Amble Skuse

Creating an experiential performance practice using EEG and Bio Sensors: redefining creative ‘work’ in relation to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and using the body as a performic partner (Plymouth University, ICCMR) 2016—

I am an artist with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). In this PhD I am working with a series of biomedical sensors to explore ways that a disabled composer can augment their performance. The project draws from Complexity Theory, in that the mind, body and self are interconnected in immediacy. Heart monitors, EEG sensors, muscle sensors, eye trackers and other bio-sensors provide complex data about the state of the performer. As an artist I am interested in exploring the relationship between my hormonal, chemical and electrical activity and my body, my art and my music.


Unpredictable cycles of exhaustion and pain mean that I cannot commit to performances. Non-essential brain functioning closes down: messages from brain to body are slowed, or I cannot process various streams of sound. By performing with the bio-sensors I can perform my work whatever my physical condition, using my disability as a performance tool.


My research methodology is practice lead. I will focus on creating hardware and software for specific pieces as part of my professional practice and to create a composition portfolio that aims to make my internal world external. Thoughts, memories, field recordings and sounds will become pieces that allow a glimpse of what is hidden.

Specifically, my project focuses on developing a new style of bio-sensor composition, one which uses the frailties of the disability as the artform itself. This challenges the perceptions of disablement as something that must be overcome. The body informs and makes the performance. It is a duet, between the performer and their illness.


Supervisory Team: Prof. Eduardo Miranda (Director of Studies), Prof. Roberta Mock, Dr. Antti Saario (Falmouth)