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Experiments in the Revival of Organisms, 2012-2014
Digital animation featuring 3D and 2D composited footage extracted from a 1940 Soviet documentary regarded as a fictional form of science.
Performers: Jackie Du, Daniel Flaherty, Daniel Fig
Technology: Digital Animation, Green Screen Keying, Performance, Experimental Music, Roles: Animator
Experiments in the Revival of Organisms was an experimental animation and theatrical performance, derived from a 1940 documentary of the same name. The original short documentary demonstrated the research of Russian scientists at the U.S.S.R. Institute of Experimental Physiology and Therapy.
My interest in the film was focused on the film’s portrayal of “science” that was in fact, largely fiction. The film depicts a medical experiment using a living- and later, dead, dog; to demonstrate an experimental procedure of Frankenstein-like proportions. At the time, a Time Magazine article declared, “ At thousand U.S. scientists in Manhattan last week saw dead animals brought back to life”.
As is now commonplace, this “documentary ” relies heavily on techniques of theatre, television production, and animation; in order to convince its audience of “scientific fact ”.