Andree Martis dives into the tranquil, meditative states of “Forevermore I Play”

“Ambisonics” refers to a method of representing sound in three-dimensional space that takes into account aspects such as speed. While the idea of ​​Ambisonics was born half a century ago, it is only being worked out now, with its integration into cutting-edge technologies such as virtual reality. One of the main ways Ambisonics diverges from traditional surround sound formats is that traditional setups often bounce sound from speaker to speaker, but Ambisonics techniques are applied to creating a “sound world”, i.e. smoother and more stable sound. and continuous sound sphere around the listener. A particularly interesting and recent Ambisonic project is Forever I play by Andree Martis, a Portuguese audiovisual artist who undertook the design and creation of the installation for her MFA at Goldsmiths University in London. As its website explains, the project finds its conception in sacred and meditative spaces, during a process of exploration that took the artist 13 years. Since 2008, Martis has immersed herself in practices such as Raja Yoga, Vipassana meditation, Turkish hammam baths and Native American Temazcal (sweat lodge) rituals.

These spaces and the sensations and epiphanies they provoked inspired the installation. Martis expands on this by telling STIR that she began to seriously undertake immersive audio-visual installations after experiencing and awakening inner states through her participation in such practices. In particular, the artist evokes the experience of an extremely heightened awareness of sound, which she began to treat as part of the wider meditative experience. The ideas generated in her mind through the experiences she participated in grew and were eventually brought to fruition through artistic endeavours, like her MFA project, despite the limitations she crossed. Her first poly-sensory piece premiered in October 2020, which was installed in Peckham, London. It was conceptualized around the creation of an experience of cosmic transformation in a space, over a period of seven minutes. The feedback she has received has been very encouraging, and she has therefore continued her audiovisual excursions in 2021, with Forever I play being his last work.

Spectators are delighted with the space created by the artist Image: Andree Martis

Martis worked through a framework of equality and empowerment for the social collective with this piece, trying to interrogate the role of our minds and bodies within society. For all time can certainly be experienced as a singular viewer, but Martis clearly wanted his work to be experienced as a collective experience. This is also true for some of the practices mentioned above, as meditative experiences have long been used as a sort of two-way channel between the individual and their social realm. What Martis is doing here is adding new experiential dimensions to practices based on ancient knowledge.

FOREVERMORE I PLAY is as energetic as it is enchanting |  Andrée Martis |  STIRworld
Forever I play is as energetic as it is enchanting Image: Andree Martis

In discussing this piece, the artist is clear that she does not just want to create work that is aesthetically and intellectually stimulating, but also manifest spaces of healing in the world and contribute to the emotional well-being of those who are struggling. engage with his practice. She explains: “My work is intimate. From the second you enter the spaces I arrange, your senses begin to awaken and the energy around you and within you shifts. It feels like a sort of return to the womb, surrounded by comforting warmth and sonic geometry, and pulsations of light envelop you to make you feel very intimate with yourself. It’s a bit like being a child again, with a renewed desire to explore, touch, feel and interact with space. The artist goes on to say, “The size of the space seems to expand through the projections I create, and the room becomes a gateway to another dimension, creating a sensational sensation in your body. Technology allows me to transport viewers to another world where they use all of their senses as they explore space. They feel like performers staging a collective rebirth.

Martis blends color and geometry effortlessly |  Andrée Martis |  STIRworld
Martis effortlessly blends color and geometry Image: Andree Martis

One of the most interesting aspects of Forever I play is the inclusion of microphones. Asked about this, the artist explains that they act as one of the means for the spectators to engage in the space in which they find themselves. She says: “The microphones are placed in front of a display. After audience members read a mantra found on them, the visual reacts to the sound and changes. Martis included them in order to help manifest a deeply focused state in members of his audience, as well as vibrations of new frequencies through their bodies after repeated readings of the mantra.

A spectator rests after participating in a deeply spiritual experience |  Andrée Martis |  STIRworld
A viewer rests after participating in a deeply spiritual experience Image: Andree Martis

Discussing his captivating visuals, Martis tells STIR, “The visuals in space are all about sacred geometry, the cosmos, nature, science, and visual energy. There are generative motion graphics as well as coding that go into creating these, and the code also allows me to generate audio-visual reactions once audience members interact with my work. Juxtapositions of medicinal flowers with circular mandala graphics, imagery depicting our body’s vibrations and light cells as energy, energy waves and sound frequencies – all of this comes together in my visual work. What brings together the intriguing experience Martis has created with Forevermore are the scents she mixes and disperses throughout the room the piece is set in. She explains that these are meant to create an uplifting feeling among audience members and heighten the intimate states they experience. . The artist’s work is not only an exploration of the psychological and the spiritual, but also a strong example of how ancient or traditional practices can find their place in the technological art of our times. Martis is originally from Portugal and made an interesting move from his previous practice of fine art and fashion photography to the Masters in Sound Arts course at Goldsmiths. She is clearly someone who believes in mixing creative techniques and does so with great thought. Martis says she wants to extend Forever I play around the world, and wants to work closely with architects to create spaces that expand the sensory experience it crafts. She is also exploring the possibility of creating an app that would work as an extension of the experience. It remains to be seen where his work will go in the future, but it will undoubtedly be of great value to the public.

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