Miwa Matreyek

This World Made Itself (still-image)
SD; digital file, live performance; 30 minutes; 2013

Miwa Matreyek

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


My main practice is as an animator, in which my animation practice was born out of collage-making.
As I started making collages in a digital form, it felt like the next step was to add time, movement, and music, and the collages started to dance. There are several iterations of my work. I create animation as digital moving collages, weaving photos and videos that I shoot along with found images, cut up and restructured into new worlds. I was originally inspired by Surrealist, Dada, and constructivist collages, but later my collages turned to a more painterly quality. I am often weaving myself in to the animation as either rotoscoped videos of myself (part of my body or full figure) as well as sometimes as a live performer along with the projection (as if I am collaging my shadow silhouette into the projected animations.)


Miwa Matreyek is an animator, designer, and performer. Coming from a background in animation by way of collage, Matreyek creates live, interdisciplinary performances that integrate projected animations at the intersection of cinematic and theatrical, fantastical and physical, and the hand-made and digital. Her work exists in a dreamlike visual space that makes invisible worlds visible, often weaving surreal and poetic narratives of conflict between humanity and nature as embodied performed experiences. She has presented her work internationally, including animation/film festivals, theater/performance festivals, art museums, science museums, tech conferences, and universities. A few past presenters include TED, New Frontier at Sundance Film Festival, MOMA, SFMOMA, PUSH festival, Lincoln Center, Walker Art Center, and many more. Her newest solo piece, Infinitely Yours, was awarded the grand prize for Prix Arts Electronica’s Computer Animation category. She is a 2013 Creative Capital award recipient.




Examples of Collage in Motion


HD; digital file; 4:10 minutes; 2012

Originally inspired by a visit to Mt Wilson Observatory, this film explores the human desire… and ultimately the whole earth’s desire to find connection with the universe. Features the song Quite by Careful.


SD; digital file; 4:14 minutes; 2005

This short film imagines a future where through nanotechnology, the distinction between human bodies, the earth, and technology is blurred. Features the song Utopia by Goldfrapp.

Infinitely Yours

Infinitely Yours (excerpt)
SD; digital file, live performance; 26 minutes; 2020

Miwa Matreyek creates an emotional, dream-like meditation on climate catastrophe and the Anthropocene – the current era where human influence has effected almost all realms of earth’s natural systems. Miwa’s shadow traverses macro and micro scales, as her silhouette shape-shifts to experience the world from various perspectives: An earth overflowing with trash. A person drowning in a plastic-filled ocean. A school of fish caught in a trawling net. The work is an emotionally impactful, embodied illustration of news headlines we see every day, and the complex harm humanity causes to the world.

Created and performed by Miwa Matreyek
Music: Morgan Sorne

Panorama City

Panorama City
digital file; projected as a double triptych from 3 projectors on either side of a hall (6 projectors total); 16:42 minute loop; 2009

Originally made as an large scale triptych installation for a gala at the REDCAT, Panorama City was made as an atmospheric, textural video about the cycles of birth/construction and decay.

It was originally displayed at the REDCAT as a 60ft wide panoramic video that were mirrored on opposing sides of the theater (the two videos had slight variation).

Ocean Flight

Ocean Flight (excerpt)
SD; digital file, live cam footage, live performance; about 20 minutes; 2005

Ocean Flight was originally made in 2005 as a collaboration between Miwa Matreyek and Chi-wang Yang in our first MFA year, via the Center for Integrated Media. The piece is based on Bertolt Brecht, Der Ozeanflug about Charles Lindberg’s flight across the Atlantic. This piece uses live-camera to capture a performer via video to be projected in the cinematic space of the projection.

Already from this original collaboration, we were thinking about finding moments and interesting juxtaposition of body/space/media via experimentation and play, and about constantly changing the relationships of the media to the body and space throughout the piece.