Every Thought There Ever Was

Every Thought There Ever Was
08 September - 23 December 2018
18:00 - 21:00
Focal Point Gallery, Elmer Avenue, Southend-on-Sea

Drawing on philosophical ideas and scientific research, this ambitious project and major new touring exhibition by UK based artist Lindsay Seers considers historical representations of schizophrenia and contemporary insights into the condition achieved through the use of virtual reality. Incorporating industrial robotics in conjunction with a three-screen video projection, the work is shaped by philosophical ideas and scientific research concerned with the phenomenon of consciousness. Through digital animation, special effects, drawing and sound design, it explores the extraordinary brain functioning that occurs in the condition of schizophrenia. Two screens, supported by robot arms, move with the images, bringing agency to them as an active element in the work. The work draws on an experimental treatment known as Avatar Therapy, in which those living with schizophrenia can speak to their persecutors in a digital world. Guided by first-person accounts and a collaborative drawing exchange, Seers’ work has been shaped by conversations with scientific partners including Anil Seth at The Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science and Chris Frith, Emeritus and Professor of Neuropsychology, UCL to explore the current studies and thinking on the condition. Pursuing her ongoing fascination with how an individual’s biography embodies history, Seers takes Victorian surgeon James Miranda Barry as her narrator. Barry was the Inspector General of military hospitals, making significant reforms to institutions then known as asylums and the treatment of so called ‘lunatics.’ Barry travels in time to become an Avatar with the ability to cure. Supported by Wellcome and co-commissioned also by the MAC in Belfast, Matt’s Gallery in London, Hospitalfield in Arbroath and John Hansard Gallery, Southampton.