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The 'untouchable' artist presenting his work. Photo: Josephine Jasperse

Body Convention

Body Convention is my first experiment in remote interactive control of the human body. Reflecting upon the Zeitgeist of the body in ruin, the idea that in our interconnected future we wouldn’t need our bodies anymore, I reputed this to be nonsensical and wanted to make the body ultimately experiential by technological means.

The body was wired up directly to a proximity and movement detector, a small doppler radar technically known as a gunnplexer. The radar signal in effect extends the bodies personal zone into space. Whenever a body closes in on the performer, the signal bouncing off the body is amplified and administered as increasingly powerful –jerky– electrical shocks to the main facial nerve trunks (nervous facialis) and trapezius muscles. The audience is confronted with a dualistic image of pain as displayed by the face and nonchalance by the shrugging of the shoulders.

Body Convention was my bachelor graduation project at Fine Art Academy Minerva in Groningen Netherlands.

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year: 1993
tags: personal zone, performance, electric muscle stimulation, analog, gunnplexer