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Indepth Arts News:

"Haunted Media: New Media and Supernatural Phenomena"
2004-02-07 until 2004-03-20
Site Gallery
Sheffield, , UK United Kingdom

An exhibition of electronic media artworks examining our association of new media with supernatural phenomena. From the use of photography, ostensibly to document the dead in spirit photographs, through to the invention of the telegraph, radio and the introduction of television and computers - new media has consistently been associated with paranormal or spiritual phenomena.

The development of telegraph and wireless allowed users to hear voices from the ether and had the power to disperse body & consciousness across the universe in the same way that the internet is seen to have done more recently, creating a space for disembodied communication. TV & video similarly were seen to create an uncanny interactive zone between screen and reality, in which the supernatural could reside and this ambiguous zone is being investigated by artists.

The exhibition will include Susan Hiller's influential installation Belshazzar's Feast which relates in part to reports of the appearance of foreign beings seen on television screens after station close-down; Thomson and Craighead's Obituary which explores the electronic ether as a space of overlap between technology and the spiritual and E-Poltergeist which is an intervention in a web browser which starts to misbehave, giving the feeling of a ghost in the machine. Susan Collins's Spectrascope references parapsychological research and attempts to find this ghost in the machine by means of a pixel by pixel live internet link up to a haunted house; Scanner's sound piece refers to the Electronic Voice Phenomenon of spectral voices in recordings of empty locations and presents a sound piece created from field recordings from spaces with ghostly associations. S Mark Gubb investigates backwards messages in records and plots connections with contemporaneous events. Lindsay Seers's '! then there were three' is based on the possible traumatic, psychological effect the invention of television had on the dummy that John Logie Baird used in his first TV transmission and Patrick Ward presents filmic moments in which TV screens are overtaken by static signalling a communicating other.

IMAGE
Susan Hiller.
Belshazzar's Feast living room version.
1983


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