Monday 1 September 2014 || In the episode “The Age of Steel”, Dr. Who is able to defeat the Cybermen by shutting down their emotional inhibitors, enabling them to “see” what had become of them. Their realisation of what they had become led them to either simply shut down out of sheer horror, or partially explode.

When: Monday 1 September 2014
Venue
: QA015, Queen Anne Court
Duration: 30 mins
Time: 19.15 -19.40
Performance by Tom Estes

Abstract

By donning the mask of a Cyberman, I attempt to question how our view of life is increasingly mediated by machines and the digital as a shaping condition and structuring paradox.

Throughout my practice I have created socially engaged performance work that is both participatory and immersive. During my performance work, audience members are asked to interact by taking pictures on what I refer to as a “communal camera”. The pictures are then posted on social networking sites for another, wider on-line audience. This is what I refer to as ‘Harnessing The Hive‘. It describes a type of shared or group intelligence that emerges in consensus decision making. So in the performance, the ‘hive mind’ is referenced not only via the Cyberman mask from the science fiction television show but also through the active participation of the audience and the wider on-line audience.

How we communicate with each other has changed. Relatively speaking textual ubiquity is new. Evolution, has genetically wired us to respond differently to visuals than text. But what example the font ‘Helvetica’ was designed to be neutral so it could suit all kinds of contexts. So our business memos look just like our love letters, which look just like our complaints to the editor. To balance out all this sameness, people often resort to emoticons. So in the performance EMOTICON, I attempt to act this out through a number of hand and face gestures while wearing the Cyberman Mask.