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Ilinx is a performative environment for the general public provoking an intense bodily experience that blurs the senses of sight, sound and touch. In the environment, a group of four visitors at a time wear specially designed garments. These wearables are outfitted with various sensing and actuating devices that enable visitors to interface with the performance space. During the event, a ritualistic progression which lasts approximately twenty minutes, the natural continuum between sound and vibration, vision and feeling becomes increasingly blurred, extending and stretching the body’ boundaries beyond the realm of everyday experience.

The project is inspired by work in the area of what is called sensory substitution – the replacement of one sensory input (vision, hearing, touch, taste or smell) by another, while preserving some of the key functions of the original sense.

The term ilinx (Greek for whirlpool) comes from the French sociologist Roger Caillois and describes play that creates a temporary but profound disruption of perception as is common in experiences of vertigo, dizziness, or disorienting changes of speed, direction or the body’s sense in space. “…An attempt to momentarily destroy the stability of perception and inflict a kind of voluptuous panic upon an otherwise lucid mind.”


Wearable garments, custom hardware and software, LEDs, LEDCON2 DMX controllers, DMX interface, audio interfaces, servo motors, Acouspade beam based loudspeakers, computer


Canada Council for the Arts’ GRAND NCE Media Artist and Scientist Collaboration scheme.


Direction and Sound: Chris Salter + TeZ

Wearable Direction and Design: Valérie Lamontagne

Wearable Development: Isabelle Campeau + Marie-Eve Lecavalier Lemieux

Technology Direction/Hardware-Software: Ian Hattwick

Lighting Collaboration: Omar Faleh

Production Assistance: Panagiotis Tomaras

Hardware-Software/Haptics Research: Marcello Giordano

Hardware-Software: Ivan Franco

Haptics Research: Deborah

Robotics development/Production Assistance: Morgan Rauscher

Sketching Software: Ian Arawjo

Photo: Etienne Saint-Denis