No one can conceive the variety of feelings which bore me onwards, like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success. Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. A new species would bless me as its creator and source.
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, 1818.
Within a century or even a few decades, genetic engineering and other forms of biological engineering might enable us to make far-reaching alterations not only to our physiology, immune system, but also to our intellectual and emotional capacities.
Yuval Harari, Homo Deus, 2016.
Mary Shelley’s Future Shocks is a collaboration between the Cabinet of Living Cinema, illustrator Julia de Graaf, and video artist Tom Brown with contributions from writer/philosopher Yuval Harari and archive of Maya Deren’s seminal short films, celebrating the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein’s publication in 1818.
The piece is being devised in collaboration with BAC and will be touring the UK between Oct 2018 and March 2019.
Projection-mapping onto an onstage torso and projected comic book panels interweave with fragments of landscapes, electrical storms, sea and cloudscapes. Time bends between the revolutionary era of Mary Shelley’s teenage-hood as the creature forms in her mind and a future date decades from now, where biological ‘upgrading’ and multiple virtual selves are the everyday. Amidst the two projections a harp player, string player, percussionist and vocalist create a live score with vocal sound effects, their instruments and pedals surrounding and intertwining with the mannequin torso.