Perceived as a powerful spiritual act, divination arts serve as a guiding force to the collective psyche of the people. Divination by examining animal bones and the cracks produced in them when heated is known from many different cultures and historical periods.
The most well known is perhaps the early form of pyromancy and osteomancy during the Shang dynasty (c. 1200-1045 BCE) of ancient China, where ox scapulas or tortoise plastrons were heated with fire, thus producing cracks. The diviner then observes the shape, number and color of the crack and interprets the prophecy to the King. Each oracle bone bears the pictographic script of the divination session in detail. Some bones also contain genealogical, meteorological and astronomical data, including the earliest records of a solar eclipse.
Oracle Bones is an exploration of a subconscious mind through still and moving images, lights, sound, and movement. Yen-Chao Lin, Oliver Emrys Lewis, Maya Kuroki, Rainer Wiens, Ruby Kato Attwood, Eric Quach, and Philippe Leonard interpret metaphorical themes conjured by past diviners as we gather to share this rich and immersive audiovisual experience with the audience.
Yen-Chao Lin is a Montreal-based multidisciplinary artist and curator, with a special focus on experimental film, music, performance, and object based installation. Inspired by oral histories, folk religion practices, as well as recurring hauntological themes, her works has been shown at Pop Montreal, Festival du nouveau cinéma (Montreal), Antimatter Media Art (Victoria), Women Make Waves (Taipei), Festival image contre nature (Marseille), amongst others. She is a co-founder of Mirror Play.
Oliver Emrys Lewis is a musician, sound designer and artist, active in Montreal. His art practice often makes use of automatism and improvisation, woven together with analogue and digital collage techniques to explore numerous mediums. Oliver's musical compositions have become increasingly textural since his debut, favouring manipulated objects and field recordings with minimalist harmonic undertones, as means of transmitting otherworldly experiences to the mind of the spectator. Oliver co-founded Mirror Play with Yen-Chao Lin in 2012, as a creative outlet for their shared interest in creating abstract stylizations in art, film and music.
Maya Kuroki, a graduate of the prestigious Toho Gakuen College of Drama and Music, is a musician, performer and visual artist, active in Montreal. She established Dynamo Coleoptera, an experimental rock band and theatrical performance group, which received 1st prize at Mon Accès à la Scène (2007), a long-term guidance by MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) in 2008, and a grant from the Quebec Council for Arts and Letters. Kuroki also collaborated on the Haunted Womb Tour, winner of the Tangente Prize at Montreal's Fringe Festival (2007). With a focus on musical composition for films, and collaborative improvisations, Maya continues to compose and perform throughout Quebec, looking for a world without frontiers.
Rainer Wiens is a contemporary jazz musician focusing on prepared guitar and lamellaphones, based in Montreal. Developing a unique guitar style over the last fifteen years, he has composed music for dance, theater, television and film, including with Lucie Gregoire, Sinha Dance and Mariko Tanabe. Along with Tom Walsh, he was a founding member Sound Image Theater (Toronto) and the group Noma. Wiens works closely with Malcolm Goldstein, Jean Derome and Frank Lozano.
Ruby Kato Attwood is a vocalist and artist working out of Montreal, whose work has been exhibited internationally. Attwood co-founded Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, a band and arts collective, which was nominated for Juno's Best Experimental Album in 2014, as well as for the Polaris Prize. She is a recipient of Best Experimental Album for GAMIQ (Quebec Indy music awards), as well as grants from FACTOR and SODEC. As part of her upcoming eponymous solo project with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Quebec Council for Arts and Letters, she is working with Navaho composer Raven Chacon and Cassadra Miller to develop a music-based experimental voice set on the topic of visibility and identity.
Eric Quach is a Montreal-based musician, and a pioneer of the Canadian experimental music scene. His solo project thisquietarmy revolves around improvised guitar drone and by combining textural & structural elements of ambient/noise, electronic/shoegaze, postpunk/ krautrock, black/doom metal, and creates a wide range of dynamic soundscapes which oscillates between repetitive dreamy minimalism, multi-layered noise textures and electronic industrial beats. Since 2005, thisquietarmy has released over 30 albums on more than 20 different labels such as Denovali Records, Aurora Borealis, Alien8 Recordings, Shelter Press & Consouling Sounds.
Philippe Leonard lives and works in Montreal. His artistic practice focuses on still and moving images, through film, photography, performance and installations. His theoretical and aesthetic reflections focus on the complex temporality of still and moving images, the spectral dimension of physical spaces, and expanded documentary practices. Distributed by Light Cone and CFMDC, his work has been showcased in notable international contexts, such as the Rotterdam International Film Festival (Netherlands), Anthology Film Archive (New York), EXiS Experimental Film and Video Festival (Seoul), among others. Leonard completed a Bachelor's degree in Film Production from the MHSC and a MFA at Concordia University. In 2013, he was awarded a residency at the MIT Media Lab to study under the mentorship of the late Harun Farocki. He is a member of experimental cinema collective Double Negative (Montreal) and Millenium Film Workshop (NYC).