Artist Statement

I am interested in the creation of performance apparatuses. Many of these apparatuses are made for a performing arts context, and they are made different for each piece: a combination of hardware and software embedded with rules and behaviours, often with human performers.

With each apparatus, I want to create variable and generative structures that reduce the cognitive load on human performers, freeing them to be present and actively making decisions. I want each performance to be meaningfully different every time. I want the audience to understand things are unfolding as they see it.

Recently, the creation of these apparatuses have been driven by game mechanics. What hardware and software is required to drive a mechanic? How does the player / performer interact with it and how can the audience come to understand it over time?

My original training is in acoustic and electroacoustic music composition, but I have worked in many different performing arts contexts. These apparatuses are an attempt to engage with challenges found in the musical score, devised theatre, and task-based movement creation. In my own practice, I am trying to pivot from working with pitch, rhythm, and timbre to the creation of mechanics that can eventually be “functional.”

These interests are coupled with a renewed interest in speculative fiction.

In this framework, I want to examine the role of human labour, skills, and decision making as the world shifts to automation, and is governed by algorithmic processes of our own creation.

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Remy Siu 蕭逸南 (b.1990) is a composer and new media artist based in Vancouver, BC. Recently, his work has involved the construction of automated and variable performance apparatuses that employ light, sound, software, and the body. He is interested in creating friction and stakes between the performer, the interface, and the system through the use of game mechanics and failure. His output spans chamber music, dance, theatre, installations, and audio-visual work.

He actively creates with Hong Kong Exile (interdisciplinary arts company) and Mahaila Patterson-O’Brien (choreographer), and has worked with Vicky ChowTurning Point EnsembleQuatuor BozziniCentre A Gallery, Pi Theatre, Theatre Replacementthe Western Front, and others. 

His work has been presented internationally at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (Vancouver), Sonic Anchor (Hong Kong), CanAsian Dance (Toronto), UNO Fest (Victoria), Sonic Boom Festival (Vancouver), Dancing on the Edge (Vancouver), Centre for New Music (San Francisco), Constellation (Chicago), Seattle International Dance Festival, Vancouver Art GalleryThe International Symposium On Electronic Art (2015 Vancouver, 2016 Hong Kong), and more.

He has received a SOCAN Foundation Young Composers Award and an honourable mention in the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music (2016).

Remy holds a BFA (Hons.) in composition from Simon Fraser University Contemporary Arts (Vancouver, BC) where he studied with David MacIntyre, Owen Underhill, and Barry Truax. He has also studied with Rodney Sharman and received lessons from Ken Ueno, Claus-Steffan Mahnkopf, Suzanne Farrin, and Detlef Heusinger.

He is currently the Artist-in-Residence for the Push International Performing Arts Festival, the Co-Artistic Director of Hong Kong Exile, and the Co-Director and Manager at the Gold Saucer Studio.

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