The Operature is a durational live performance, installation and augmented reality poem that engages histories of forensics and anatomical science and spectacle. The work's choreography, objects, text, and overall form and structure are influenced by research into a range of historical archives including early modern anatomical theatre, Frances Glessner Lee's miniature crime scene re-enactments known as the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, and The Stud File, a methodical record of the sexual exploits of Samuel Steward, a 20th century tattoo artist, pornographer, and friend of Gertrude Stein. Staged between the two spaces of the Anatomy Theatre and Museum, the performance will simultaneously include intermittent presentations from invited artists and scholars engaging a variety of topics related to the work, including:
• Dr Matt Lodder (Lecturer in Contemporary Art and Theory, University of Essex), ‘Samuel Steward - Successes and Failures of a Sex-Addicted Academic Tattoo Artist’
• Kira O'Reilly (Artist), ‘Read #: liverwort/wind/code’
• Fiona Wright (Independent Artist, Feldenkrais Method Practitioner - Awareness Through Movement, Honorary Research Associate, Birkbeck) (Centre for Contemporary Theatre) 'exactly this many bones'
The core of ATOM-R's performance is an interactive operating table that generates screen-based content and distributes virtual overlays that can be viewed through mobile devices throughout the event. The choreography of bodies and objects enacts anatomy as both intact whole and distributed data-consuming system, as the elevated surface of the work shifts underfoot, fluctuating between references to surgery and banquet.
ATOM-R is a provisional collective exploring forensics, anatomy, and 21st century embodiment through performance, language and emerging technologies. Participants include Mark Jeffery (choreography), Judd Morrissey (technology and dramaturgical systems), Justin Deschamps, Sam Hertz, Christopher Knowlton, Blake Russell, and Kevin Stanton (collaborators/performers), with Alfredo Salazar-Caro (New Media Artist.)
Judd Morrissey and Mark Jeffery are a collaboration merging digital literary practices and performance (2003 - ). A given piece may have no singular fixed form but is alternately or simultaneously presented as internet art, durational live installation or a performance of fixed length. Both artists were members of Goat Island Performance Group.
The work is partially supported by a grant from the Chicago Dancemakers Forum and commissioning support from the European research group ELMCIP (Electronic Literature as a Model for Creativity and Innovation in Practice) in collaboration with Edinburgh College of Art and New Media Scotland. The piece has also been supported by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and by artist's workshops at Dance4, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, York St John University and the English Department at the University of Sussex. The work is also supported by the National Museum of Health and Medicine Chicago with the collective being artists in residence at the Museum. This presentation at Being|Human is supported by the Department of English at King’s College London and by the King’s Cultural Institute Creative Futures initiative.