Epileptograph: Original text, 1992

800_1996_Isabelle Delmotte_Epileptograph-The Internal Journey_Exhibition Documentation_2

“Epileptograph: The Internal Journey”©

[ Original Text (February 1992)]

Stage one: building up of a tonic-clonic epileptic seizure.
It can take a different amount of time,
depending on the element triggering the fit,
for the seizure to actually happen.
The aura
can be anterior to a day, an hour, a minute or just a few seconds.
there can be a total lack of aura.
The actual seizure can seem, for a witness, instantaneous.

Stage two: the fit in itself.
Electrical implosion or explosion leading to nothing:
from consciousness to sudden total emptiness.
This is the black hole where all energy is swallowed and lost.
There is absolutely no memory of this moment.

 Stage three: the unknown state.

 Stage four: the slow rebuilding of consciousness.

First sensation:
A low bass sound is associated to an intermittent heart beat.
Total bodiless sensation.

Second sensation:
Visualisation of a space, the mind space,
without edges but enclosed
and very smooth.
Its colours change
according to the morphing organic shapes flying in it.
They are almost transparent
and are pulsing, jellyfish like motion.
A slow heart beat echoes
and a grinding noise add onto the low bass sound.
Total bodiless sensations.

Third sensation: FEAR.
The pulsating morphing shapes change colours,
their movements in space are slow and smooth.
A feeling of deep fear appears, the guts are tightening.
Shapes and sounds
are travelling in opposite directions,
this discordant asynchronicity amplifies the absence of time.
There is no time.
The mind space is expending, contracting, breathing.
Its colours keep changing.
The grinding noise in the temples is increasing
and its high pitches
generate the first sensations of physical pain.
The sensation
of reverberating sounds coming from outside the body is emerging.

Fourth sensation: PHYSICAL PAINS.
External sounds are filtered
and decayed but
high pitches are stabbing the brain.
There is a definite perception of an outside environment
but without any understanding of it.
An awareness of total isolation is suddenly emerging
turning to extreme fear.
Shapes and sounds are travelling in opposite directions.
the mind space is still breathing.
Inside it, more and more objects are flying around,
choreographing different patterns.
Bright flashes of colours are associated with high pitched sounds
and provoke very deep lines of burning pain.

The reconstruction stage
only really starts
sounds and shapes are adequately linked.
The internal vision follows the metamorphosing shapes
establishing connections with others
and eventually creating visual patterns synchronised with sounds.

When shapes misconnect,
sounds lose their guides and physical pains occur.
Sounds and shapes travel
and must merge to form a recognisable entity.
There is no dominant sense, sounds and vision are one and create a
There are no words yet.
Recognition of any internal or external physical signal
depends on
the audio-visual patterns generated by this data.
The reconstruction of the meaning of all information
is based on a visual vocabulary.
Physical pain
is less acute when sounds and shapes are correctly linked.
Everything is very slowly filtered and starts to be named.
there was no language
and to find words is physically painful.
There is no time still.
The recovery of the use and meaning of language
slow and fearful.
This timeless process has a stepped structure
which is uncontrollable and has its own chronology.
There is
an instinctive knowledge
of the existence of a step ahead but
there is no control
of the process’ pace.
Fear grows, the guts are linked to the skull by a burning line.
Will-power is non-existent.
There is an instinctive knowledge of being no one.

There is also an awareness of all procedures undertaken
and an obsessive questioning,
still without words,
of the whole process: does this lead
to sanity or to madness?

There is a progressive visual disappearance of the mind space.
Opening the eyes
provides almost a spheric perception,
the four corners are very dark.
Bright lights, colours and high pitched sounds are extremely
and are irritating the flesh of the brain.
The chronological gap
between perception and analysis of information
is slowly erasing.
But full comprehension of any signals is far from complete.
No time, no words.
Knowledge is gone, memories are lost.
There is an instinctive awareness of being incapacitated.
Will-power starts to act
the keys to comprehension have to be found.
The physical resources to do so are meagre.
The feeling of having had a fit appears.
The jaws and neck are very stiff,
the tongue is swollen as it has been bitten,
the whole body is contracted, painful, heavy, exhausted.
The back of the skull is burning.

The blood pressure has dropped.
Thirst is boundless.
The head is buzzing.
A heavy blood pulsation rhythm in the temples paces time.
Bubbles of electrical sensations explode at the base of the skull.
Lines of pain climb the _neck.
Physical balance is extremely precarious.
The legs are very weak.
The whole body is pulsing, searching for energy.
Fear is muting to anger and despair.
The mind tries hard to concentrate
often gives up as all perceptions are chaotic and painful.
Total isolation is real as senses shut down to avoid the pain.
In the mind, a chaotic reconstruction
of words and memories is visually taking place.
Everything seems meaningless:
words, sounds and images are just flying around
no base on which to anchor.
Anxiety and despair tear the guts
when suddenly
the eyes open and things can only be identified
and named
after a deep mental search.
Burning lines of pain travel in the brain during this process.
An obsessive quest for a memory,
any memory,
preceding the seizure starts.
A feeling of powerless obedience to the body generates
deep anger:
the mind has no power in reconstructing itself.
Only sleep could erase the frustration.

 Stage five: reaching sleep.
It is sometimes difficult
to go to sleep after this experience.
Time is still unclear.
The journey is not over
as the mind keeps searching for its previous abilities.
The process of this quest is so chaotic
that, again,
madness seems close.
But instead of being triggered by an absence of language,
insanity is now activated by
an overflow of disordered information that
the brain
cannot physically absorb.
The head is still buzzing,
the loud blood pulsation is grinding,
the ears are painful and spin at any high pitched sound.
The body, head included, resonates.
Mind power is required to move any limb
but gradually
the tense and aching body recovers its functions to perform.
Falling asleep seems impossible.
Anger and quest for memory are obsessive.
Speech is coming back
but physical resonance through the whole skull,
and thirst,
make it very uncomfortable.
Concentration and one,
only one,
single line of thought
are impossible to achieve.
Eventually, and very suddenly, Morpheus arrives …