sister O’s Operation Manual for the Heart (2002)
durational performance (with wireless FM radio synthesiser, 5x accelerometers data-bending modulators, 1x light sensor, divination stick, cows heart pleated green dress).
Filmed by Shu Lea Cheang for HUMANMATERIALMACHINEFACTOR, DASARTS, Amsterdam.
SisterO embarks on an initiation journey to learn the wisdom of the new dark ages using her divination stick. This technology triggers sounds that re-educate cells, allowing her to tune into her realm and recode heart cells. Her goal is to subvert social realities of patriarchy, colonialism, and capitalism, transforming cyclic patterns into spiral lines of force. She uses various data-bending modulations and strategies to demystify, embrace non-linearity, and blend synthetic technologies with aesthetic sensibilities to engage with matter and minerals in a non extractive way.
As the new millennium stretched out before us, Ophelia continued sinking deeper into a transcendental state; through the water, secret messages were channelled about a New World disorder by her illegitimate sisters who discovered an ancient script to use the stars as servers, enabling the direct transmission of signals and communication across space and time. In solidarity, sisters seize rupture and permeate the membrane of her Ophelias prone, damned and mythical deadlock.
On receiving these clandestine transmissions, she re-awoke from laying prostrate in the netherworld, returning from her horizontal state to a vertical life on planet Earth. Arriving sister0 is on a quest to re-circuit the landscapes, which she is portrayed to inhabit, highly unsatisfied and misunderstood commonly; she is now in the business of re-definition to recode all cells that are well-written Platonic archetypes subverting the strategies that trap perception and desire, fused and circuited inscriptions that confine identity to spiralic patterns that enable action and potentiality.
sister0 combines electronic sound, dance, and light, fusing technological means with an insistence on and wonder of the cosmos, differently apprehended from the margins, borders and boundaries she inhabits.
sister O has a history of being caught in cyclical patterns, but she is now using her skills to transform them into powerful, spiraling forces. Like many women before her, she has faced challenges and been pushed down, but she refuses to be silenced.
Throughout history, there has been a systematic effort to control and eradicate ancient forms of knowledge, including those related to the human body, sound, dance, plants, and herbs. For example, the traditional practice of midwifery was taken away from women by the modern Western medical system.
Sister O seeks to challenge these oppressive systems and disrupt the dominant narratives of culture, reason, broadcasting, and art. She does this by using her unique blend of artistic sensibilities and technological expertise to create new forms of expression that defy traditional binary modes of thought. Her work is a powerful force for change, and it offers hope for a future in which ancient wisdom and contemporary industry can coexist in harmony.