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Louise Wilson
From February 22nd 1996 to March 24th 1996
Abulia

"Six healthy human subjects will participate in this seven-day experiment. On each day, gaze stability measurements will be obtained before and repeatedly after 30 minutes of "Torso Rotation". The measurements consist of recording eye and head movements while the subject is actively shaking: a) his head while wearing a neck brace; and b) his head. Active head / body shaking will be done in the dark, matching movements to an auditory cue (frequency range 0.3 – 3.0Hz)."

From The role of Vision and Neck Inputs during Adaptation to Motion Sickness, Aerospace Medical Research Unit, McGill University, Montreal.

At the end of 1994, I participated as a subject in a week-long study into motion sickness. This study examined the effects of what were termed "provocative, self-generated movements". Recording devices – which will eventually be used on board the Space Shuttle, were attached directly onto my body (to monitor neurophysiological changes) in addition to those "fixed" obliquely, since for the most part, the experimenter would be viewing me on a video surveillance system in an adjoining room. A series of repeated movements were played out in the dark, with my body moving in time to an electronic beep – a controlled shaking, fixed-gaze performance intended to provoke the physiological state of motion sickness.

These self-generated movements have since come to seem to me like gestures of denial or resistance. For these movements, electrodes and other recording equipment acted as supervisory agents. Only when the computer data was analyzed was my awkward performance fully assessed. The video documentation of this session is comical. Shot in the dark using infra-red light, the imagery is curious and unrooted. Gender, age and other characteristics are indistinct and vague. Ironically, in this (ideological) lab space, being female was simultaneously irrelevant and incongruous. The fixed gaze was directed towards a memory of the target seen before and on viewing the documentation a posteriori, one mentally adds the sound of electronic ticking to the silent screen image.
-Press Release (Optica)

Louise Wilson is a British artist currently living in Montreal where she is completing a MFA in Studio Arts at Concordia University. Her work has been exhibited in Britain, France, Germany, Slovakia and Canada – most recently in Rx at the Agnes Etherington Arts Centre, Kingston and at ISEA 95 in Montreal. Published writings include "The Electronic Caress" (Public #13, 1995) which explores her experience as a test subject in medical research.