Symptoms + Suggestions, 2015
UoM, Museums Studies Dept.
Symptoms + Suggestions was a single participant, immersive performance exploring how the process of doctors' diagnosis has changed since the 18th century through to a playful imagining of diagnosis in 2030.
This performance was research focussed, we incorporated knowledge gathered by exploring the medical collection used in an accompanying exhibition to create short pieces using spoken word, pre-recorded audio and touch. We re-imagined diagnosis in 1745, 1920 and 2030 giving each participant the choice to experience doctors' diagnosis in each of these periods. Having chose a period, the participant was blind-folded and the performance began.
1745 used heatpacks, coldpacks and toothbrushes to inspire the feeling of fever and leeches; accompanied by an evocative soundscape and elitist, arrogant characters to represent the coming of professionalism.
1920 featured plenty of reassuring pats on the back and homely, The Archers-esque recorded audio backed with a period soundscape to evoke the dawn of the friendly family doctor and bed-side manner.
2030 took participants into the future using the touch of cold spoons and rapid-fire impersonal questioning to evoke a post-NHS, automated doctor's diagnosis.
This performance used touch, pre-recorded audio, live spoken word and improvisation.