• life
  • is
  • beautiful
  • you
  • are
  • lovely
Trial Separation
{Re}Happening ’15
Made With
Sebastian Collett
Jody Servon
User Experience Design
Sound Design/Intervention
On-Site Installation Support

A psychological examination of the third kind

Trial Separation was a taste-focused installation pushing the boundaries between performance, interactivity and experiment. It was a collaboration with Sebastian Collett and Jody Servon.

Prepared specifically for {Re}Happening Festival, the process of creation started by examining a new agency for control: taste. With most installations using touch, sight, and sound as the main avenues for interaction, we looked towards the lesser used senses as the key human interaction.

In its delivery, the project consisted of a dimly lit room with three scientists inside, wearing full-body toxicity suits. One with clipboard, one with a series of signs, and a faceless one with what looked like a toy keyboard. As lines formed outside the room, scientist #1 (clipboard) would walk throughout the line and firmly choose a participant to enter.

As the participant enters the space, the light is switched on from darkness, and he/she is ordered to sit and place headphones on his/her ears. He/she is briefly told to drink one of four clear, scentless liquids laid out before them, and respond with the first word that comes to mind. As the participants sip the liquid, an image is flashed before them, and a sound is played in their ears. Scientist #1 continues to keep track of a score for the person. After drinking the four liquids, the participant is briskly escorted out of the room and handed her scoresheet, written in an alien language.

Half science experiment, half installation, the piece served as a dark yet playful experience for both artist and participant. Playing on the human emotions of fear and uncertainty, and blending comedy and confusion resulted in a potent performance installation that instilled memories in participants for months after.

Next Project
Bowser Jr Shadow Showdown