Multimedia Peformance and Installation, 2-Channel Video Projection, 4-Channel Sound Installation, 3D-Printed Ceramics, Metal

All photos by Suchart Wannaset

The multimedia work brings together performers whose white costumes serve as a screen for full-body projections of people from different generations, as well as ceramic objects that resemble human body parts in a state of decay. A scenery emerges that reveals utopian moments of nature. As remnants of prevailing behavioural and thought structures, the ceramic bodies reflect the moment of shedding socially conditioned imprints that humans - like stomatopods (mantis shrimps) when they have outgrown their skin - strive to shed. The work combines aspects of gender androgyny, media overstimulation and the occupation of human capacities with the need for collective support to shed societal conditioning that runs through generations.

The work deals with interdependent relationships, interpersonal, as well as between humans and their environment and between humans and fellow creatures, and the relationship to nature, as well as with the question of the human relationship to the digital and the technological, which represent further levels of relationships.

The multimedia work shows utopian moments of nature and refers to the Stomatopoda (also known as mantis shrimps) which have a highly complex visual system - four times as many visual receptors as humans and can also - perceive polarisation - the direction of oscillation of light. They therefore communicate through the reflection of polarised light, which they reflect with their bodies. Thus the work draws a parallel from this organism and its mode of perception to that of humans. It is not just about vision, but more broadly about how we see the environment, society, ourselves, our own bodies and the bodies of others. It deals with vulnerability, human potentials and the individual socially shaped ways of behaviour and perception and the breaking away of these conditionings.

In addition to the aspect of visual perception, there is another: the moulting of the stomatopod. This is reflected by the ceramic bodies, which stand in the space as remnants of limitations, behavioural and thought patterns.

The sound design that accompanies the performance and differs from the one that is later heard as part of the spatial installation. Both consist of recordings of body movement, breathing and points of approach and interaction between the performers. These recordings have been digitally modified and augmented with field recordings ranging from sea shells to the sounds of 3D ceramic machine printing. The result is a dynamic soundscape of almost ritualistic rhythms. From the fusion of recordings and digital modification to create pulse and rhythm, the arrangement of body and movement noises become an oscillating soundscape that deliberately blurs the boundaries between the natural and the synthetic. 


© Anna Mutschlechner-Dean