I think anyone who has had the pleasure of experiencing the act of body suspension can relate with trying to explain it to those who haven’t. I know, for me at least, trying to describe the thoughts, feelings, and emotions passing through my body and mind is impossible; no amount of words really seems to do it justice. But what if those watching could actually get inside your mind as you pass through the experience of taking hooks, the tension beginning to pull at your skin, and your feet leaving the ground? That is exactly the concept that Spectre members Enrico Viola and Stefano Moscardini paired up with Lukas Zpira to create and bring on stage. When you take into consideration the process that makes the audio and video presentation working with this suspension possible, the result is nothing short of incredible.

Spectre + Lukas Zpira @ Borderline Biennale 2011 from SPECTRE on Vimeo.

More after the break on how they made it happen.

The performance itself becomes even more impressive when the viewer understands just how much went into creating what occurred on stage. It is best explained by those who worked on the project:

“The central aspect in Danse Neurale is to bring flesh, plastic and steel on stage together, make them complementary and let them express together as if they were a single organism. Lukas’ body is equipped with a series of wireless sensors: an EEG headset, a breath microphone and a modified stethoscope; moreover two flesh hooks are inserted under his skin and connected to a winch. As the biometric signals are collected, they are sent to the software, where they are parsed in real time and used to drive both the audio and the visuals; when the winch starts to pull Lukas’ flesh, it generates a neurological response that, in turn, becomes a biomechanical feedback: two huge wings made with his own EEG graph grow from his shoulders, start to flap and lift his body off the ground.”

One of the aspects that isn’t mentioned is that by the performance being created based on his body’s response to the suspension, each performance becomes its own unique piece of artwork. The subtle changes in how his body reacts could send a different set of information to be processed every time this is done. It is certainly something that is a wonderful visual and auditory representation of the amount of bodily responses happening as we put ourselves through the process of suspension from beginning to end. To see more pictures from the creation of this, please check out their page on Behance, and be sure to show them some love by clicking the ‘appreciate’ button at the bottom of the page.

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I am always amazed to find out where people can take body suspension, and I hope to see where these performances lead as the individuals that created it continue to progress and evolve the concepts that went into it.

On a side note before there are responses and questions about the performance, I understand that the individuals piercing in this video are not wearing gloves. I asked them about this, as I know that our community can tend to attack things like this before finding out more about what was taking place. Being close to one another on a personal level, they felt comfortable placing the aesthetics of the performance above the use of gloves and personal protection against blood borne pathogens they could potentially be exposed to. They have since reconsidered the decision, and in the shows following this performance have chosen to put their personal protection above the performance. I think it’s a great decision, and one that allows the audience members to see that safety and hygiene are things we take very seriously in our community.