The Operature
Anatomical Theatres of Mixed Reality
US Premiere at National Museum of Health and Medicine
March 21-29, 2014

Judd Morrissey on Vimeo.

[ video: Trailer / Atom-r at Performing House in York, UK ]

The Operature is a durational live performance, installation and augmented reality poem that engages histories of forensics and anatomical science and spectacle. The work's choreography, objects, text, and overall form and structure are influenced by research into a range of historical archives including early modern anatomical theatre, Frances Glessner Lee's miniature crime scene re-enactments known as the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, and The Stud File, a methodical record of the sexual exploits of Samuel Steward, a 20th century tattoo artist, pornographer, and friend of Gertrude Stein.

The Operature's set is comprised of a DIY interactive operating table and four modular table-leaves that, when combined, form a large banquet table that, at times, serves as a stage. The central table is used as an instrument to control screen-based content and map AR overlays to geo-physical coordinates in the space. A smart-phone is not required for accessing virtual content as the work's elaborate set includes a series of viewing stations.

The performance runs for 90-minutes with a 12 minute intermission at which time audience members are invited to scan interactive tattoos on the bodies of performers unveiling additional virtual layers of the work.

The choreography of bodies and objects enacts anatomy as both intact whole and distributed data-consuming system, as the elevated surface of the work shifts underfoot, fluctuating between references to surgery and banquet.

Anatomical Theatres of Mixed Reality (ATOM-r) is a provisional collective exploring forensics, anatomy, and 21st century embodiment through performance, language and emerging technologies. Participants include Judd Morrissey (code / writing / systems) and Mark Jeffery (choreography). A given piece may have no singular fixed form but is alternately or simultaneously presented as internet art, duration live installation or a performance of fixed length. Justin Deschamps, Sam Hertz, Christopher Knowlton, and Blake Russell serve as collaborators and performers, with Alfredo Salazar-Caro (new media), Dav Yendler (illustrations), Kate Hampel (costume designer), Hunter Gatherer Jewelry (prosthetic design), Bryan Saner (carpenter), Alexandria Eregbu (studio assitant), Andrew Pace (textile designer),Anthony Romero (guest writer.)

Response to The Operature on SFMOMA Blog


The Operature: Mixed Reality Book
Pinups Magazine

The Operature, an augmented reality performance publication, is finally available! The 60-page book captures the ATOM-r interactive performance, a fold out pinup poster, micro-essays, and scannable augmented reality.