In ANTIBODIES, the performance duo Boogaerdt/VanderSchoot (BVDS) honours the female anatomy as the source of creation during a ritual gathering. In a technologically mediated séance, we see a woman in a closed capsule drifting between reality, fiction, dreams and hallucinations. Through her online data, she descends into twilight zones where she encounters different versions of herself.
The theme of ANTIBODIES is more topical than ever. In recent decades, and especially in the past six months, we increasingly find ourselves in an online environment. This virtual space is controlled by self-learning machines (AI) that gain from human interaction to improve themselves. Humans are inextricably connected to the machines they themselves made. In fact, we are so interlinked with our technologies that we are no longer able to say if it is humankind making the machines or machines making humankind. This far-reaching use of technology creates a reality in which our choices are predictable and our actions are automated. BVDS explores the role of the human body in this frictionless world of data. They approach the transpiring, defecating, bleeding housing that we go through life with as the ultimate means of de-automating and recreating our reality.
BVDS about the inspiration for ANTIBODIES: “We are fascinated by the tension between the frictionless domain of data and the friction inherent in the corporeal domain. Dataism presupposes a predictable future in which everything is countable, measurable and traceable. We are exploring a movement that goes against this; an inquisitive movement through unknown twilight zones, past the recesses of the female body. We traverse the boundaries between dreams and reality, the conscious and subconscious, our online profile and offline body because we suspect it is here that we can find the source from which we might (re)create our life and once more find our freedom”.
Like Headroom and Botanical Wasteland, ANTIBODIES is part of the Future Fossils series: a multi-form art project about digital creatures in a non-human era. The series explores what it means to create art in the non-human era, an age in which human beings are no longer the measure of all things. From the central question: ‘If humankind is no longer the central object, then what is humanity?’, BVDS sets out to discover the relevance of theatre in a new era.
ANTIBODIES is a coproduction with Theater Rotterdam.