Jennifer Hall

The imagery I use in a series of performances called Out of The Body Theatre, is drawn from the world in which I exist during seizures and the madness which comes from my inner storm. During these electrical firings my visions flourish and I hallucinate indescribable smells. I have felt virtual slivers slicing my throat when I draw the air to describe them, yet I am unable to re-capture their intensity with words. My ability to objectify these phenomena is relatively non-existent during an episode, because I am usually absorbed in negotiating basic survival. I have known seizures to come in repetition and last for days. I'm sucked down into the explosion, fumble through the chaos, and land disembodied from the intensity. I blink. "What happened?". It is here, between the insane and the mundane, that I have discovered the utter duality of myself.
My attempts to communicate these experiences are reflected in Out of The Body Theatre, in which I use automata to embody the transcendent experiences I cannot verbalize. Other tools include computer-controlled animations, projections, shadow puppets, robots and marionettes that respond to the motions of human performers. As extentions of myself, these machines reflect the interlaced relationship of my physiology and psyche. I am developing a visual language between our physical humanness and our intangible parallel natures.

Out of The Body Theatre is a network of electronic devices that, through their inter-connections, inform and respond to one another. A performance space is prepared with digital trackers, processors, and computer-controlled lighting. I use the term Environmental Tracking to refer to the mechanical recording of the physical movements of performers. The collection of data and the subsequent arrangement of a digitally-oriented language forms unlikely relationships between computers and people, people and automata, automata and video projections, which are all transmitted in the form of light back to the computer.