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QUALIA - You Matter to Me

An Immersive Cinematic Art Installation

Directed by Laia Cabrera & Isabelle Duverger
Original Music composed & arranged by Nana Simopoulos | Songs "I'm not here" and "For me now" by Erica Glyn

Featuring performing artist Catherine Correa

Qualia: the properties of experience, and experiences, referred to as being phenomenally conscious

"Qualia" is an immersive video and sound installation about our longing for connection to nature, through consciousness, awareness, and agency.


“Qualia” is a sensory journey where the line is blurred between the physical and the digital world, between the real and the imaginary. The gaze is a visual poem, gravitational Qualia: anxiety shaped into Surrealism, mythology, a nightmare turned fantasy, spontaneous solidarity, feelings of solitude, suspension, an embrace, the beginning of a smile, a hand falling and rising again, time and the fates symbolizing the interconnectedness of the past, present, and future in the tapestry of life.


Conceived as an immersive projection mapping design using cinematographic language and interactive dramaturgy, “Qualia” explores concepts of mental states, symbolism, and hope, creating a story that unfolds across a series of immersive scenarios drawing from the body, faces, urban patterns, nature and remains of activity. Underneath these mirrored imageries lie many stories about limits, freedom and self-perception.


“Qualia – You Matter to Me” is a site-specific videoart installation conceived as a visual poem to Nature. Through a sequence of five segments titled “Qualia”, “You”, “Matter”, “To”, and “Me”, we invite the audience to embark on an emotional journey, punctuated with poems introducing each of them.

The first segment is a definition of “Qualia” defines the novelty of experience, exploring the essence of this new encounter. “You” delves into the otherness and the consuming preoccupation with time, disconnected from nature. The following segment, “Matter”, is a look into the surrounding, from the micro to the macro, uncovering recurring patterns and the absence of linearity. “To” captures the essence of reaching out, our longing for connections and our humanity. “Me” concludes our journey by reflecting on our inevitable bond with nature. This journey empowers us to elevate our sense of the present, enabling the release of our emotions. You matter to me.


To deconstruct time, we use the symbolism of the fates and Clotho, the beginning, the inception of life, and the past, the origins, setting the foundation for the intricate design of existence, Lachesis embodying the unfolding present, the moments that are lived and experienced, the choices made, and the paths taken, and finally Atropos, representing the future, the culmination of the journey. Together, the three sisters personify the cycle of life, interconnectedness, and the continuous flow of time. We emphasize the inseparability of the past, present, and future, weaving the intricate fabric of our humanity. The Three Fates embody the eternal and unyielding force that guides the passage of time.


An ordinary tableau becomes a dreamscape, the brain is an airport, with its constant activity and connections. The mind is a magician, the body is the self, giving audience an alternative experience where they are no longer passive spectators and actively enter the very heart of the piece. Here, 'universal time' coexists with an inner perception of time — a back door — an intimate association with our sense of personal identity and the unshakable condition that the future is still open to our chosen actions.


The brain, akin to an alchemist, forges memories as the bedrock of consciousness. Imagine the initial moment when your mind perceives the color red after perceiving solely in black and white—this embodies Qualia. The piece combines poetry, paintings, choreographic language, fragmentation, bioart, spirals, the elements, textures, digital effects, motion, music, drama, humor, light and darkness, to confound expectations, dream-like sequences and symbolic imagery, flattening space through animation and abstraction, or heightening the illusion of three dimensions, as a dialog between art and life intertwined.

This site-specific immersive experience - environmental video sculpture – is designed as a wide wall with smaller streams intricately spread across, creating video spaces that seamlessly integrate into diverse environments. Using the concept of ideasthesia as a metaphorical bridge, we intertwine rational abstractions, stimulating a dynamic dialogue among film streams.

This approach not only extends the installation's adaptability to different spaces but also transcends conventional idea of time, inviting the audience into a journey that evolves beyond physical constraints, enveloping them in a multifaceted and transformative visual narrative.


The piece has a musical score composed by two musicians, Nana Simopoulos and Erica Glyn. The music and the visual are in constant dialogue and most of the music composition was created specifically for the visuals. The musical journey guides the emotional journey into an intentional crescendo, leaving the audience is a suspension which intends to be the question mark, the leap into the unknown.


With the support of the Individual Artist Fellowship program provided by the Jersey City Arts Council and the Jersey City Arts & Culture Trust Fund, and the Jersey City Theater Center. Produced by Laia Cabrera & Co.


