flickering quivering pulsing sharp is a live art event designed to bring spectators into relation with the invisible and indeterminate qualities of physical pain. As two scientists and a scholar share their disciplinary ways of engaging pain, spectators make their way through tensions between ways of knowing associated with science and with art.

The live art event is composed of two distinct but overlapping companion pieces. A video work responds to accumulating neuroscientific research that suggests that the meanings we make of pain affect the pain itself. In light of increasing scientific interest in how emotional and cognitive processes affect the physiological dimension of pain, original text by Erin hood is put in conversation with text from Leo Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Elaine Scarry’s The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmkaing of the World to investigate the frames that structure interpretations of our own pains and the pains of others.

At the same time, a live performance work fleshes out the relationship between pain and representation. Three simultaneous and looping performance lectures respond to assumptions that pain resists representation. Together, the work of Erin Hood, Julian Motzkin, and David Ruhl suggests that there’s more to looking than meets the eye.

flickering quivering pulsing sharp is a durational event. Over the course of the three-hour show, time itself will affect the physical, cognitive, and emotional aspects of the experience, for performers and spectators. Feel free to come and go throughout the event. Make yourself comfortable in our performance environment.

Friday, August 30th
5:00pm until 8:00pm
At the DeLuca Forum in the Discovery Building
330 North Orchard Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53715

Opening remarks at 4:30 by Mike Vanden Heuvel
Professor of Theatre & Drama | Chair, Department of Integrated Liberal Studies
Panel Discussion to follow
Cash bar available for duration of event