Louise K Wilson
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Abulia | 1996

'Abulia' is the first in a series of works exploring the material effects of gravity on the body and the metaphorical, psychological and physiological aspects of motion (and space) sickness. 

At the Aerospace Medical Research Unit lab at McGill University I participated in a seven day experiment 'The Role of Vision and Neck Inputs during Adaptation to Motion Sickness' and spent hours in the dark every day performing so-called 'provocative, self-generated movements' intended to provoke nausea, and slowly adapting to this condition, verbally rating my nausea on a scale from one to ten. Shot in the dark using infra-red light, the video data (subsequently used in the installation 'Abulia') is curious and comic − the sensory experience is muted and gender, age and other characteristics are indistinct and vague. 

The installation included video footage from this motion sickness video footage, observed while standing on a small raised area. The video signal alternated approximately every second between the two sets by means of a switching mechanism. The audio track (instructions and sound cues given by the experimenter) similarly alternated between the right/ left channels on the headphones. Therefore in order to view the video documentation, the viewer had to undertake similar self-generated movements.

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