Patent Human Energy

Belgium (2005)

The dead man (…) who has settled down to rest, the lying man, has disarmed himself. (…) The dead man, who never stands up again, makes an enormous impression.

-Elias Canetti, Power and Survival-

On June 30th 2004, under 'US Patent 6, 754,472' the American company Microsoft patented human energy. The patent protects: a method and apparatus for transmitting power and data using the human body as a conductive medium. The physical resistance offered by the human body could be used to create a virtual keyboard on a patch of skin. According to the patent, the intent is to reduce device redundancy for people carrying multiple devices, such as a phone, headset, handheld and wristwatch.
In Patent Human Energy, Verdonck presents us with woman stretched out like a fakir on a bed of long iron spikes. When she touches the spikes, the bar transmits signals emitted through her body (sounds, temperature...) and converts them into impulses that the audience can sense. Like a fakir, the performer manages to sustain her position through a state of deep meditation. And meditation suggests: transcending, crossing the border from a conscious to a non-conscious state of being, from the active to the passive. Meditation also implies a surrendering through which we are able to use, for transformation, the energy we usually spend on fighting against schizophrenia.

Concept: Kris Verdonck
With: Karolina Wolkowiecka
Dramaturgy: Marianne Van Kerkhoven
Technical and set design: Raphaël Rubbens
Light design: Luc Chaltin
Sound design: Bart Aga
Costume design: Ann Weckx
Production: Stilllab vzw
executive production: Margarita production
Co-production: Kaaitheater, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts (Brussels), Festival La Bâtie (Geneva)
With the support of: Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap, Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie van het Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest
Thanks to: Espeel Roeslare and Kathleen Mertens
Duration: 15min approx.