Eidolon: The technological body

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Abstract

This paper presents the author’s creative research to date at the Scottish Centre for Simulation & Clinical Human Factors (SCSCHF), at the Royal Forth Valley Hospital, Larbert, Scotland. The SCSCHF is a state-of the-art multi-professional training facility (the only high fidelity centre in Scotland), which undertakes simulation based medical education (SBME) for medical students, nurses and professionals. The SCSCHF boasts a range of mid and high fidelity training manikins, embodied with physical responses, such pulse, breath, tears, and voice (brought to life by human confederates), accommodated within two multi-purpose simulation suites, which represent clinical hospital locations, specifically medical theatre and hospital ward. These suites create an extraordinary psychological fidelity for the trainees, which results in a profound level of conviction, and commitment by participants to the simulated scenarios they experience.The author has been investigating the emotive and psychological potential of SCSCHF's mid and high fidelity manikins, as core constructs for a live participatory performance entitled ‘Eidolon’. Developed through collaboration between interdisciplinary partners, for the unique setting of the simulation spaces of the SCSCHF, the Eidolon live performance brings together the manikins, medical professionals, simulation technicians, audience and professional performers, scrubbed up and medically robed so that performers and audience intertwine. The structure of training at SCSCHF is re-enacted to some extent literally within the performance, through a series of simulated medical scenarios, typically used at the SCSCHF, during which the manikin is voiced as a patient from the simulation control room. However, this structure is punctured and disrupted by a series of atypical events, including spoken work, dance and storytelling. The performance is an experiential series of immersive promenade encounters or vignettes, intended to challenge participant’s perceptions of the body, presence, technology, mediation and psychological experience. Importantly not only the performers and SCSCHF staff are active participants, the general public are also required to directly participate and bring their own content, in both discussion and tasks during the performance.In this paper the author deconstructs the affective potential and implications of the technological body within the Eidolon performance through an eclectic and broad lens including the poetry of Baudelaire, zombie culture, phenomenology, Actor-network theory (ANT) and Activity Theory (AT). The focus is not on the technology itself but in its affective potential and implications. What effect do the technological bodies of these training manikins, being physiologically real and responsive, literally physical bodies (yet technological driven), have on our perception of what it means to be human and alive? How many or few physical indicators (such as placing a hand over the mouth of a manikin and feeling its breath, seeing it blink, feeling its pulse), are required to create a strong sense of physical presence? In this paper the author explores the potential of the simulated, technological body, experienced through live, participatory performance, to challenge and provoke our perception of the body, psychological and physical presence and experience, and technical mediation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTechnoetic Arts
EditorsRoy Ascott
ISBN (Electronic)17589533
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2015
EventConsciousness Reframed - Art & Consciousness in the post-biological era - De Tao Masters Academy, Shanghai, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Nov 201522 Nov 2015

Conference

ConferenceConsciousness Reframed - Art & Consciousness in the post-biological era
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityShanghai
Period20/11/1522/11/15

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  • Eidolon

    Hood, B.

    1/10/1315/09/17

    Project: University Awarded Project Funding

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