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Inferno Experience, Louis-Philippe Demers & Bill Vorn 

25th – 29th October 2022

Ithra Theater, Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Inferno is a robotic performance inspired by the representation of the different levels of hell as described in Dante's Inferno or the Singaporean Haw Par Villa's Ten Courts of Hell (which is based on a Chinese Buddhist representation). In Inferno, the "circles of hell" concept is mainly an artistic framework, a general working theme under which the different parts of the performance are regrouped. It is observed that under these two cultural representations, each "level of hell" corresponds to a particular form of punishment for a particular sin. In the many depictions of Hell, the punishments are always carried on the human body and not directly at the psychological level. The excruciating pain and also the eternal aspect of the punishment induces the latter.


The specificity of this performance resides in the fact that the different machines involved in the show are installed on the viewers' body. The public then becomes an active part of the performance. Sometimes the viewers are free to move; sometimes they are in a partial or entire submission position, forced by the machines to act/react in a certain way. Some mechanical elements coerce the viewers in performing certain movements; others induce a physical reaction from them. For this performance of about an hour long, we have built 25 wearable robotic structures very similar to exoskeletons.

Produced with the help of
The Canada Council for the Arts
Coproduced with the help of
ACREQ-ELEKTRA, La Maison des Arts de Créteil, Arcadi (Paris)
Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec




Louis-Philippe Demers makes large-scale installations and performances. He participated in more than seventy artistic and stage productions and has built more than 375 machines. Demers' works have been featured at major venues such as Theatre de la Ville, Lille 2004, Expo 1992 and 2000, Sonambiente, ISEA, Siggraph and Sonar. He received six mentions and one distinction at Ars Electronica, the first prize of Vida 2.0, mentions at Vida 12.0 and 15.0, two jury recommendations at the Japan Media Arts Festival, the Interactive prize for Lightforms 98 and six prizes for Devolution including two Helpmann Awards.


Demers holds a Ph.D. on robotic performances from Plymouth University.

Demers is now Professor of Creative Innovation and Director of the Creative Lab at the Queensland University of Technology.




Based in Montreal, Bill Vorn is active in the field of Robotic Art since 1992. His installation and performance projects involve robotics and motion control, sound, lighting, video and cybernetic processes. He pursues research and creation on Artificial Life and Agent Technologies through artistic work based on the Aesthetics of Artificial Behaviors. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Communication Studies from UQAM (Montreal) for his thesis on Artificial Life as a Media. He teaches Electronic Arts in the Department of Studio Arts at Concordia University (Intermedia/Cyberarts program) where he holds the rank of Full Professor.

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