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Multimedia performance, 2022
Duration: 30 minutes
HEK (Haus der Elektronischen Künste) in Basel, Switzerland, 2022
Created in collaboration with artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Thermal Vision is a live performance highlighting the complicated relationship we have with surveillance technology, in this case thermal imaging technology.
The entire room is dimly lit as the audience walks in. Ominous slowed down music begins to play. Two performers slowly enter the room, step onto a stage and laydown face up. A thermal camera is positioned directly above them (top down camera view) and projects an image of their bodies onto a screen behind them. A painter positioned at the edge of the stage begins to write on their bodies using a paintbrush and ice water. The text is a poem inspired by computer vision algorithms and gradually disappears as it warms to the same temperature as their bodies. After 25 minutes, the performers slowly and silently get up and exit, leaving a heat imprint of their bodies on the stage. This afterimage remains for contemplation for 1 minute before the camera is turned onto the public, their own thermal image now filling the screen.