The Operature is a durational fixed 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, Francis Glessner Lee's miniature crime scene re-enactments known at 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.
The performance will be extended by a 25 screen interactive exhibition on the ground floor based on the concept of an operating theatre.
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, sex 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) and Studio Assistant Alexandria Eregbu.
ATOM-r co-founders Judd Morrisey and Mark Jeffery are a collaboration merging digital literary practices and performance (2003-). A given piece may have no singular fixed form as 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 Department of English at King's College London and by the King's Cultural Institute Creative Futures initiative. The work is also supported by the National Museum of Health and Medicine Chicago with the collective being artists in residence at the Museum.
View a video about the performance here.
Visit the ATOM-r page here.