Friday, 1 August 2008

Personal Electronics Dossier

On Saturday I will be performing Personal Electronics as part of the series of moving image performances Intermission: Who is Miss Roder being presented by the Melbourne International Film Festival in Australia. The performance is concerned with ideas around the notion of paranoia and was partly inspired by reports that instances of what one might call ‘everyday paranoia’ are on the increase. My subject expanded when I discovered phenomena such as gang stalking (people stalked or harassed in public by gangs of strangers, on the street, in cars, etc.), electronic harassment using lasers and voice to skull technology (people attacked in their own homes by remote lasers or hearing voices inside their own heads transmitted using technology that by-passes the ears), where individuals claim to be long-term victims of attacks by perpetrators unknown. There are many websites dedicated to reports about these attacks, speculation as to who the perpetrators (known as ‘perps’) may be and their motivation, as well as calls to government to introduce legislation against the practice (which might be optimistic as other sites suggest that governments themselves might be instigating much of this activity to intimidate and discredit personae non gratae).

There are also many videos on YouTube and Google Video made by the victims of these attacks. My performance will consist largely of extracts from online videos uploaded by victims with live voice performance of text extracted from videos and reports, including anonymous contributions to the performance gathered up to the day of the performance via a form on my website. The live voice will be performed by reciting recordings of extracts of these texts, played back in random shuffle mode on an iPod through earphones, in effect I will be repeating the voices in my own head. This will be presented without commentary.

The unasked questions might be whether this is an absurd extreme of the kind of everyday anxiety and paranoia that most people are familiar with, or whether the victims’ experiences are evidence that much paranoia points to justified concerns about organised activities being perpetrated potentially against all individuals.

Here is a link to some of the information available online as a research dossier of material for Personal Electronics:



(i did not dare fill out the form on your website after cheking the links section as some warning signs pop up about programs being installed and unsecure identities for the links sites....i must add that the seisures have by now decreased in intensity, but still occur frequently, not to mention the noxious, muffled sound not unlike the relentless shuffling and rustling of gravel that keeps pestering my inner sound center.. bugging, stormlike)

so glad that mulder & scully are back..

(all the best for the performance, btw)

Steven Ball said...

Hi Sam,

Thanks, it went well although my spoken word 'performance' was somewhat restricted by an audience wrangle who refused to give me access to the space I had marked out, making it necessary for me to speak from the computer rather than in front of the screen.

Philip Sanderson said...

"an audience wrangle"...????

Steven Ball said...

Typo. Was meant to be audience wrangler. They had someone responsible for shifting the audience into different positions for the different acts.