The show's title composites two scientific terms, pharmacophore and placebo. A pharmacophore describes the structural features of a molecule responsible for biological activity. Placebos are simulated medical interventions which generate a beneficial change (perceived or actual) in a biochemical state in anticipation of therapy. Placebo effects are augmented by marketing campaigns, social ambition, quests for scientific success as well as institutional prompts such as white lab coats, prescription labels, and medical apparatuses. Often the appearance of side effects triggers the placebo effect in an otherwise ineffective drug. Sometimes a placebo effect is caused by diagnosis.
At once avant-garde and pragmatic, engaged in theory as well as form making, the ideas underlying the design-dance hybrid exemplify the main thrust of the HAt's body of work.
The installation evokes a pharmaceutical-cultural landscape by constructing props meant to represent the molecules responsible for producing a drug's desired effect.