Most of the information we experience is saved into the sensory memory without us becoming aware of it. An eye is a powerful sensor – our brain receives so much visual information at such a high speed that we remain, at first, unaware of most of the processing going on in the visual cortex – association cortex starts the interpretation process with a slight delay.
It is possible, by presenting the visual information at a very fast rate, to stimulate the imagination of a person and to store subliminal information in somebody. Then, it is later possible, by stimulating this unconsciously stored information, to provoke emotional reactions.
But how is the knowledge about neurological specificities in humans and about the filter of conscious and unconscious related to Romeo and Juliet? The story of Romeo and Juliet is an excellent material for experimenting with these processes. The same way that the fate of Romeo and Juliet was influenced by the processes beyond their control, we are influenced by invisible processes hidden in the shadow inside ourselves. We know what happened in the 5th act of the famous play by Shakespeare (and if not, it is possible to look it up). But what are the cognitive processes this story will activate? That we don't yet know.
It is possible that this subliminal experience will become a recognisable narrative. But it is also possible that something else will happen, something unexpected. This defines the interest in experimenting with subliminal experiencing. We are not standing on a solid ground, neither will the spectator. We are all chasing the will-o'-the-wisp and no one knows before the performance whether it'll be there this time or not. What was it, there on the edge of the peripheral vision? Don't know, might be the heart is beating too hard…
eˉlektron is a halfway virtual, halfway physical platform that connects exploratory activities of performing arts and science. eˉlektron’s core is in collaboration between artists and scientists. They work together in the format of a creative laboratory and try to do something which neither could complete without the other. Tools and prerequisites can be different, but the main driving force for both the scientist and the artist is curiosity. It binds.
“Romeo & Juliet #5” is made by Taavet Jansen, Andres Tenusaar, Hendrik Kaljujärv, Henri Hütt, Mailiis Laur, Rommi Ruttas, Aleksander Väljamäe, Maike Lond and Kaie Olmre
Co-production: eˉlektron, Kanuti Gildi SAAL
Supported by Estonian Ministry of Culture
Premiere: Baltoscandal festival 1.07.2020
https://elektron.live/, Kanuti Gildi SAAL · Pikk 20, Estonia