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Every Thought There Ever Was | MAC, Belfast | 4th May - 29th July 2018

 

Materials: two robots, surround sound system, radio headphones, 3 synchronized media players, 3 projectors and a programmed light

Drawing on philosophical ideas and scientific research, this ambitious project by UK based artist Lindsay Seers considers historical representations of schizophrenia and contemporary insights into the condition achieved through the use of virtual reality.

Every Thought There Ever Was is a major new touring exhibition by Lindsay Seers. Incorporating industrial robotics in conjunction with a three-screen video projection, the work is shaped by philosophical ideas and scientific research concerned with the phenomenon of consciousness.

Through digital animation, special effects, drawing and sound design, Every Thought There Ever Was explores the extraordinary brain functioning that occurs in the condition of schizophrenia. Two screens, supported by robot arms, move with the images, bringing agency to them as an active element in the work. 

The work draws on an experimental treatment known as Avatar Therapy, in which those living with schizophrenia can speak to their persecutors in a digital world. Guided by first-person accounts and a collaborative drawing exchange, Seers’ work has been shaped by conversations with scientific partners including Anil Seth at The Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science and Chris Frith, Emeritus and Professor of Neuropsychology, UCL to explore the current studies and thinking on the condition. 

Pursuing her on-going fascination with how an individual's biography embodies history, Seers takes Victorian surgeon James Miranda Barry as her narrator. Barry transcends time through a connection with the offspring she gave life to by performing a ground-breaking emergency Caesarean section operation. Barry’s future life sees her manifest as an Avatar with an ability to cure. 

If you are affected by issues raised in this work, please speak to a member of the MAC staff who are here to help. 

This exhibition contains language which some visitors may find offensive.

Animation by Keith Sargent and Lindsay Seers, filming, edting and post production Lindsay Seers, robot programming Keith Sargent, sound by Lindsay Seers, Pendle Poucher, David Dhonau and Rick and Vanessa Koster-Goodliffe, installation design Lindsay Seers, set-up by Anne Nesbit and Focal Point Gallery

Every Thought There Ever Was is supported by Wellcome and is co-commissioned by the MAC, Belfast; Matt’s Gallery, London; Focal Point Gallery, Southend-On-Sea; Hospitalfield, Arbroath; and John Hansard Gallery, Southampton.