project image
ieke Trinks

first performed on May 26, 2020
Out of Site Chicago, Quarantine Concerts hosted by Experimental Sound Studio
performed once in 2020


Rotterdam, Netherlands


This performance was created online and live for the screen during the first lockdown in the Netherlands. The work is a response to my increased time spent in front of the computer screen, to communicate with others. In video chat, it is mainly the face that is visible to the other, while one also sees their own face. Seeing myself every time I talked with others made me aware of my facial expressions, and how I respond to others.

I stumbled upon Florence A. Fowle Adams’s Gesture and Pantomimic Action from 1891. With this book, I started to explore my head and face expressions. It was a struggle to control the muscles in my face. There are muscles that I’m not able to move. Out of frustration I started to use my hands to get the desired face expressions. It was my hands which animated my head.

In my theatrical and pantomimic performance, a computer-generated voice speaks lines about dramatic expression. The voice wonders what the will is, and what the being is. It asks whether the being and the body are the same. According to the voice the body is merely the shell. It is outward material, the covering of the being. In front of the camera, hands put on their white gloves and bring down the head, placing it on the table. The eyes are closed and the hands play with the head by trying to balance it, or place several objects on it, and pour water in its mouth. When the hands leave the frame of the screen, the eyes open up and look into the camera of the computer screen. The face slowly alters its expressions. The hands carefully lift the head up out of the frame.

I noticed how hard it was to turn my head into a lifeless head. The fact that I was thinking made my head alive. And my eyes moved while they were closed, they followed the instructions for my hands. I was alone in the room.