SMFA “!” PERFORMANCE GROUP / BRADLEY TSALYUK
In our present time, we are constantly confronted with the complex relationship between technology and our bodies. For the duration of three hours, I carried a mobile working television. The wearable sculptural device, composed of an old 15” TV, a lawnmower battery, and a backpack, broadcast a live feed coming from a small digital camera. Those who looked at the television screen were confronted with the technological distortion of space, time, and identity. The unconventional use of a lawnmower battery as a power source and the transfer of digital information through a coaxial cable created psychedelic effects. The viewers looking at the screen experienced identification, recognition, and misrecognition. They were confused at first by what they were seeing and then they realized they were watching a live feed. They thought the camera was recording them, and then they realized it was in fact shooting video of what was already in front of them. The camera revealed what was behind me.
The performance of the function of this device left me with questions about the role of my body in relationship to this contraption. If my body is located in between the camera lens and the resulting broadcasted image, is my body erased? Does my body, crammed between the two technologies, disappear as the speedy relay of information between the technologies brings the image of the past in front of me? Or is my body emphasized by its difficult task of sustaining the function of the sculpture (equipment needs to be turned on, cables need to be adjusted, and the television needs to be held up) and as the creator of the functioning device?
As the performance continued, the body and the technology failed simultaneously. The device overheated and the body succumbed to exhaustion. The system failed.