performance length: 81 min
This performance is presented as part of a unique international exchange of top innovative companies from Chicago, and Prague’s Handa Gote Research and Development, thanks to Trust for Mutual Understanding. Performance takes place at Venuše ve Švehlovce as pa part of Mezipatra festival and is in English with Czech subtitles.

If you are a participant of ATOM-r's workshop PERFORMING THRESHOLDS: INVISIBILITY, VIRTUALITY & RITUAL , the entrance to the Kjell Theøry performance is already included in the workshop admission fee.

Alan Turing’s mathematical descriptions of nature vs. the algorithmic mutations of Guillaume Apollinaire’s The Breasts of Tiresias (1917). This exclusive augmented reality performance Kjell Theøry (2017) is by Chicago company Anatomical Theatres of Mixed Reality (ATOM-r), an art and technology collective. Audiences and critics alike can revel in this “technologically enhanced queer fertility ritual, adopting elements from a Cornish May Day festival.

British computing pioneer, Alan Turing, visited Scandinavia, seeking tolerance after being convicted of homosexual acts and sentenced to chemical castration. The forced estrogen treatments he received caused him to develop small breasts. At the time, he was formulating a theory of morphogenesis to account for patterns found in flowers, embryos, and other natural forms. He named his theory for a male Norwegian love interest, Kjell.

In Apollinaire's play, a woman transforms into the male prophet Tiresias while her husband gives birth to 40,049 babies. Apollinaire’s vision of male reproduction manifests in the prologue as a war-time hallucination in which the eyes of newborns form constellations in the night sky. ATOM-r layers these and other sources and influences into a poetic choreography that is situated, like the mythological Tiresias, between worlds and genders, using augmented reality to portray a visionary blindness. ATOM-r researched neo-pagan fertility rituals. They adopted and inverted elements from the ‘Obby ‘Oss festival, a Cornish May Day parade that stages the birth and death of a horse who symbolically impregnates female participants by trapping them under his skirt.

Core ATOM-r members:
Choreography: Mark Jeffery
Writing and technology: Judd Morrissey
Performers: Justin Deschamps and Christopher Knowlton

Collaborators include:
Costumes: Grace DuVal
Objects: Elena Ailes, Claire Ashley, Laura Prieto-Velasco, Stephen Reynolds, Bryan Saner, and Oli Watt
Performance: Leonardo Kaplan
Research assistant: Mev Luna
Sound: Joshua Patterson
Lighting: Josh Hoglund
Graphic design: Javier Lopez
Video: Julia Pello

Trailer: vimeo.com/199470417
Premiere: January 2017, The Graham Foundation for the Applied Arts
Supported by: Kjell Theøry was developed through residencies at International Museum Surgical Science, The Graham Foundation for the Applied Arts, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Chicago, Chicago Cultural Center, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Dance Department, University of Chichester, TeaK, Helsinki.

Anatomical Theatres of Mixed Reality
Judd Morrissey and Mark Jeffery formerly of Goat Island Performance Group co - founded Chicago based ATOM-r in 2012. Anatomical Theatres of Mixed Reality is a collective exploring forensics, anatomy, and 21st century embodiment through performance, language, and emerging technologies. ATOM-r was conceived in response to the historical architecture of early modern anatomical theaters, spaces designed for viewing human dissections and early surgical procedures. This physical and conceptual arrangement is used as a symbol throughout their work to explore histories and experiences of the body, sexuality, and prosthesis.

Judd Morrissey is a writer and code artist who creates embodied poetic systems across a range of platforms including electronic literature, Internet art, performance, and augmented reality. He is an Assistant Professor in Art and Technology Studies and Writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work is shown internationally and is the subject of scholarly studies. He is a recipient of a Creative Capital / Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, a Fulbright Scholar’s Award in Digital Culture, and a Gray Center Mellon Collaborative Fellowship for Arts Practice. judisdaid.org

Mark Jeffery is a Chicago based performance/installation artist, visual choreographer, and curator of the citywide In>Time performance festival. Since 1994, Jeffery has developed unconventional collaborations with visual artists, scholars, video artists, sound artists, new media and code artists, dancers, choreographers, curators, and writers. He is a former member of Goat Island performance group. More info:

Christopher Knowlton is a dancer, choreographer, movement artist and scientist based in Chicago. He is completing a Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago and researches motion analysis and joint replacements at Rush University Medical Center. His own choreographic work has been featured throughout Chicago as well as internationally, most recently at Danscience Festival in Australia and FITSA Dance Festival in Mexico. As both a scientist and an artist, Chris’s work investigates how movement can convey intrinsic and extrinsic factual information that often incorporates elements of dance, storytelling, film, and lecture/demonstration.

Justin Deschamps is a dancer, performer and licensed practitioner of therapeutic body­based practices. He trained with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and between 2002 and 2006 apprenticed with Richmond Ballet and performed with the Ballet Theatre of Maryland. Arriving in Chicago in 2006 to perform in Iphigenie en Tauride with the Lyric Opera, Deschamps has been able to explore and diversify his craft within the rich performance community, working with such companies as (Ameba) Aerial Dance Chicago, Lira Polish Folk Ensemble, and Hedwig Dances before becoming a core member of ATOM­-r in 2012.