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Unheimlich is an extraordinary performance installation for multiple users, linking and visually compositing audience members with live performers in the UK.

Unheimlich is a cutting-edge telematic performance that takes Freud’s notion of the uncanny as ‘unheimlich’ (at once familiar, homelike, but also strange, alien and uncomfortable) as its starting point. It is a collaboration between four leading digital arts and performance practitioners, and performers from the award-winning multimedia theatre company The Chameleons Group.

It’s 1 a.m. in Manchester, England, but two enigmatic sisters have stayed up late to see you, and to (telematically) greet you with a kiss as you step into their space, in real time, thousands of miles away. Stand back in the darkness and watch the events unfold, or step onto the lit, green carpet to meet and talk to the two siblings, and participate in their eccentric games, secret rituals and compelling conversations. Once on the green mat, you are visually merged with them on the screens around the space, and can talk to them, dance with them, ask them questions, or just ‘hold hands’. Metamorphosing graphical backgrounds surround you, from fantastical computer-game landscapes to mundane English sitting rooms … depending on whether the sisters decide to take you on cliff-hanging adventures, or to offer you some tea.

Manchester Metropolitan University Brunel University Salford University Arts Council England