Yvon Bonenfant, a vocal and interdisciplinary performance artist, collaborated with EMPAC staff to produce Beacons. The work was inspired by a simple, ubiquitous feature in our environment: the flashing beacon light. The work was a collaboration with David Shearing who generated a video landscape—replete with flashing highway lights, antenna beacons, ocean buoys, and lighthouses—that explored the ways humans signal to one another. Often working in the dark, the artists recorded layers of landscaped sound using the rhythms, structures, and poetic resonances of the lights as inspiration and experimented with screen, speaker placement, and lighting to balance the acoustic against electronic sound, and live lights against the just-perceptible physical body doing the singing. Premiered at EMPAC, the piece went on to tour seven venues in the UK in 2011.
A UK-based Canadian artist, Bonenfant is also senior lecturer in Performing Arts and director of Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Winchester, UK, and an overseas associate of the Institut d’Esthetique des Arts et Technologies of the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne.
May 29, 2009
Voices: Yvon Bonenfant
Video footage: David Shearing, Ludivine Allegue, and Yvon Bonenfant
Video editing: David Shearing
Composition and artistic direction: Yvon Bonenfant
Compositional assistance and recording: Francis Silkstone