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                                                                Subliminal Envy

Subliminal envy is the type of jealousy where a person does not accurately recognize what one possesses or is reluctant to acknowledge its existence. This form of envy is a subtle feeling that rises and subsides from time to time and lurks in our subconscious. This work explores the root of this jealousy in our subliminal state by utilizing interactive multimedia music performance.  How can we employ embodied sound movement and visual interaction to explore common human impulses associated with envy and jealousy? What role do they play in our everyday interpersonal power dynamics and social relations? What kind of subsequent emotions and actions are born as a result of envy? How can we transcend such feelings?


Since this is an interactive performance, audience participation is an essential part of this collective experience. To encourage effortless participation, the camera installation will simply face the audience seats, or alternatively, it will be installed in front of the stage for personalized participation. As audience members move left and right, they will see their partial facial images on the projected screen. The audiences’ movement will further trigger new sounds. Words associated with subliminal envy will be projected onto the screen to invite viewers’ open interpretation. Overall, this interactive performance invites the audience to experience the audiovisual performance as an interactive embodied sonic movement while simultaneously configuring the visual shape of envy as encased in our subconscious. As audience members trigger new sounds in real-time, the performer will improvise on the violin and/or cello to create audience-performer sonic interactions. By doing so, the performer will perform music that represents the hegemonic struggles that enable people to triumph over subliminal envy. The audio element and sound of the performance will affect the visuals in terms of brightness as well as the movement of the white circle that follows the face. Overall, this work culminates in a “fluid” visual and motion score inspiring a new approach to making music.

Concept, Music, Video and Music Performance: Cecilia Suhr

Programming: Mu Yunze

  • Performed in Bronx Arts Space, Bronx, NY

  • New York City Electro-Acoustic Festival (TBA)

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 Close-up video of the screen and sounds

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