Project Description

I Installation
The first and primary aspect of the project is a walk-through installation, rather like the pilgrim’s way/the experience one has walking through a cathedral: over here is the lady chapel, over there is the shrine dedicated to the dead of the Crimean War, and yet over here is a place to light candles for departed pets. In this immersive mixed-media environment, the analogy to each of these varieties of religious experience would be a different setting for an occasion of TBI.

For example, there could a locus/station for the NFL-concussed: this one could be very cartoony and include an animation where you could hear the thwack on the helmet. I am intrigued by light-rail accidents, because a lot can be done with the imagery of a train moving through a city. There might be 10-12 of these stations (diving accidents/poor returning Iraq + Afghan veterans/bicycle flipovers/gunshot victims…).

The different stations would have different degrees of abstraction; I do not want My Life as a Ghost to be a literal-minded bestiary of TBI.

How the installation wants to be will be discovered in the doing.

There would be a workstation off in a corner of the space for TBI folks to describe their own experiences because an interactive/crowdsourced component now has to be a part of everything.

There would be a videoed fly-through of the installation made available online as a permanent world-accessible record.

II Performance
The second component is a performance the opening night of the installation which would be videoed and then run on a continuous loop in some small corner of the exhibition space. This would would involve the skills of a choreographer, theater tech folks, and composer/soundscape-designer. Melodramatic emoting across the stage is not the intended effect so that this, too, would have a fair degree of abstraction. Consonant with the rest of the project, mood and expression of felt senses of self are the goal, not a pastiche of support-group telling of personal anecdotes.

III Film
Not a documentary per se, but a movie that combines interviews with philosophers of mind, neuroscientists working on the nature of consciousness and the self, theologians (what is the meaning of soul in the age of the quantified self?) and some of the footage taken of the TBI volunteer interviewees. Again, the intent is to be suggestive and not didactic.

IV Catalog
Document that includes reproductions of stills from the installation and essays from some of the same kinds of people as would be involved in the film. Included in this would be the source document for the project, which will be read/presented at Stanford in October 2013 as part of a visiting artist-in-residency.

Project Description