Mortimer

For WHS/Ville Walo

My role: programming, projection design and interaction design.

Feather light or deadly serious?

Ville Walo’s solo performance, Mortimer, is a contemporary circus theatre performance where juggling and electrical sensor technology come together. The focused, subtle performance juggles sound and video projections, brings small fluffy things to life and laughs at mortality. The performance’s soft hint of breath brushes the viewers’ skin.

Walo juggles with video projection and plays music by juggling objects equipped with movement sensors. Sensor technology and programming turn the stage into an interactive electronic instrument that reacts to Walo’s movements in perfect unison. Although the performance relies on sophisticated real-time computer controlling, its visual style is far from technology oriented sci-fi aesthetics. The stage is filled with humanely warm and clumsy everyday objects and jerky hand-drawn animations that create an intimate atmosphere.

Although Mortimer is a solo performance, Walo is by no means alone is the stage. He communicates with the objects he holds in his hands, with the puppet figures that share the stage with him, peculiarly assembled form various bits and pieces, with the skeletons and birds of the projected animations. Together they form the population of this special universe.

It’s a twisted little fairy tale world filled with death, naivety, playful cruelty and dark humour. Mortimer is a performance that provokes silent internal laughter.

Mortimer was first performed on the 16th of September 2010 in Kiasma Theatre, in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland.

Creation: Ville Walo, Anne Jämsä
Performer: Ville Walo
Lighting design: Meri Ekola
Music and sound design: Samuli Kosminen
Programming and projection design: Matti Niinimäki
Set design, costumes and drawings: Anne Jämsä
Choreographic assistance: Jyrki Karttunen