The Emotion Organ (2007)
Why would anyone want to merely bang out music, when you could have euphoria? Why be satisfied with an ordinary spinet when you could have The Emotion Organ? Developed over a rigorous three-year period in a small studio in Oslo, The Emotion Organ is a synaesthetic, simulacrum machine that takes its public on a phenomenological journey through the physical senses. With the organ, you can hear colors and smell sounds. The Emotion Organ is also a time machine. It connects obsolete technology with the new, combining a 19th century organ with contemporary gadgetry to create a hybrid form that is part performance object and part scientific instrument for studying phenomenon. When playing the organ, various combinations of keys, stops and foot pedals trigger cross-sensory events, such as the projection of visual patterns, vibrations, and emission of compelling aromas. Each viewer is invited to play the organ and come up with their set of discoveries. As a sculptural object used to explore processual practices, The Emotion Organ is an exciting contribution to a contemporary artistic practice and redefinition of artistic roles from makers to facilitators that enable the exploration of complex relational, networked and social experiences. – Michelle Teran
The Emotion Organ was made possible by the Norwegian Theatre Academy, Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme, Atelier Nord and Arts Council Norway. Special thanks goes to the UK Synaesthesia Association, Piotr Pajchel, Laura Beloff, Erich Berger, Aslak Nygren, Per Platou, Ellen Røed and the many more who helped out.
Amanda Steggell has extensive experience of working as choreographer, curator and producer in many environments, contexts and countries. In the mid-1990s she established the artist collective Motherboard with Per Platou, which over a period of fifteen years has explored online / unstable / electronic live art. She is curator of Currently 2012-16, an independent, marine-based, public facing artistic research project, collaborating with artists and makers from Oslo and Liverpool UK. She holds a phd-equivalent qualification from The Norwegian Artistic Fellowship Programme. She has published in a wide range of journals, books and online on topics such as dance and technology and net worked and synaesthetic live art. As Professor of Choreography at Oslo National Academy of the Arts she leads the transdisciplinary artistic research team, Amphibious Trilogies. Centered on islands, ponds and passages, it investigates new choreo-topographies in times of darkness, complexity and climate change.
Portrett: Ileana Alvarez Reyes.
“The Emotion Organ” av Amanda Steggell. Foto: Annesofie Norn.