1967 Amsterdam, Netherlands, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Coauthors: Jeffrey Shaw, Theo Botschuijver, Tjebbe van Tijen, Sean Wellesley-Miller

Production: Eventstructure Research Group, Amsterdam, SIGMA Projects, Amsterdam

    Organized by SIGMA projects led by Tjebbe van Tijen, the Corpocinema was an expanded cinema environment and eventstructure that was presented in a series of open-air performances in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The central feature was an air-inflated PVC dome 700 cm in diameter and 400 cm high. This transparent structure enclosed a space into which various forms of imagery—moving film and slides—were projected from without. Structural events and performed actions created temporary conditions for the materialization of the projected imagery within the dome.

    The Corpocinema set out to dematerialize the opaque, flat projection surface of traditional cinema and create instead a three-dimensional volume in which the cinematic fiction would be made tangible in an equivocal and immediate way. Furthermore the specific physical and temporal qualities of the various actions and events that allowed the projected images to materialize caused dramatic transformations and reconstitutions of those images, becoming the dramaturgy of the live performance.

    Some examples of these material actions and their effects on the projected images were as follows: White polythene tubing was inflated until it filled the interior of the dome, creating a complex growing surface on which the image appeared—then the dome was deflated over this tubing. Similarly a large white meteorological balloon was inflated inside the dome. Various substances such as smoke, steam, water spray and confetti were used to fill the interior space of the dome and thus create a tenuous three-dimensional volume of particles on which the projected images appeared. Fire extinguishing foam was sprayed over the entire inner surface of the dome, building up an opaque white projection surface—then as the foam dripped off the dome the projected image also disintegrated. Pyrotechnics let off inside the dome created lighting, color and smoke effects that interacted with the projected images. A crane was used to allow performers to spray different-coloured powders over the dome surface and also throw on liquid paints and crepe paper, creating an impasto screen surface.

    The Corpocinema synthesized those operative techniques of inflatable structures, material actions, image projection, performative scenography and public participation that the Eventstructure Research Group (Botschuijver, Shaw and Wellesley-Miller) had developed in the domain of interactive expanded cinema. It was an ‘embodied cinema’, a dynamic corporeal conjunction of physical and virtual, actuality and fiction that was a hallmark of their aesthetic researches, and which continued to inform their later works.

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