The Centre for Contemporary and Digital Performance
at Antonin Artaud Performance Centre
Brunel University, London
ARTAUD FORUM 2 (2012)
Saturday March 31 - 19:30 Installation-Performances:
Cabinets of Post-Digital Curiosities:
performance installations by Camilla Baratt-Due (N/D), Joerg Brinkmann (D), Arthur Elsenaar (NL), Kate Genevieve & Alex Peckham (UK), Rebecca Horrox (UK) and Dani Ploeger (NL/D/UK)
Over a period of roughly two-and-a-half decades, from the 1980's until the early 2000's, digital consumer technologies rapidly progressed from novelty items for a niche audience to virtually indispensable constituents of the everyday lives of the majority of people in the Western world. As a result of the experience of these technologies as integral parts of the ordinariness of everyday life, the euphoric fantasies about the world-changing potential of technologized bodies and the transformative power of information technology, which until recently dominated large parts of popular scientific discourse and arts production, are increasingly losing their appeal and credibility. In this context, and inspired by his increasing boredom with omnipresent computer screens, media theorist Russell Davies suggests that we might be approaching a post-digital era, "where most people have powerful and easy to use devices full of applications and services which work well and satisfyingly, where you can get all the media you want on all the screens you like" (Davies 2011).
The performance installations that form part of this little show might be seen as a response to early symptoms of this condition: The application of technology in these works is no longer motivated by a desire to showcase the extraordinary features of hi-tech applications, nor are they concerned with speculations about digitally enhanced super-bodies. Instead, they explore technologies' (both digital and analogue) role in the gestures and interactions of human bodies in the everyday life of the present.
Body: Speak (2011-2012)
Body parts speak about their memories through loudspeakers, which are attached to, or inserted into, my body.
I'm Hearing My Ears All the Time (2010)
I am wearing a sound-responsive robotic ear movement device, inspired by a viral Youtube film featuring the ear movement of a group of piglets.
Face Shift (2005)
Computer controlled small electrical impulses are employed to trigger my facial muscles into rendering involuntary expressions. In this algorithmic facial choreography piece, both sides of the face are controlled by identical algorithms, but one is slightly faster, over time creating visual shifting patterns from symmetry to asymmetry (and back again). Over the duration of the facial dance piece, the execution of the algorithms is accelerated.
Kate Genevieve & Alex Peckham
Latent Heart (work in progress) (2012)
An installation for one person that combines eighteenth century illusion techniques with contemporary sensor technology, to stage a visceral encounter with your own reflection and heartbeat.
For Hadrian (2012)
An exploration of non-digital technologies, including various grabbers and arm extenders, juxtaposed with images and a soundtrack sung by my grandmother, Hadrian, whose grabbers I am using in this performance.
An AnuformĘ anal electrode connected to a modified Peritone EMG sensor registers the activity of my sphincter muscle. AnuformĘ and Peritone are mass-produced readily available medical devices for the treatment of incontinence problems. I fake the orgasm of an anonymous subject who took part in an experiment into the nature of the male orgasm in 1980. I attempt to replicate the subject's sphincter muscle contraction pattern, which was registered during masturbation and orgasm in the experiment. I repeatedly perform the same pattern. The data is projected onto a screen in the form of graphs and is used for digital sound synthesis.
Sunday 1 April, 11:30am - 1pm, Antonin Artaud Performance Centre
Critical Performance Technologies: Disowning Geek Culture
Round table session
Artist presenters: Camilla Baratt-Due, Joerg Brinkmann, Arthur Elsenaar, Kate Genevieve, Rebecca Horrox; Response panel: Alissa Clarke (performance studies scholar, De Montfort University), Sophia Graefe (media art critic, Bauhaus University Weimar), Niall Richardson (media and film theorist, University of Sussex)
Chair: Dani Ploeger (Brunel University)
This session will explore cultural critical perspectives on performance technologies and discuss possibilities for a radical departure from technology-fetishizing approaches, toward practices that take their cue from a gesture- and culture-based approach to the performing body in digital performance. The artists who presented their work as part of the Cabinets of Post-Digital Curiosities show on Saturday night will give short three-slide presentations on the backgrounds of their work. A response panel, consisting of media, performance and cultural theory scholars, and the audience, are subsequently invited to reflect on these presentations from the perspective of their respective disciplines.
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This event is programmed by the Centre for Contemporary and Digital Performance and supported by the Brunel School of Arts and Brunel University Graduate School. BADco's workshop is a part of LAB021 - European Platform, for Interdisciplinary Research on Artistic Methodologies,with the support of the Culture
(c) 2012 The Centre for Contemporary and Digital Performance, Johannes Birringer (acting director)