7th Havana Biennial -  Home November 2000 - January 2001Home
Diana Domingues - Statement und Details
 + zoom in Diana Domingues giving
her lecture in Havana.

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People say that in primitive societies wall paintings are works by shamans whose altered states of consciousness confer them powers to communicate with the beyond and to intervene in the real world because they dialogue with spirits. In TRANS-E - My Body, My Blood, digital technologies provide us with an electronic ritual. Bodies connected by interfaces dialogue with computer electronic memories and can experience "virtual hallucinations" in real time.

In my installation, these "hallucinations" are managed by neural networks which decide mutations of images according to the visitors' behaviour captured by sensors installed on the floor. Interfaces and electronic circuits receive and transmit data and the body immersed in these sensorized environments has its senses digitized in a sensorial circuit of "trompe les sens". Neural networks simulate the human neurological system, and deal with non-linear problems by means of algorithms. The network recognizes some patterns and interprets signals from biological systems translating them into computing paradigms.

Three different and simultaneous situations are generated by the action of bodies. The images change, a red liquid moves within a bowl as an offering to life and the sound of a drum is mixed with the heartbeats altered by the heat of the bodies in their moving around. In the back of the room the wall shows metamorphoses from North Brazil's Inga Stone's pre-historical inscriptions.

TRANS-E - My body, My blood offers an electronic trance inside a cavernlike dark room with lighted images on the walls. The installation is divided in three situations simulating three different stages of the shamanic trance.

Theoretical approaches inform that the shaman can experience three levels during the trance. In the first stage only lighted sensations and mutations occur in a neurophysiological way: brilliances, colours, scintillations, flashes of light, dots, fadings. The images depend only of the biological apparatus and they have no symbolic cultural weight. In the second stage, the shaman experiences images loaded with emotional significance like. crosses, chalices, lilies, swords, snakes, and other symbols whose interpretation depends on one's cultural background. The images invoke personal and individual experiences stored throughout life. The mutations call out to data from religious, geographic, ethnic, political and social condition and change according to habits, emotions and other individual experiences. During the third stage, the shaman experiences the deepest level of the trance going into a turmoil. The shaman identifies with animals and is attracted by lights, natural phenomena: volcanos, water, sky, thunderstorms, fire appear mixed with visceral views and the participant can be taken to distorted ephemeral identities.

During the trance, shamans intervene in the real world materializing visions sprouting from the rock In my installation people have "visions" beyond the real receiving shamanic powers from interactive technologies that allow them to modify the rock wall. The shaman believes that the rock has special power and it is a veil between the spirits world the real world. Interactive technologies allow invisible data to be materialized in ephemeral connections.

It's fascinating to be able to capture invisible forces and control physical phenomena when we define the "life" of the interactive work Biological and artificial systems dialogue provoking an enigmatic experience of TRANS-E.

Interacting people gain shamanic powers while inhabiting an elliptical zone in a symbiosis between analogical and digital, organic and inorganic, real and virtual.

Technologies embody now traces of biological systems, translate them into computerized paradigms, offering emotional experiences and expanding our consciousness. My intention is to check organic laws and proclaim machines' power of controlling and expanding natural life in this post-biological era.

© Text, images: Diana Domingues,
Novas Tecnologias nas Artes Visuais.
Portrait: Gerhard Haupt & Pat Binder,
Universes in Universe
Diana Domingues

Diana Domingues

Diana Domingues

Diana Domingues

Diana Domingues

Diana Domingues

Diana Domingues

Diana Domingues
Domingues - 1 Tour

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