Monday, May 03, 2010

Artistic Renditions of the Science of the Impossible

The Bureau of Subliminal Images [from The London Institute of ’Pataphysics]

A subliminal image is an image that is inadvertently concealed within a natural feature or manufactured object. It can be revealed only by an act of imagination on the part of the observer. Once found, its existence can be demonstrated to another: it can be solved. An imaginary solution par excellence (and an imagery solution as well!). Subliminal images constitute a sort of rational hallucination, and Alfred Jarry was fond of this quotation from Leibniz: “Perception is only a hallucination that is true.” (Days and Nights)

Such a definition implies various exclusions. Deliberately manufactured visual puzzles, illusions and the familiar “duck/rabbit” tests employed by psychologists do not qualify as subliminal images. Likewise, innumerable devotees of belief systems - religious enthusiasts, conspiracy theorists - are capable of, indeed they often cannot avoid, perceiving evidence of their monomanias in the most unlikely corners of external reality (the arrangement of pips inside vegetables, the products of mass-advertising). Too often, unfortunately, these images are only perceptible to their fellow zealots, which disqualifies them as objects for our investigation.

'Pataphysics is a faux science dreamed up by the turn-of-the-20th century absurdist writer, eccentric, and bicycle enthusiast Alfred Jarry.
'Pataphysics is a pseudophilosophy dedicated to studying what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics. It is a parody of the theory and methods of modern science and is often expressed in nonsensical language. The term was coined and the concept created by French writer Alfred Jarry (1873–1907), who defined 'pataphysics as "the science of imaginary solutions, which symbolically attributes the properties of objects, described by their virtuality, to their lineaments".

Jarry provides inspiration for More Often Than Always, Less Often Than Never, a present day art exhibition curated by Noxious Sector,
an ongoing collaborative endeavor by Canadian artists Ted Hiebert, Doug Jarvis and Jackson 2Bears, dedicated to the exploration of alternative cognitive function, the paranormal and the absurd. Conceived as a formalized forum for informal inquiry, Noxious Sector projects take the form of performances, curatorial initiatives and artistic collaborations.
The show will be held at the Richmond Art Gallery [BC, Canada] later this year (Nov 26, 2010 - Jan 23, 2011).

MORE OFTEN THAN ALWAYS, LESS OFTEN THAN NEVER invites artists from around the world to engage with notions of impossibility, uncertainty and the imaginary. Situated on the impossible side of probability, the project invites renderings of improbability, of disregarded possibilities, phantom conjectures, plausible insanities of one sort or another, all of which challenge standardized formulations of what is allowed, acceptable, logical or feasible. This is a call for imaginary solutions to real questions, however artists define the respective places of the imagination and reality for themselves. The curatorial process for the exhibition will also engage these themes, mobilizing UNRESOLVED METHODOLOGIES to problematize its own conceptual framework...

See these guidelines for more information. And don't forget the 2010 World Telekinesis Competition (DEADLINE EXTENDED until MAY 16, 2010)!

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At May 03, 2010 6:16 AM, Blogger genastropsychicsable said...

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At May 03, 2010 9:33 AM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

I see... The typed in url above is wrong, but the link is correct.


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