Friday, January 14, 2005

11 out of 12 believe...

Back when I was a kid, I had a tin foil pyramid hat. I had read my father's book on paranormal activity (didn't every home have at least one of these in the seventies?) and learned that the mind could be activated by the use of pyramids. Tin foil was a useful conduit (one side to invite, the other to repel).

I also spent long hours attempting to move a penny with my thoughts. The idea was to attain a suspension of disbelief because, as everyone knows, we can't move things with our minds when we think that we can't. I never did move that penny and have considered it a blot on my character ever since.

It was with this questionable history that I approached the online project "Stories" by Nate Larson, currently showing at samplesize.

Larson uses a series of text stories laid over b&w images to provide questionable proof of paranormal events.

"Stories..-..“Psychokinesis” 2003
After reading about psychokinesis experiment at the university of california at los angeles, i began to attempt to use my mind to affect the spin of a silver dollar to make it land on heads.

It landed heads 11 out of 12 spins."

The suit, the b&w photographs, the typewriter-styled font, point to an idea rooted in nostalgia, as if the suspension of disbelief was a goal unobtainable in the cynical present.

That may be true in the artworld, where the viewer, fearful of being taken in by irony, believes nothing, rendering this project a pointed joke on the gullability of "the masses". But, I think there's more.

Revival meetings are on the rise. M Night Shalaman is a hit. Bush is re-elected. The Passion of the Christ is voted People's Choice for Movie of the Year. Apple's latest talisman is flying off of the shelves.

I found myself watching a television show the other day concerning possession and haunted houses. And, yes, I felt the cold prickles on the nape of my neck. Tomorrow, I shop for tin foil.


Blogger Spike said...

Be thankful you never moved the penny.

The Honest Outlaw's Organization

12:57 AM  

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