Ritual I: The Thing Itself


Nicole L'Huillier

Nicole L'Huillier


Ritual I: The Thing Itself consists of a choreographed robotic body that is in constant flux. It performs a dance of repetitive patterns that become a trance ritual of vibrations and movement. The thing or dancing body stands on a metal sheet that vibrates with every move it makes; this way the body affects its territory with every movement. In return, the vibrations of the metal add to the vibration of the thing itself while it moves, and in this way the body is affected by its territory. 

This is a feedback system, a cyclic loop, a transduction network, a ritual dance between a body and its territory. This ritual explores how agency becomes increasingly distributed among bodies and territories, which opens interactions of hybrid selves, blurring the limits of bodies and its environment, understanding them all as an assemblage of vibrant matter. The architecture comprises complex assemblages—nothing is something by itself, but things are themselves by being in a relationship with others. This is an entangled architecture of bodies. This is a way to explore and diversify the imaginative projections and potentials of a kinetic non-human body and how sound and vibration are key to trigger agency and vibrant presence.

It is the thing itself that has been allowed to be deployed as multiple, and thus allowed to be grasped through different viewpoints, before being possibly unified in some later stage depending on the abilities of the collective to unify them.

—Bruno Latour, Assembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 116. 

Research Topics
#robotics #performance