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documentation clip of "Eros and Thanatos At Sea" by Ken Feingold (2004)

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Published on Mar 3, 2011

The mythical characters of Eros and Thanatos were used by Freud in his formulation of drive theory to metaphorically represent the fundamental biological energies of, on the one hand, Eros: life, creativity, growth, and increase in tension, and on the other, Thanatos: that of the movement towards homeostasis (elimination of all tensions), dissolution, negation, and death. Psychoanalysts who follow Freud's ideas have characterized these in many different ways, but fundamentally agree that we are constantly driven between stimulation and action by a balance of the forces of these energies, neither one ever found in completely pure state. This installation includes 22 speaking characters engaged in conversation with each other in groups of two, three, and four, all discussing their sexual fantasies ­ what the characters want to do with and to each other, or have done to them.

This work is a "cinematic sculpture". The dialog is not pre-recorded, and is different each time someone visits it, generated in real time by a computer program. The conversations that these figures carry on are neither completely scripted, nor are they random; rather, the software gives each a 'personality,a vocabulary, associative habits, obsessions, and other quirks of personality which allow them to behave as if in a scene of film, acting out their role over and over, but always changing.

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