The Sophronia Project (Graffiti Angel in Sophronia, a Netprov) was originally presented at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis for Northern Spark 2014 with the support of Northern Lights.mn and the Walker. The Sophronia Project is a participatory installation created by multimedia composer Kathy McTavish, netprov writer Rob Wittig, and digital artist Joellyn Rock. The collaborative project offers both physical and virtual space where participants may spin their own stories of Sophronia. In the multimedia installation, the audience has various modes for participation. The glowing space invites a mischievous mix of digital video and live silhouettes, colors and sounds, texts and bodies in motion. Visitors may enter the circus tent, using props and costume elements to embody the characters of Sophronia. Or they may use mobile devices to enter the project twitter feed at #sophroniatwo and watch the text projections wash the walls with crowd-sourced story fragments.
In Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino describes his imaginary Sophronia, made up of two half-cities, part circus and part stone. For the dusk-to-dawn event, Joellyn Rock created over two hours of colorful mashup video projections on circus themes with a digital age spin. In the spirit of carnivalesque celebrations, the audience plays along with silhouettes of Multifficient the Multi-tasker, Textana the Texted Girl, Connectiva the Cord Charmer, Pollinatrix the Pollinator, and the Amazing Dr Calvino.
Video excerpts from the Sophronia Project, a multimedia installation and performance work inspired by Calvino’s Sophronia. The installation was created by Joellyn Rock (concept, digital art, video projections) in collaboration with multimedia composer Kathy McTavish (digital projections, computer code, sound scape) and Netprov writer Rob Wittig (text and live twitter feed) and a crew of contributing artists. The Sophronia Project was also installed and shared in participatory events at the Free Range Film Barn in Wrenshall MN (July 2014) and at the Duluth Art Institute (September 2014).
Sophronia Project Credits: Collaborative Team
multimedia projections by Joellyn Rock, Kathy McTavish, additional video by Lizzy Siemers, Lane Ellis
soundscape by Kathy McTavish
electronic music by Tobin Dack
words by Rob Wittig, Kathleen Roberts, Sheila Packa, Katelynn Monson, Mark Marino and #sophroniatwo on twitter
silhouette performances by Cathy Podeszwa, Emma Harvie, Gary Kruchowski, Lizzy Siemers, Jamie Harvie, Jay Sivak, Joellyn Rock, Rob Wittig
set decorating by Nancy Rogness, Karin Preus, and Ann Gumpper
tech help by Ben Harvey at the Barn and Depot events
special thanks to the Motion and Media Across Disciplines Lab at University of Minnesota Duluth
Thanks to Annie Dugan for support with Sophronia Two Traveling Shows:
Aug 23, 2014 / Free Range Film Barn in Wrenshall, MN
Sept 11, 2014 / Duluth Art Institute / Depot Great Hall in Duluth, MN
Joellyn Rock is a fiscal year 2014 recipient of a Career Development grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council which is funded in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, Minnesota State Legislature, and The McKnight Foundation. Kathy McTavish also received funding from the Jerome Foundation to create the Graffiti Angel software behind the interactive and generative film component of the exhibit and received equipment funding from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council.