After a long journey, she came to a halt. It was time to contemplate and to feel. Deep breaths of concentration led to the conclusion that it may not be upon her as to which path to take. She surrendered to that idea. A sudden rush toured her spine. Her entire vision pixelated, downgraded to a lower resolution. Dragged towards the scent of its flawless skin she kept walking the endless path, certain that this was where the answer could be found. The soil was nourished by the millions of deceased who had walked the path before her. She understood that this was the natural progression: the sound of a river, the rings of a bird, the feathers of Saturn.
(excerpt from 'An Algorithmic Odyssey' written by the AI entity X1N)
BIRTH is a video work based on filmed footage from a hand made feather cloak and a performance by Rebecca Lenaerts. The texture and movement of the feathers melt together with the visceral handcrafted digital sound of Atom™ and the poetic imagery of Sophie Vanhomwegen. The viewer is transported on the friction between the digital and nature, between observation and imagination, between the tactile and the visceral.
Rebecca LenaertsDirectorConcept and performance
Sophie VanhomwegenDirectorFilming and editing
Project Type:Experimental, Short
Genres:video art, queer, ecology, video installation, dance
Completion Date:December 30, 2022
Country of Origin:Belgium
Country of Filming:Belgium
3rd International Filmfestival for EcoperformanceSao Paulo
June 4, 2023
Image Generator FestivalAntwerp
September 29, 2023
Rebecca Lenaerts is a Belgian artist, working and living in Brussels. Hybridity and the crossover between theatre and other artistic disciplines is a constant in her artistic journey. Her artistic output consists of audio stories, storytelling projects, interventions, installations and performances. She also maintains an inclusive art practice in which she works with people with disability, children and elderly. Over the last years speaking and storytelling gradually made place for the silent language of the body. Inspired by Japanese Butoh, dance of transformation, she now develops work in which she explores her presence and vulnerability in a performative space. Lenaerts has been training with several Butoh masters in Europe, USA and Japan. The focus in her most recent work is the (lost) connection between the body and nature, the place of the human in a larger unity, and the power of vulnerability and stillness.
Atom™ is a music producer since 1990, currently living and working in Chile. His most known and celebrated project is Señor Coconut, of "Cha cha cha" Kraftwerk cover fame, which initiated the "Electrolatino" movement in 2001. As producer, remixer and collaborator he has worked with and for musicians such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Towa Tei, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Depeche Mode, Tom Tom Club, Bill Laswell, amongst others. The last few years he dedicates his time to the remastering of his musical catalogue for the AtomTM Audio Archive. His 2020 album “<3” came as a result of his collaboration with the non-human entity “X1N”, on what seemed to be the be beginning of a long term creative phase. His recent album entitled “Neuer Mensch” came out in 2022 on “raster”, alongside the launch of his long awaited blog “Future Archive Diary”
Sophie Vanhomwegen is video maker and mixed media artist, working and living in Brussels. Her work consists mainly of collages on paper and digital works like prints, video and sound. She uses collage techniques to generate an alienating and highly surrealistic universe. The constant exposure to a huge amount of imagery in advertisement triggers her to work with these images. In the process of deconstruction and reconstruction her intention is to challenge and question our perception and the way we perceive reality. Since 2021 she runs her own art space Espace_Vanhomwegen in central Brussels which is a show room and context for various artistic encounters, co-creative collaborations, expo's and concerts.
In 2015 I began to collect bird feathers found on the ground, walking around the streets of Berlin. The collection of feathers turns into a ritual: after the collecting the washing, then drying and treating with cedar, then the storage. In 2018, with painstaking dedication, I start sewing them one by one on a blanket creating a feather cloak. After 9 months Birdwoman was born. In mythology she is the guardian between the human and the animal world.
"Still a bird" is a wordless intimate performance on the crossroad between theatre, dance and visual art. The audience silently witnesses an organism in constant transformation from object to animal to human and back. The viewer is invited to expand its vision and to travel in a world that reminds us that the human body, nature and dreams are inseparable.
Strongly inspired by the philosophy and practice of Japanese Butoh Dance, I explore the body as transformative sculpture, being part of nature. Movements are caused by constant shifts in physical and mental memory of the body, shaped by history, cultural references, trauma, environmental information and imagination. The performer connects to the deeply embedded knowledge of the body and moves with it or is moved by it. What appears is a dance.
Over time, the long-lasting "doing" of collecting and sewing feathers evolved for me into an inner search for gentleness and humility. A state that becomes a constant flow in time, unfolding itself to a vulnerable carpet. The feather cloak becomes a tool for interdisciplinary collaborations and various artistic output. This video BIRTH is the result of a collaboration with a videomaker and sound artist.
written by Rebecca Lenaerts