Human bodies and identities are continuously categorized, online and offline, by artificially intelligent algorithms and machines. But what if, by contrast, artificial intelligence could be used to contaminate human bodily experience? How does a body defiled by algorithms look like and move?
Corpus Nil is a performance of a human body and an artificially intelligent machine. A naked body, partly human and partly machine, lies on stage. It is an amorphous cluster of skin, muscles, hardware and software. Biophysical sensors attached to the performer’s limbs capture bodily electrical voltages and corporeal sounds and feed them to the machine. Thanks to a sophisticated set of algorithms, each nuance of the body’s motion sets off a synaesthetic play of sound and light directed by the machine. The biological signals of the body influence the choices of the machine, but cannot control what it will do. In turn, the auditive and visual saturation produced by the machine influences the body’s movement, but disrupts its perception and motor skills at the same time. Despite being intimately linked to the human body, the machine is autonomous and chooses by itself how to respond to the performer’s movements. In an unstable feedback loop, the body and the machine pollute each other. The amorphous being on stage slowly evolves into an unfamiliar creature. It reconfigures its parts through a sensuous choreography pushing the limits of muscular tension, limb torsion, skin friction and equilibrium. The corporeal sound frequencies are spatialised using a multi-channel sound system surrounding the audience, while bioelectrical flashes of light rhythmically illuminate the space. Through sound, light and optical illusions, the physical mutation of the body impacts and submerges the audience, inducing a trance-like experience. As the body and the machine form a partial, unknown and yet graceful being, spectators feel as if its heart was beating within their own bodies. It is unclear whether the new body is human enough, or perhaps, the common meaning of ‘human’ is not enough to describe it.
Free entrance with queue precedence
Day entrance tickets for theater events will be distributed at the reception of the venue