Meghan Moe Beitiks

Atom-r: The Operature (2014)

Atom-r 8I designed the lights for Atom-r’s US premeire of The Operature at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Chicago. I also assisted in production management and acted as Stage Manager. 

Atom-r is a provisional collective exploring forensics, anatomy, and 21st century embodiment through performance, language and emerging technologies. Participants include Mark Jeffery (choreography), Judd Morrissey (text and technology), Justin Deschamps, Sam Hertz, Christopher Knowlton, and Blake Russell (performers).

The Operature is a live performance and augmented reality (AR) poem engaging themes of anatomical science and spectacle. The work’s choreography and use of technology are influenced by research into a series of diverse anatomical histories including early-modern surgical theatres, Francis Glessner Lee’s miniature crime scene re-enactments known as the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, and The Stud File, an autobiographical record of the sexual exploits of Samuel Steward, a 20th century tattoo artist, gay pornographer, and friend of Gertrude Stein.

I created a parallel choreography to the piece with lighting, introducing two “operators” (Luis Meijer and Jake Vogds) that followed the action with antique floodlights. The instruments themselves spoke to a space between operating room and interrogation chamber, the operators simultaneously interrogators, voyeurs, and examiners. An attempt on my part to expand the world of the piece, comment on the source material, and make the lighting a fellow performer.

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