‘Virtual friends’ wanted for large-scale public art project at Surrey UrbanScreen

Filming to take place at Surrey Art Gallery, at Bear Creek Park, from Sept. 12 to 15

Screen shot of 'Scenocosme: Rencontres Imaginaires' project coming to Surrey UrbanScreen this fall.

This fall, Surrey residents will have a chance to see themselves on Surrey UrbanScreen, the digital-art canvas on the west wall of Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre in Whalley.

A French artist team known as Scenocosme has created software that lets users “beam” themselves into live video and interact with strangers-turned-friends in real time.

The artists, Anaïs met den Ancxt and Grégory Lasserre, will be in Surrey next week to create new videos for their exhibit, called “Rencontres Imaginaires” (“imaginary encounters”).

The digital showcase opens on Sept. 29 at Surrey UrbanScreen, with a preview event planned for Friday, Sept. 16.

Filming will take place at Surrey Art Gallery, at Bear Creek Park, from Sept. 12 to 15.

“If you would like to participate in one of the evening filming sessions to become a ‘virtual friend’ — creating new virtual hand and face behaviours for someone to interact with at UrbanScreen — email artgallery@surrey.ca,” gallery operators say.


The artist team is “passionate about using art and technology to break down social barriers,” according to a press statement.

In their work, “virtual friends” prompt users to respond to their actions “in playful ways, perhaps allowing them to touch your hand, pat your head, or tickle your chin. Visitors become storytellers, creating their own reality on Canada’s largest non-commercial urban screen that thousands of people riding the SkyTrain and walking by the Rec Centre will see.

“‘Rencontres Imaginaires’ is a fun, unprecedented interactive public artwork that celebrates human connections and brings out the playfulness in all of us.”

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

CLICK HERE for more project details.



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