Bodies and Energy, Circuits and Sound: Rethinking and Listening to Leon Ernest Eeman’s Relaxation Circuit with a Bio-synthesizer (2018)

Pia van Gelder

About this exposition

Leon Ernest Eeman’s Cooperative Healing: The Curative Properties of Human Radiations (1947) documents decades of the author’s experiments with bio-circuits, beginning in 1919. Detailing the many configurations and uses of Eeman’s Relaxation Circuit, the book proposes that these circuits promote muscular relaxation, counter fatigue and disease, and stimulate activity by harnessing and circulating radiant energy from within the body. Using only electrical conductors and copper wire, the circuit connected subjects to themselves, redirecting energies internally, or in parallel with a number of subjects, sharing energy collectively. Eeman’s work explores the body as a kind of battery, working with configurations based on polarities—from head to toe and left to right. Although writing on Eeman is scarce, recent literature examining historical conceptions of energy and the body, including the work of Carolyn Thomas De La Peña, stress the importance of examining similar practices of energetic healing using bioelectricity as they inform our present relationships with technology, medicine, energy and the body. This paper will introduce Eeman’s work and discuss my artistic reenactment of the Relaxation Circuit as a participatory installation. This work, also entitled Relaxation Circuit, was presented in 2015 at Underbelly Arts Festival on Cockatoo Island in Sydney. The work recreated Eeman’s circuit for five participants with the addition of a bio-synthesizer, which included five oscillators modulated by the conductivity of each participant’s skin. In this reworking, participants were asked to lie in the circuit and listen to the amplified sounds of their collective bodies. This paper examines people’s experiences with bioelectricity in the work, both embodied and sonified.
typeresearch exposition
last modified08/05/2018
share statusprivate
licenseAll rights reserved
published inJournal of Sonic Studies
portal issue16. Issue 16

Simple Media

id name copyright license
459060 JSS Banner JSS All rights reserved
459084 Picture1 PvG All rights reserved
459092 Picture2 PvG All rights reserved
459100 Picture3 PvG All rights reserved
459117 Picture4 PvG All rights reserved
459120 Picture5 PvG All rights reserved
459137 Picture6 PvG All rights reserved
459142 Picture7 PvG All rights reserved
459153 Picture8 PvG All rights reserved
459169 Art V Science ABC All rights reserved
459789 Relaxation Circuit detail of conductive rods PvG All rights reserved
459790 Illustration of Eemans Human Polarities PvG All rights reserved
459791 Illustration of two people connected by Eemans Relaxation Circuit PvG All rights reserved
459792 Illustration of Relaxation Circuit with five participants PvG All rights reserved
459798 Induction video for Relaxation Circuit PvG All rights reserved
459802 Relaxation Circuit Recording PvG All rights reserved
464931 Eemans-Relaxation-Circuit-Illustration_bigger PvG All rights reserved

Comments are only available for registered users.
join the research catalogue
Portals The research catalogue serves:
Journal for Artistic Research
a peer-reviewed international journal for all art disciplines
KC Research Portal
Research Portal of the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague
Norwegian Artistic Research Programme
The portal of the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme
RUUKKU - Studies in Artistic Research
Taiteellisen tutkimuksen kausijulkaisu / Studies in Artistic Research
University of Applied Arts Vienna
RC portal of the University of Applied Arts Vienna
Journal of Sonic Studies
A peer-reviewed, international journal on sound studies and auditory culture
Academy of Creative and Performing Arts
Portal of the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University
Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen
Portal of Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design
Portal of Codarts, University of the Arts, Rotterdam
Stockholm University of the Arts (SKH)
Stockholm University of the Arts (SKH) provides education and conducts research in the fields of choreography, film & media, opera and performing arts.
University of the Arts Helsinki
University of the Arts Helsinki was launched in 2013 upon the merging of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, and Theatre Academy Helsinki.
Norwegian Academy of Music
A leading artistic and academic university college with approximately 700 students. Located in Oslo, Norway.
The Danish National School of Performing Arts
This portal is a platform for distribution of knowledge produced through artistic research at the Danish National School of Performing Arts.
VIS – Nordic Journal for Artistic Research
VIS – Nordic Journal for Artistic Research
Rhythmic Music Conservatory Copenhagen
The portal of Rhythmic Music Conservatory Copenhagen
Konstfack – University of Arts, Crafts and Design
Konstfack – University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm
UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Description to be implemented
DMARC University of Derby
DMARC is the portal of the Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre at the University of Derby (UK).
The Research Catalogue server is operated at
KTH's IT-department