SMARTlab Principal Researcher in Performance Technologies Dr. Leslie Hill has been awarded £60,000 in grants from the Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust Arts Awards for her new research project ‘Autobiology’, which she will undertake in collaboration with Dr. Helen Paris of Brunel University’s Centre for Contemporary and Digital Performance and Professor Qasim Aziz, HH Wingate Professor of Neurogastroenterology in Barts and the London School of Medicine.
This project will selectively target and gather information in current psychoimmunological research for use in developing experimental new processes for devising performance work, particularly work in which the creation and performance are both embedded in the body of the artist (self-authored, self-performed). In collaboration with Professor Aziz, artists Hill and Paris will utilise recent scientific research supporting the existence of psychosomatic networks whose behaviours can be consciously manipulated to develop new creative methodologies. Together, they will devise new biofeedback techniques for demonstrating these networks in live performance situations and work with scripts composed from autobiographical material to produce performances which both draw on and demonstrate ‘gut feelings’.
As part of the project Hill and Paris will be running a series of ‘Autobiology’ workshops, the first of which will take place at Toynbee Studios in East London, from 6-10 October. Hill and Paris will also be directly participating in experiments with Aziz and his team at the Wingate (see photo) in which they use devices such as a neuroscope to chart psychosomatic networks and reactions.