ICTAL; relating to or caused by an epileptic seizure



(text written in 2008)

'Ictal' is a solo exhibition at Exeter Phoenix Gallery Nov 21st - Dec 21st, 2008.


The central peice of the exhibition is 'INVADERS', a 34 minute Digital Media work, of sound and projected image, commissioned for the Exeter Phoenix Media Digital Bursary 2008.



'Invaders' was made by taking EEG (Electroencephalogram) recordings of activity in my brain during seizures, and converting this data to sound and vision. This is done using PureData shareware to make programs that act as interfaces.

I have made a series of 4 minute sequences to represent different qualites of seizure - from rapid and traumatising to soft and sublime. The sequences are punctuated by text, using the format of the 1980's 'Space Invaders' score pages to deliver reminders that these are seizures on screen.

I chose 'Space Invaders' as a theme because alien presence acts as a metaphor for:

  • the rogue activity in my brain during seizures
  • the feeling of emerging from a seizure in the post-ictal state
  • the way people with epilepsy are regarded in some places and times

(The post-ictal state is the period of time after a siezure when I am conscious, but don't understand my own language, and don't know who or where I am.)

There is a review of 'Iinvaders' at www.disabilityartsonline.org.uk/?location_id=355, as well as features on lots of Disability Arts.



Many thanks to the Exeter Phoenix, Dembny, Dupras, Hodgett, Sieradzan and all who have supported 'Invaders'.