John Hansard Gallery, Southampton

Materials: two robots, surround sound system, radio headphones, 3 synchronized media players, 3 projectors and a programmed light, 22 framed drawings and paper installations

The viewer enters the space guided by an invigilator who shows the way to a high bench with a torch. It is ideal to come and go at the point the robots start up. The robots continually loop every 25 minutes. The narrative is non-linear. The robots are synchronised and carry screens – through these they speak about the past, present and future. They predict their own demise and how they will be replaced by organic biological systems. The robots enter a world of the ‘hallucinatory real’ and speak of a future world in which the human brain will have evolved to the point of being able to hold onto ‘every thought there ever was’ – analysing the data with total comprehension of its implications. This future profound hive mind creates respite for the suffering of humankind.

Corroborators Keith Sargent and Pendle Poucher

Through the use of digital animation, robotics, film, drawing and sound design Lindsay Seers has created a complex and layered environment that explores a world experienced differently. Inspired by Avatar Therapy, Seers draws on philosophical ideas and scientific research to consider historical representations of schizophrenia, alongside contemporary insights into the condition and how this relates to the hallucinatory and potentially psychosis-inducing technology we live with.
The Mezzanine Gallery contains works from the series entitled The Letter Pictures. These have evolved from exchanges between Seers and a small number of individuals, resulting in ongoing conversations based purely on the posting of letters and drawings to one another. Upstairs in Barker-Mill Gallery Every Thought There Ever Was reflects on the other worldly brain functioning that occurs in schizophrenia as an organic difference. The artwork is layered with intense subjective experiences relating to the historic and contemporary understanding of hallucination and psychosis. When you enter the exhibition, two screens, supported by robot arms, move with the images bringing agency to them as active elements in the work. The screens themselves become robotic protagonists, moving with coloured lights which animate paper sculptures, alongside a dense audio-track from seven channels seeming to be both inside and outside of the viewer’s mind. Has the virtual overwhelmed the actual?
Every Thought There Ever Was is supported by Wellcome and is co-commissioned by John Hansard Gallery, the MAC, Focal Point Gallery, Hospitalfield and Matt’s Gallery.