Mousset

Mélodie Mousset is a French artist based in Zurich, Switzerland. A pioneer in the field of art and new media, her practice extend across a number of mediums, including installation, performance, photography, sculpture and virtual reality. In Melodie’s whimsical and absurd composition or decomposition pieces, the body becomes a site for physical and spiritual exchanges with technology. Chris Kraus, renown writer and award-winning author of the best seller “I Love Dick”,  writes about Mousset’s work in the March 2019 issue of ArtReview: “I don’t think of Mousset as part of a lineage, unless it’s one of exceptionally original, anomalous artists who have the courage to pursue an idea as far as it will go. So, maybe Carolee Schneemann, Werner Herzog, Béla Tarr, Paul Thek, Bas Jan Ader, Jay DeFeo.” She studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Rennes, France; Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne, Switzerland; Royal College of Arts, London, and completed her Masters of Fine Arts at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, USA. Her work has been exhibited at institutions and galleries worldwide, including MOCA (Museum Of Contemporary Arts), Los Angeles; Kunst Museum Stuttgart; Bund Museum Shanghai; Zabludowicz Collection, London, The Metropolitan Art Society, Beirut, and SALTS, Basel. Mousset is a public speaker, and a visiting professor.