The "Healing Machine" emerged from Ava Ansari‘s direct frustrations with the medical interpretations of their body, care policies, and invasive technologies following a car accident in 2017. It was sparked by Ansari's harrowing encounters with Michigan's healthcare system as an immigrant and the intricate dealings of accident-related healthcare providers, lawyers, and insurance companies—a triangular arrangement resembling a clandestine network. By developing urgent somatic techniques through work with movement, sound, spatial encapsulation, venting, and imagination, one can prompt introspection, proprioception, and unlock sensations and actions that confront the numbing challenges of institutional mistreatment. These techniques equiped Ansari to navigate arts and healthcare institutional pains, and the isolation caused by the immigration bans and restrictions separating them from family. The same year, Ansari established POETIC SOCIETIES, as a way to stay independant from the art world and to share experiences of subversive choreographic liberation with likeminded colleagues.
An outside country reunion with family after long years, sparked the idea for Ansari’s first public device for “Healing Machine.” The bitter waits at the borders, sweetness of famillial sharings, phone recorded bursts and ventings about the car accident, and witnessing intergenerational dependencies to sugar in Detroit while working on a food project, triggered them to repurpose a candy-vending machine that dispenses sweet healing notes and scores, plays somatic meditations and confessions, and collects and shares waiting tricks in English and Persian.
The machine stands in stark contrast to its biomedical counterparts. By distributing choreographic scripts from its interactive collection while collecting new ones, the machine encourages us to share heritaged and personal healing tricks while venting healthcare anecdotes.
An introductionary album is attached to the machine with small wearable MP3 players carrying Ansari’s voice (aava in Farsi) and share the essence of the work along with experimental sounds, recitations, and choreographical instructions for release and realignment along with twisting stories about medical mistreatments, and poems of longing family and care.