Tormented by the shame of a lost job, failed marriage, or mounting debt, thousands of Japanese citizens have reportedly started leaving behind their formal identities and seeking refuge in the anonymous, off-the-grid world. The term Johatsu is used for these “evaporated” people. Visual designer Éric Filion imagines the return of a Johatsu spirit to the locations of its past life: a dense forest, a bamboo-lined track, a traditional house, an ancient temple porch, a metro station, a road lit by neon signs. This night world — devoid of human presence and graced by strange floating lights — was created using generative 3D graphic design software. JOHATSU stands out for the sheer beauty and mystery of its synthesized images, while the soundtrack by Michael Trommer lends a sense of the supernatural.
Éric Filion (born in 1960) lives and works in Montreal. He focuses on the characteristics of visuals as light using generative and three-dimensional graphic software. He creates complex visuals, graphics and virtual reality experiences in live immersive performances and installations. Parallel to these activities, he has worked on long-term projects for performances and installations such as ‘Bahiatronica’ (2006-), ‘Semiosis’ (2008-), ‘Slice’ (2011-), ‘HTO’, ‘Greyfield’ (2013-), ‘Spectral Sound System’ (2015-), ‘Solastalgia’ (2016-), ‘Parkway’ (2017-). He performs worldwide in digital spaces and festivals such as MUTEK, Elektra Montreal, Live Performer Meeting (LPM), Futura Festival, AVITUK, MAPP_MTL, Music Gallery, Eastern Bloc, Société des arts technologiques [SAT], Nuit blanche, Festival 404, SHARE, among others. In connection with his master’s degree in virtual reality, Éric Filion holds conferences and research workshops at numerous events (Rencontre sur le documentaire de l’association qc-fr, Festival REGARD, Fr-Qc co-production, Composite #7 RIDM, Vector Festival, Défi XYZ and Amber Platform. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in virtual reality at the Université de Chicoutimi à Québec (UQAC).