This responsive poem installation is inspired by the Anna O., a patient of Joseph Breuer’s, whose publication of research on her treatment with Sigmund Freud led to the birth of psychoanalysis and the “talking cure.” The installations documented in this link demonstrate the idea by providing an image of her words splashed across the screen and an image of her face reveals other layers of language that lie beneath the surface of the image. This enacts Freud’s theories about the unconscious and repression by using the image as a kind of window into two or three layers of language. On the top level, we can read the work, noting that the speaker has a steady tone, reading two more levels of text, each revealed by a different part of the face. The installation provides better opportunities for setup and interaction, but you get the ideas well from the documentation.
As her libido’s cathexis continues to bubble up in her eyes sockets and hair one must wonder whether she is cured or not.
Okay, I admit it: I want a CAVE. And after watching this video, you will too. But unless you have a lot of money (about a million dollars) to build one and specialized personnel to operate it, or have access to one of the couple dozen ones in existence around the world, you may have to satisfy yourself with a video of a performance of “Screen.”
The poetic texts displayed place us in a room where a couple’s relationship is on the verge of collapse. The language flies at the reader at an accelerating rate until the very structure of the lines of text can no longer cohere and falls into an unreadable mess of light— the visual “ink” for writing in the CAVE. Talk about an immersive reading and playing experience!