Projet EVA

We Are the Progeny of Electricity

2016

WAPOE is a hybrid work combining live performance, interactive theatre and electronic art. Using technology in an aesthetic presentation evoking the mind-control experiments the CIA conducted in the 1950s with psychotropic drugs, this project immerses its spectators in an unsettling choreography in order to reprogram them.

Spectators sit in a space plunged in darkness, except for their faces, which are lit up by pico projectors. Each person’s head appears disconnected from the body, and each person is positioned face to face with another. In this environment, their faces are lit up and altered by the video projections. Spectators are also given instructions on how to act out their individual roles. A subtle narrative on the themes of individual and cultural identity, the collective future, politics, and power dynamics gradually develops between the members of this fictive community.

The evolution of information technologies—as a result of the domestication of electricity and its launch into the universe of symbolic manipulation once strictly limited to human endeavour—has changed our perception of “the spirit.” This formally purely virtual space has become an active field responding to a script that once belonged to pure science alone. The use of psychedelic drugs and electroshock therapy to “re-configure” a brain’s potential and of social-psychological tests based on categories that go beyond the psychodynamic tradition by using large sample groups and subsequently analyzing the results by computers is indicative of this shift. At the same time, the development of artificial communities in response to fractions of the population that are generated by devices claiming to produce more “accurate” portraits of their subjects completes the tableau of humanity’s gradual denaturation. WAPOE critically and cynically explores the domestication of humankind made possible by anthropo-technology.

Credits

Original Idea and Concept
Simon Laroche
Etienne Grenier

Research and Writing Support
Nicholas Belleau
Éric Berthiaume

Audio Visual Support
Nick Walkers
NicolasPfeiffer
Hejer Chelbi

Technical Support
Robocut

Costume Design
Carole Berthet-Bondet
Marie-Isabelle Witty Lampron

Photo and Video Documentation
Gridspace
David Huwiler
Projet EVA

Acknowledgements
Les Productions Recto-Verso
Agence Topo

Sponsors