Laura Couto Rosado, Alice Haldenwang, Yu Li, Tingting Zhang
HEAD - Genève // Geneva University of Arts & Design
"TELEPATHY" immerses the viewer in the heart of a fiction where telepathy would become the predominant means of communication at the expense of means of current communication. The ten glass helmets enable to visualize a telepathic communication, by definition invisible.
"TELEPATHY" proposes to reverse the current trend which consists in basing its communication on technology, and in exchange it reveals the parapsychological and subjective communication of psychic phenomena.
“Too often speculative projects rely on stereotypes to communicate, this project makes full use of aesthetics to invite us to suspend our disbelief for few moments and enjoy wherever our thoughts end up.
It reminds us that behind many of today’s social software services and products is the dream of telepathy.
Their re-interpretation of history from a telepathic perspective adds a dimension to this project that makes it believable in the fashion of any other conspiracy theory. And, as with any other conspiracy theory, they exploit our desire to see telepathy working, inviting us to imagine the scenarios in which telepathy would create a meaningful change.”
"TELEPATHY" is a project that includes ten glass helmets which were designed by us, manufactured and blowed in Venice ; seven filmed scenes, and a timeline projecting into the next 100 years. "TELEPATHY" immerses the viewer in the heart of a fiction where telepathy would become the predominant means of communication at the expense of means of current communication. The ten glass helmets enable to visualize a telepathic communication, by definition invisible. "TELEPATHY" proposes to reverse the current trend which consists in basing its communication on technology, and in exchange it reveals the parapsychological and subjective communication of psychic phenomena.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
The "TELEPATHY" project was carried out in the context of an exhibition of Design Prospective and titled INVERSE EVERYTHING, directed by James Auger & Jimmy Loizeau and El Ultimo Grito held at the Swiss Institute during the Furniture trade Fair in Milan in 2012. We were interested in the importance of communication and its impact on society if it was radically transformed. Indeed, what could happen if the current way of communication based on the massive use of technological artifacts was reversed. What could it mean and what would be the new ways to communicate. Telepathy seemed to be an adequate response to these questions because it is a way of communication that questions into question the use of our communication devices essential today. Telepathy allows humans to communicate by communicating thoughts. The goal was to achieve a way of essentially invisible communication. Therefore we chose to design and stage mobile glass helmet. "TELEPATHY" develops six aspects of telepathy in six films : 2012 An interview of Djohar Si Ahem, a doctor in psychopathology, "2022 Telepathy 101", "2042 Animal Telepathy", "2052 Telepathic Love", "2072 Telepathic Taste", "2092 Telepathic Lunch" and "2112 Telepathic Death".3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
Telepathy belongs to the imagination of science fiction and is badly understood. Our goal was to give a new image of it. In addition, we also wanted to challenge the hegemony of technology and the paradigm of pure and hard sciences to demonstrate that it was possible to speculate on a future which would be based on the science of paranormal, still little known and devalued .4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
Although it belongs to popular culture, telepathy is a poorly understood phenomenon. There are many texts and theories on the subject, but very few of them mention reliable sources and are based on serious experiments. Which strongly contributes to discredit this phenomenon. Therefore a part of the project was to find documentation to rely on. To do this, we worked with IMI International Psychic Institute located in Paris. It is a charitable foundation dedicated to the scientific study of phenomena called "paranormal" such as clairvoyance, precognition, telekinesis and telepathy. We were interested in this organization because of its rigorous and independent approach compared with beliefs or philosophical trends. IMI was founded during the spiritualist movement in fashion in the nineteenth century. It gathered scientists men known as Charles Richet (Nobel Prize of Medicine in 1913) and the famous astronomer Camille Flammarion. There was a library which contained important works on telepathy and psychic phenomena we could consult. In addition, IMI has allowed us to meet and interview Djohar Si Ahmed, Dr. in psychopathology, psychoanalyst, hypnotherapist, who had conducted research on telepathy in her thesis dealing with the modification of the state of consciousness. She has created and led GET Training Groups in Telepathy which were telepathic experiments to study and better understand the phenomenon of transmission thoughts. Her knowledge has greatly influenced us for the design of the project.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
"TELEPATHY" has a strong visual impact. The glass helmets arranged in the space and staged in filmed scenes intrigued the viewer, charmed by the beauty of the material. "TELEPATHY" is an attractive project because it puts more highlight on poetry that emerges from the subject than scientific evidence. The telepathy glass helmet have been exhibited since last July at the Mudac, Museum of Design and Contemporary Arts in Lausanne. It was the subject of an article in Fine Arts Magazine in France in June 2012 as well as the Swiss daily Le Temps newspaper in March 18, 2013. Finally, it is being exhibited at the Biennale of Design in St Etienne until March 31, 2013.