Elizabeth-2 Ensemble

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Elizabeth-2 Ensemble is the experimental unit of Intimidation Tactics exploring the intersections between colonialism, advanced imaging technology and speculative ritual.

#1 Iteration May 2023

Research into the human relation to non-human beings and material objects using emergent technologies. We take the practice of putting eyes on mountains, trees, objects for worship and deification and use this to think through modes of relation.

Technical set up: Husky UGV outdoor field research robot with smartphone camera mounted on top. Live video feed connect to Touch Designer patch with Posenet body recognition and Stable Diffusion image manipulation.

R´╗┐ealised with the support of ID-lab, AHK and AMS institute

In collaboration with Laura Boser (performance), C´╗┐omputational Mama (generative AI), Julia van der Putten (dramaturgy), Agat Sharma (direction, text, concept), Carolien Teunisse (visuals), Jered Vroon (robotics)

Speculation: Simulacrum of Ancient Practice

Ancient practice in Central India, seen across different tribal communities. This particular practice is stemming from a mining community. This community had a belief that you could access what your ancestors saw through the objects they touched. Some of these practitioners could go so far back that they could see beings that we would recognize as humans. Beings that have no fossil records, beings that are beyond imagination. Beings that are in between worlds, stages of life, stages of earth. They could imagine these beings in action, hunting scenes, birthing, death, very vividly. They could access these through any object from their mining community.

One of the ways in which this practice became popular was by putting eyes on an object. By putting eyes you created the possibility to see what those eyes would have seen. One of the first things that came to these practitioners was breath. From breath they'd find the voice of these creatures. From voice, they'd find body. From body they'd find skin, shape, edge of the body.

Some of these practices were documented by researchers who didn't understand the native languages, but did record it verbatim. Now we've been able to decipher this language. We have so far deciphered five descriptions of beings. This studio research is a reenactment of that.

The performer establishes a relationship with different objects by putting eyes on them.

Current example of worship at Govardhan Parvat, India

Current example of worship at Govardhan Parvat, India

After that the performer starts to slowly send these eyes back into time, by reminding it of what it saw. The performer follows an incantation script to prompt the image/memory from the object.

Collaborators

  • Laura Boser
  • Computational Mama
  • Julia van der Putten
  • Carolien Teunisse
  • Jered Vroon