Perfect Human

2008

Inspired by Joergen Leth’s 1967 short film “The Perfect Human” and Lars von Trier’s “The Five Obstructions” (2003). This performance intends to create a sixth obstruction of The Perfect Human, by introducing rules in order to complete the performance as a game.

In preparation for the game the performer receives a suitcase, one week in advance. The artists do not meet or talk with the performer until the day of the performance. The Suitcase contains items selected to help the performer prepare herself for the game. None of the items impose any obligation on the performer. Instead she is free to inspect and make use of them in any way she sees fit. But she must prepare herself. On the day of the performance, the performer must show up at the named time and location carrying the suitcase with all its contents. The game begins as the performer starts putting on the socks, the last item of the costume.

During the performance the performer reaches a point in the game, where she must mirror the audience in order to complete the level. This allows the audience to explore the wearable motion-capture system through the mirroring of movement. Moreover the audience must themselves become involved in order to perform the role of the perfect human.


Technical

The actual performance takes place in public space. The setup is fully portable by the artists and performer. The performer wears a handmade motion-capture costume that includes fabric bend sensors for tracking the motion of the limbs and wireless communication to send the sensor data from the suit to a nearby laptop. Software on the laptop analyzes the sensor data and triggers words from The Perfect Human text. An FM radio transmitter broadcasts these words to surrounding radios, which are tuned to the frequency of the FM transmitter. The radios play back the sound for everybody to hear.

Selected Photos from previous performances

The Perfect Human performance has developed over time. Not all previous performers received the suitcase for preparation in advance.

Berlin, Germany (2013)

Sao Paulo, Brazil (2010)

Findhorn, Scotland (2009)

Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2009)


Dresden, Germany (2008)

Linz, Austria (2008)

Credits

Performance at WCOMTC in SHIFT Berlin, Germany, 30 October 2013
Performer: Nelly Hakkarainen
The Voice: Tim Devine
Documentation Camera:

Performance at the Mostra Sesc des Artes at SESC Pompeia in Sao Paulo, Brazil 18-28 November 2010
Performer: Ivy Mari Mikami
The Voice:
Humming: Kristina Lindberg
Translation: Gabi Carneiro
Thanks to: SESC, COM TATO and Gabi Carneiro

Performance at the 3×3 Dance & Cross Art Collaboration, Findhorn Universal Hall, Scotland, 17 July 2009
Performer: Rosalind Masson
The Voice: Tim Devine
Humming: Kristina Lindberg
Documentation Camera: Friedrich Kirschner
Thanks to: Distance Lab, Bodysurf Scotland

Performance at the V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 20 May 2009
Performer: Rita Vilhena
The Voice: Tim Devine
Human’s Voice: Kristina Lindberg
Documentation Camera: V2_

Performance at the Post me new ID forum, Dresden, Germany, Oct 30 – Nov 1, 2008
Performer: Sasha Spasic
The Voice: Tim Devine
Human’s Voice: Kristina Lindberg
Documentation Camera: Jennifer Nicoll

Performance at the ARS Electronica Festival, Linz, Austria, September 4-7, 2008
Performer: Ivana Kalc
Ivana is a dancer, performer and choreographer who studied German and history in Croatia, and dance in Austria. She lives and works between Croatia, Austria and Germany.
The Voice: Tim Devine
Human’s Voice: Ivana Kalc
Documentation Camera: Ingo Randolf, Sofy Yudiskaya, Bernd Kranebitter
Thanks to: Kunstuniversitaet Linz, Interface Cultures and Ars Electronica Festival 2008

Photos



Videos

Sao Paulo, Brazil (Rehearsal)

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Findhorn, Scotland (Video by Cindy Jeffers)

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Dresden, Germany

Linz, Austria

Linz, Austria

Linz, Austria