STUMPS is a hybrid performance mixing robotic and lyrical arts. It investigates the theme of deformity and monstrosity in an era where the boundary is more and more blurred between what is considered a “natural” body and what is not. This blurring stems from social momentum as much as from technological advances, with the latter ranging from embedded biomedical devices to plastic surgery to protheses of all kinds.
By embedding the body of lyric singer Clemence Martel with inflatable, computer-controlled robotic elements that react to her voice and can completely modify the shape of her body while she is singing (alternately making it grow stumps, bumps, cavities, and protuberance), we question the very idea of normativity and its relation to the artificial and the tangible.
The music, which has been specifically composed for this performance, responds to this by installing a dialog between the machine and the organicity of the singing voice, specifically embodied by the scream and the rattle, closest to animality.
Performed at Festival Teatri del Suono - Trieste, October 2022, Teatro Miela- curated by Cantierezero.
This project has been funded by ETIS (UMR 8051 CNRS) and ENSEA.