Presented as part of JCAST 2023 and Prelude Festival 2023 - Segal Center CUNY, Jersey City Theater Center October 13-15, 2023

Dimensions: 90 ft x 25 ft

Duration: 10 min


Directed by Laia Cabrera & Isabelle Duverger

Featuring performing artist Catherine Correa

Original music composition by Nana Simopoulos

“I am not here” and “For me now” by Erica Glyn 

Painting by Isabelle Duverger 

Poems by Laia Cabrera

Cinematography and editing by Laia Cabrera & Isabelle Duverger 

Production assistant Isabel Cabrera 

with the collaboration of Luis Macias and Paloma Toll

"Qualia... came out to me and took me in. Congratulations" — Lucy Rovetto, Artist

"Thank you again for your work, your vulnerability in Art." — Anna Podovak, Actress and Producer

"Congratulations again on Qualia at JCTC - still have in on my mind!" — Gernot Riether, Associate professor, School of Architecture, NJIT



Laia Cabrera, Filmmaker and video artist

Laia Cabrera a multimedia artist working in immersive content experiences and visual storytelling. Her work includes traditional and experimental filmmaking, site-specific projection mapping, visual poetry, virtual reality and immersive interactive art installations. Identity and consciousness have been a long research in her work exploring concepts of mental states, symbolism and hope, creating stories that unfold across a series of immersive interactive scenarios. Her first interdisciplinary exhibition aimed to revitalize and strengthen the intercommunication of different artistic languages. Since then, her projects are searching new ways of using the space and the visual imaginary as a tool for narrative storytelling and audience connection. Interactivity and experienceability are intrinsically part of her new work, always challenging the conventional form and designed to be native to multiple platforms and exhibitions. Sculpting time through a looking-glass and creating a sensorial experience, her quest is to establish a language that makes this relationship possible and to invent stories to be told, stories that represent a profound exploration of the human experience in contemporary artwork.


Isabelle Duverger, Visual artist and installation artist

Isabelle Duverger is a French Kabyle award-winning visual artist based in Jersey City for the past fifteen years. Her work as a painter and immersive interactive installation artist has been presented throughout the US, Asia and Europe. It includes public art with projection mapping on buildings, immersive interactive video and sound installations, projection art for theater and dance, video-art and animation. She is the recipient of the 2023 Artist Fellowship Grant awards by JCAC Trust Fund, 2021 Motion Award Nominee and 2022 Hybrid Vision Panasonic Digital Art Competition Nominee. Her work has been presented in Spring/Break Art Show, St John the Divine Cathedral, Time Square Plaza in New York, Nuit Blanche Washington DC, Fabra i Coats Contemporary Art Center, Barcelona, Spain and Tempietto Di Bramante, Roma, Italy, Hong Kong City Hall among others.

Nana Simopoulos, Musician and Sound Designer

Nana has been on the forefront of world fusion music with several recordings of original music, soundtracks, music for dance and theater. CDs include Daughters Of The Sun, After The Moon, Still Waters, Wings and Air, Skins and Live at the B&W Montreux Music Festival, Vol. II. She has performed with the New York City Opera and RAI Symphony Orchestra in Torino, Italy, and with her group at the Warsaw Electronic Festival, Symphony Space, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and St John the Divine NYC. Her musical quartet appeared in Lykavitos and Veakeo at the 1st Cultural Capital of Europe festival in Athens in 1985. She has created dance commissions for Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Joffrey Ballet, American Dance Festival, Ballet Hispanico, and North Carolina Dance Theater. She has conducted original works at the Joyce theatre in NYC, on Broadway and her score “Vessel” was performed by Westfield Symphony Orchestra. Her film scores are for Domain of the Senses; Touch and she has made music for theatrical productions of Antigone Through Time, Conversations With the Goddesses, by Soho Repertory Theatre. Musicals include An Absolute Mystery, Matrix Maison, Studs Turkel’s American Dreams, Lost and Found. She has written music for multimedia production Turbulence’s Tilt and is currently collaborating with Laia Cabrera and Co in creating music for live interactive immersive video art.

Catherine Correa, performer and interdisciplinary artist

Catherine Correa is an interdisciplinary artist and dance dramaturg hailing from Colombia and currently based in Brooklyn.
Ms. Correa's illustrious journey includes active involvement in international programs dedicated to performance development, creative movement, and theater production. Her invaluable expertise has significantly contributed to the growth of theaters, performers, and workshops on a global scale, spanning South America, the United States, and Europe.

Qualia - You Matter to Me - Excepts

Qualia - You Matter to Me - Excepts
QUALIA - You Matter to Me TEASER 2

QUALIA - You Matter to Me TEASER 2

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QUALIA - You Matter to Me TEASER 3

QUALIA - You Matter to Me TEASER 3

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QUALIA - You Matter to Me TEASER 4

QUALIA - You Matter to Me TEASER 4

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