Hypotext at Electronic Voice Phenomena

EVP BristolPublisher Penned in the Margins and creative producers Mercy are currently touring their show, Electronic Voice Phenomena.

It’s billed as a glitchy cabaret of ghosts, performance and music channeling contemporary explorations of voice, technology and writing with new commissions from writers and performers including Hannah Silva, Ross Sutherland, SJ Fowler.

Their opening night in Gateshead was captured, along with all of its ghostly echolalia and poetic ectoplasm, inside the ghostbusters’ vacuum that is this electrifying video of the first show in Gateshead.  Check it out.

And I am absolutely thrilled – thrilled! – to be a guest artist at Electronic Voice Phenomena’s show at The Cube cinema in Bristol this Sunday.

© Holly Corfield Carr 2013I will be presenting Hypotext, a heat-sensitive text that invites readers to consider degrees of agency and desire in our physical encounters with technology and narrative.

Or, as was discovered at Spike Island Open, to initiate an alternative to the age old ‘Are you Hot Enough?’ contest.  More ‘Are You Alive Enough?’

© Holly Corfield Carr 2013The text that EVP’s audience will be engaging with is a retelling of the culturally-suppressed tale type, 510B, as collected under the Aarne-Thompson index, an academic cataloguing system that prioritises objects over narrative.

Fish bones, gold rings, severed hands, spinning wheels, girls, cyborgs, borrowed skins and fathers are arranged into a jittering, jarring array of bodies that the reader can briefly, remotely touch – but not hold.

The appropriation of these tales, in part, plays on the uses of the word ‘skin’ in contemporary technology and its commercial accessorising and, in part, invites the reader into a performance of Donna Haraway’s declaration:

“We are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in short, we are cyborgs.”

The women of the 510B-type tale become chimera, overwriting themselves with another’s skin to escape the advances of their amorous fathers.  And so the self-editing palimpsest of Hypotext is always unstable, always stuttering in and out of sense in direct conversation with the reader’s skin.

If you’re in Bristol this weekend, do come and test this strange, slippery thing.

If you’re in the UK anywhere, catch Electronic Voice Phenomena before it’s gone, like a haunting voice in the night.

© Holly Corfield Carr 2013

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