Historical Contusion

Nicholas Hubbard

Historical Contusion asks the question: when we physicalize, make visible the impact of silence around difficult topics, are we willing to engage, and stay engaged?



This project is an durational performance and installation in which users are invited to read a primary historical text that contains difficult/troubling content (a massacre that occurred in Northern California in 1860). The action of a motor will be driving an axe that will hit the performer with the blunt end, repeatedly, over the course of the event, unless a user intervenes. The user's voice, as long as they are reading, stops the motor. The aim of the project is to interrogate what it means to share history, and to connect that history to the body/emotion through the use of technology (is there such a thing as cyborg history?).


Introduction to Physical Computing