ATOM-r present KJELL THEORY: PROLOGUE
GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE
FRIDAY, APRIL 1 2016
9:00 DOORS 9:30 PERFORMANCE
APRIL 1 GES OFERS-UP A NEW PERSPECTIVE FOR 21ST SUFFRAGETTES:
ATOM-r presents Kjell Theøry: Prologue
Kjell Theøry is an Augmented Reality (AR) performance juxtaposing the historical narrative of gay computing pioneer Alan Turing’s theory of morphogenesis with algorithmic mutations of the prologue to Guillaume Apollinaire’s 1917 play, Les Mamelles de Tirésias (Tirésias’ Tits), a gender-fluid burlesque spectacle for which the author invented the word surrealism. In Apollinaire's play, a woman Theresa, transforms into the mythological male prophet, Tiresias, while her husband gives birth to 40,049 babies.
In the last two years of his life, Alan Turing visited Scandinavia, seeking tolerance and following desire, following his prosecution for crimes of indecency and the forced estrogen treatments that resulted in gynecomastia (development of breasts). He had shifted his focus from computing to biology and was developing a theory of morphogenesis, his account of the autonomous generation of flowers and other natural forms, that he named, in his notes, for a male Norwegian love interest, Kjell.
Kjell Theory blurs the boundaries between the binaries of physical and virtual space, past and future, male and female genders, and human and machine. In the work, temporary tattoos on the bodies of the performers are scanned to reveal virtual layers including texts, 3-d objects, and historical film clips.
Anatomical Theatres of Mixed Reality (ATOM-R) is a collective exploring forensics, anatomy, and 21st century embodiment through performance, language and emerging technologies. The work of the collective mixes the live body with ubiquitous computing, most notably through the use of mobile Augmented Reality.
ATOM-r was conceived in response to the architecture of early anatomical theatres, small elliptical amphitheaters designed for observing human dissections and primitive surgical procedures. ATOM-r was envisioned as a theater of operations to explore anatomical histories, the technologized body, and the queer behaviors of complex systems. The group is comprised of Judd Morrissey (writer and technologist), Mark Jeffery (choreographer), Christopher Knowlton and Justin Deschamps (dancers / performers). ATOM-r was co-founded in 2012 Morrissey and Jeffery, former members of the Goat Island performance group and a long-term a collaboration merging electronic writing and live performance.
ATOM-r's works are generated through a 2-3 year collaborative process with all members contributing to the content and co-operative structures. The Operature (2014) combined the early history of surgery with the biography of Samuel Steward, a 20th century writer and tattoo artist who created the Stud File, a card-catalogue that used self-devised encryption to record thousands of homosexual experiences for over forty years beginning in the 1930s. Kjell Theory (in-progress) is a gender-queer work of augmented surreality, engages the persecution and forced estrogen therapy of gay computing pioneer Alan Turing in conjunction with The Tits of Tiresias, the first surrealist French play from 1917.
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