The Operature: 2012-2015
The Operature is a performance, installation and augmented reality poem that engages histories of forensics and anatomical science and spectacle. The work's choreography, objects, text, and overall form and structure are influenced by the history of early modern anatomical theatres, Frances Glessner Lee's miniature crime scene re-enactments known as the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, and The Stud File, a methodical record of the sexual exploits of Samuel Steward, a 20th century tattoo artist, pornographer, and friend of Gertrude Stein.
The performance runs for 90-minutes with a 12 minute intermission at which time audience members are invited to scan interactive tattoos on the bodies of performers unveiling additional virtual layers of the work.
The Operature's performance space is comprised of a DIY interactive operating table and four modular table-leaves that, when combined, form a large banquet table that serves as a stage. The central table is used as an instrument to control screen-based content and map AR texts and overlays to geo-physical coordinates in the space. The work's elaborate set includes a series of hand-crafted viewing stations with embedded mobile devices to access the virtual materials in the space.
Variations and site-specific iterations of The Operature have included the The Final Problem (Free Lunch Movement) (Edinburgh), Field Anatomy (a site adaptation for Shawn Decker's Prairie installation at the Chicago Cultura Center), Promiscuous Code (Julius Caesar Gallery, Chicago), The Operature AR Pinups Edition (Pinups Magazine, NY), and the solo performance, Operatus. Some of these instances are documented below.