by mike tyler
25 -27 may 1998 Theater de Balie Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Holoman; Digital Cadaver
began as a collection of songs about a fictional character
named J.P.Holoman whose life and death parallel that of
real-life murderer J.P.Jernigan. Jernigan received the death
penalty in Texas in 1993, but not before donating his body
to science. The
Visible Human Project was initiated by the National Library of
Medicine as an information resource which would make
possible highly detailed 3D navigation of the human body.
After undergoing MRI scanning and computer tomography (CT)
Jernigan's frozen body was sliced into thousands of paper
thin sections and photographed. When digitally
In Holoman; Digital Cadaver, the digital images of Jernigan's interior get confronted with the living body of actor Frank Sheppard. Sheppard 'embodies' the convicted criminal whose body was used to produce the digital images. It is evident throughTyler's lyrics that Jernigan's mind too has survived the ordeal. It speaks to us as disembodied psyche, trapped within the computer, reduced to digital information to be accessed by anyone anytime.
As Holoman, Frank Sheppard's speech and dance is unnerving, darkly funny, forcing jazzy rap into brooding soul rythms, and mixing up techie wise cracking with raw self-effacement.