Online identities take on new life in Celine Daemen’s VR opera Songs for a Passerby. Don a headset and follow a 3-D scanned version of yourself as it makes its way through a shadowy cityscape where wild dogs roam, a hushed choir sings, a horse faces a dire fate. Daemen’s work raises an uncanny question. Who is the real you – the animated avatar that encounters these set-pieces, or the consciousness observing its movements from afar? Are you implicated or involved in your avatar’s adventures, or just a passerby?  

Songs for a Passerby premiered at the 80th Venice International Film Festival on August 30, 2023, where it won the Venice Immersive Grand Prize.

Supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Performing Arts Fund NL, the Netherlands Film Fund and Creative Industries Fund NL.