Performance / Mirror Box
Megan May Daalder a reçu une bourse de la ville de Los Angeles pour revenir à Mains d’Œuvres et montrer la deuxième version de la Mirror Box dont la première version avait été présentée en mai à l’occasion de Sans vous, rien ne se fera. L’artiste a présenté sa recherche dimanche 26 février en salle Star Trek.

The Mirrorbox is a year long study in shared identity which had it’s European premier at Mains D’Œuvres last year. This art project has officially become a scientific research pilot, and has been prototyped as a practical tool for everyday use. During the residency at Mains D’Œuvres the Mirrorbox will have one day exhibitions in homes in Paris, where people can use it in a variety of contexts.

On the 26th Megan will present the findings of her research thus far in a short autobiographical film which documents the project’s development.
She will also offer a SENSORY SALON after the screening with unique experiences and illusions for the audience to try.

During the month of February, Megan will also begin research on a tool for generating electricity and choreography using pull string dynamos. A first (non-functional) prototype can be seen here

More work can be seen here


and here

English texts about the Mirror Box :

Megan Daalder’s Mirrorbox has taken the most narcissistic impulse and made it something joyful and benign. Made up of two very simply constructed boxes – black box theaters for one’s head, really – the work invites two people, whether lovers or perfect strangers, to enter their prescribed confinement and stare at one another, and simultaneously themselves, for a duration of four somewhat unnerving minutes.
My first experience of Mirrorbox was with Daalder herself, a graduate of UCLA’s Design Media Arts Bachelor program. Waiting around before my own performative stint in Chinatown’s Perform ! Now ! festival in Los Angeles, I happened upon a small black room (nay, closet) and entered with some trepidation. I was greeted by a smiling young woman who asked if I wanted to try “the Mirrorbox”. Moments later, I found myself inside the piece, staring into a two-way mirror and grinning wildly as Daalder’s face pulsed slowly in and out of my own reflection. It was completely unexpected, and my delight was utterly infectious. We fell into brief fits of giggles throughout our conversation about her artistic practice, though I couldn’t quite coax Daalder into revealing the technology behind the work. We hugged after emerging from our respective realms ; it felt right after sharing what we agreed was a truly special exchange.
Afterwards, I wondered if I had found the artist so beautiful because she really is, or if I was actually confusing that attraction with being enamored of my own reflection – a very strange dilemma to grapple with. Mirrorbox is a provocative work : it is deeply, uncomfortably about social interaction, intimacy, and above all, the perception of oneself and others, making the delineation between the two difficult to isolate.
Amanda Hunt

Being in the box is a poem, interacting with the box for a night is a short story remember, pop songs are poems too. and they exist in the background to bring people together. that’s why they’re appropriately always about love and partying. and we hear songs and think of the people we were with when we heard them.
For some reason i keep thinking of your box in terms of music. when people are in there chitchatting, or having fun, it’s like a pop song.
Jon Bernad

Dear Megan,
Sorry for the lateness, but I needed to sharpen my Mirror-writing. When writing to the mirror girl write a mirror letter. In the spring I wrote each nights dreams this way, backwards and sinister, which is to say lefty. For a while, lets say the past year, I’ve been a bit fascinated by identification with the other and the androgyny of all things. You and I I think are particularly androgynous specimens, and it was so easy to immediately see ourselves in each other. Yes we have similar features, both fair Dutch types, but it’s so much more isn’t it ? What does happen when very different types enter the box. An old asian woman and a young black man ? There is so much potential for breaking down walls, which is also what scare some folks, particularly men, away. Not everyone wants to destroy walls. Many folks love their walls. Walls provide safety. Keeping the darkness out, separating oneself from ones neighbor, offering privacy. Many folks fear the abyss, where divisions disappear and boarders blur. Those of us from the West, which is not most of the world, are raised to fear that side, when really, it’s a place of lightness and fun. Even for two men. It’s intimacy gives it a feminine tint. I think many men would enjoy the box more with a woman than risk the awkwardness of staring at another man. Maybe it’s partially due to the monotheism pervading even secular corners of modern society. I can picture a Mongolian horseman and a hindu beggar man enjoying the box much more than say a saudi business man oil tycoon, and a mexican day labor. The Muslim and the catholic have been instilled with an ego-maniacal male god who would destroy all others who forbids the darkness and declares wicked the feminine. The Hindu has been taught of many gods and goddesses and the Buddhist with none. Women all over the world I think would enjoy more freely the Mirrorbox because the damage done by the instilled god, it is nonetheless an acceptance of the male power within and the wicked feminine power which the men must destroy within themselves, must be accepted in a woman since it is near impossible to destroy them. So women retain both male and female and and an acceptance, albeit reluctantly, of the shadow while men have only the fascist war god, who refuses all others, point being some men may not react so well to your wonderful creation. Yesterday I heard an episode of WNYCs Radiolab particularly relevant to your work. Who am I ? dated 2007.05.08 especially the first 5 minutes. Check I-Tunes. It snowed again here in NYC, hardly leaving the house for the past few weeks I’ve set up a nice sort of office to write songs and records and drink tea. John Houx

PS I hope you noticed you can read this from the other side rather than holding it to a mirror.