Inverse Forensics [Evidência #003].


Game Art - Stockholm - Umeå - Luleå
Game Performance in collaboration with dancer Mira Mutka
2007 - 2008

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Inverse Forensics - Performance #01
Experimental Game Performance - MejanLabs Stockholm
John Paul Bichard - artist ... Mira Mutka - dancer ... Edwin Morris - composer.

Inverse Forensics utilises movements, methods and behaviours from first person shooter videogame characters and environments to construct an experimental videogame dance performance. The work is centered upon a dancer who assumes the role of the player character: a generic special forces combatant, and her opponent: an implied non player character (invisible) who is revealed only by the gaze of the dancer and the generated blood traces left on the wall post-shooting.

Inverse Forensics Video
click here to see the movie: Quicktime format - YouTube - WMV format

Concept, direction and production - John Paul Bichard
Choreography - Mira Mutka and John Paul Bichard

Player character - Mira Mutka ... Texture algorithm - John Paul Bichard
Environment cam - Patrick Anderberg ... Music composed by Edwin Morris

Inverse Forensics was performed at Mejan Labs - Stockholm on August 30th 2007 as part of the Game Art exhibition curated by Björn Norberg and Peter Hagdahl. (Photos 1-4 below - shot by Ingvar Sjoberg)

The performance is a process based structural work: a collaboration between John Paul Bichard and dancer Mira Mutka. The choreography resulted from the rules and principles devised by Bichard that draw upon videogame animation sequences, close-combat maneuvers and forensic science. These were improvised and interpreted by Mutka through her dance and her particular understanding of space.

Rules and principles

General rules
  • Attention should always be focused on entry/exit points such as doors.
  • The gun should always be held in the 'ready to shoot' position
  • The dancers aim should always be for a 'headshot'
  • Gaze, gun, head and shoulders should be seen as a locked whole – where the gaze falls, the rest follows
  • The dancer should assume that anyone entering the room is hostile
  • Fixed aim point whilst moving, change of aim point whilst static.
  • The gallery audience is invisible.

Three stances for the dancer to assume:

  • Standing – knees bent, slightly stooped, braced against gun recoil
  • Crouching run – low crouch assuming the ready to shoot stance
  • Kneel – kneeling on one knee in the ready to shoot stance

Firing the shotgun (invisible)

  • The weight and force exerted by the gun and the firing sequence should be considered at all times
  • Shoot – leading foot stamped to indicate a shot - shoulder and upper body recoil.
  • Reload – pump action shotgun style.
  • Ready - Assume ready to shoot stance.
  • The gun should always be loaded.

Blood Texture
(Texture algorithm performed by Bichard)

The location and form of the blood textures was determined from the direction of the combatants gaze and the assumed position of the invisible foe. Blood textures were generated based broadly on textures found in video games and on forensic blood spatter patterns resulting from shotgun wounds.

Games used in rehearsal include:

Counter Strike Source – played by Mutka to determine general stances, non player character reactions and weapon handling sequences.

Source SDK Model Viewer – used for studying model animation sequences such as gun reloading, firing, stances and hits/falls.


Inverse Forensics was supported by the Interactive Institute Stockholm

An Idealmilk Production



Inverse Forensics - Performance #02
Experimental Game Performance and installation - Bildmuseet Umeå
Performer, stage blood, police tape, performance artifacts, video documentation of Inverse Forensics#01

For the secong leg of the Game Art touring exhibition, I was invited to Umeå's Bildmseet to perform a new staging of Inverse Forensics. This time, it was to be a hybrid, solo, closed performance. The performance was based on the same principles as the first, but with just myself taking on the dual roles of texture creator and the implied presence of the dancer / player. This was to prove a challenge as the performance reached it's climax.

Bildmuseet is a large open art space with a vast concrete floor and 4 concrete pillars. an ideal setting for the piece. The rest of the works in the show had been organised on screens around the space and I was invited to develop the bloody instalation. I decided this time to make the work more formal, surrounding the area with police tape, designating the fake 'crime scene' but within the defined area, the work split into two parts. At one end were the aesthetic remains, the evidence of the fictional game slaughter, a similar narrative to the previous performance but from different viewpoints and with the idea that there were two assailants. At the other end were the traces of the performance bloody rags, cups, protective clothing. These were accompanied by a plasma screen propped casually against the wall and showing the original performance, situating the video as documentary or in itself evidence of the previous performance amidst the detritus and remains of the new performance. The work in a way questioned it's own validity: the fiction informed by the traces whilst being undermined by the relationship between aesthetic installation and disorganised remains.

The challenge during the performance was at the point when the 'headshot' was delivered and the body of the player slumps to the floor. There was no real player but there needed to be a body - in a twist to the perfrormance i assumed the role of dead player laying in the pool of blood, pouring and adjusting the traces, when i stood up I looked like i had just emerged from a car crash, the body now gone but the performer transformed into a grizzly actor, the protective clothing shed to become evidence.




Mira Mutka

Mira Mutka holds a degree from the Dance Teacher's Department at the University College of Dance in Stockholm. Mira is co-director of dance company, kompani 2 together with Jannine Rivel and is a founding member of the Sweden based dance collective Going Magma. She freelances as a dancer and dance teacher in Sweden and the United States.
Discover more of Mira's work on her MySpace site.

Edwin Morris

The accompanying sound track for the Inverse Forensics performance is by Edwin Morris, a London based artist and experimental musician with a dedicated following of audiophiles. His dark, reflective, minimal melodies and soundscapes leave an indelible impression on the listener, as an uneasy playfulness balances out nihilistic beauty with the sublime..
Discover more of Morris' work on his website.





Copyright © John Paul Bichard 2007. Musical score copyright © Edwin Morris - All rights reserved. No part of this web site or the material contained may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, nor stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior written permission of the author with the exception of the case in which brief quotations embodied in information, articles, etc, and which are given appropriate credit. All content on this site is protected under copyright law.

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