netartreview, 4 juillet 2003
The interdiciplinary creative team Birgé - Clauss - Silhol recently released the online project Somnambules. The art work combines elements of film, dance, photo and painting to bring us a refreshing interpretation of abstract narratives carefully developed around multilayered musical loops. The shockwave presentation seamlessly merges online technology with well established codes in visual culture.
The project is approached with the usual structure of most dance recitals; that is, where the performance is often split into various linear segments culminating in a grand finale. While borrowing this approach, Somnambules presents twelve segments that can be viewed in any order, with the option of viewing the pieces in the proposed linear order as well. The result is an odd experience that leaves the viewer inbetween the many creative languages that are used in the project. This is also supported by the abstracted dance loops which can only be completed when the user interacts with the performers on the virtual stage.
This project is proof that creativity is heavily influenced by the advancement of technology. Three years ago the implementation of video as it is used in Somnambules would not have been possible; but now, thanks to Macromedia Director's latest perks, netizens can enjoy a well developed libretto from the comfort of the home. The best part of the net project is that the artists' balance of content and form has led to a piece that will most likely be referenced in the future for the merging of extremely complex visual languages.