Ohira + Bonilha
Welcoming The Unknown
by Ohira + Bonilha
residency period: 20. 3.–1. 4. 2014
In 1925, Oscar D’Argonell publishes in Rio de Janeiro his book “Vozes do Além Pelo Telephone” (Voices From Beyond Through the Telephone) that describes a detailed case of strange phone calls at his own home and another building during the late 1910s and early 1920s. In the book, there is a skeptical employee of a local government department that concludes, after many serious tests, that what occurred was a real phenomenon of communication between different dimensions. After some decades, in 1959, Friedrich Jürgenson starts capturing very unusual voices while recording birds with his audio recorder. This pioneer multimedia artist spent almost ten years researching the origin of those voices and invited several scientists and technicians to help him before publishing “Sprechfunk mit Verstorbenen” (Radio With The Dead). Some say he also sent similar messages right after his death in 1987. Many other researchers have taken this path and some are still treading it. In 1985, Klaus Schreiber was the first one to receive images from beyond using a very simple set with one television and a video camera producing a video feedback. After him, there was some information about people intercepting data with a computer even when it was powered off and disconnected from any web.
But in Ljubljana, during our residency, we tried to mix these experiments and set them onto a different path of which we thought during our time in Japan. Shinto has about 800 deities – not gods – which is something that deals more with immanence than transcendence because it focuses on nature’s forces/energies that make us consider a fourth dimension inside the third dimension we know as space. This is why we decided to build galena radios and a minimalistic sculpture with the magnets as well; by doing so, those minerals show their invisible forces in such a clear way that they become almost visible and material. The circuits, the video and the workshop are intended to encourage discussions about the perspective we have about the deceased ones and other dimensions; this group of works is opposed and also complementary to the previous ones because it shows no direct effect that those devices have, but is capable to create new universes from the way we understand them. As we said, we are not looking for a proof saying that these things are truth or not, but rather for doubt as a strong alternative, something different from certainty and its normative consequences. From another perspective, we are having a look at the past and at another kind of future to at least for a while think and feel our times differently.
About the artist:
Luciana Ohira and Sergio Bonilha graduated in Fine Arts at the Escola de Comunicações e Artes at the University of São Paulo. Since 2005, they have been working in a tandem. With solo and group exhibitions, they are actively present in galleries, museums and festivals all over the world, and they also work as curators. Their current topics of interest are psychotronics, telepathy and transcommunication.
Work preseneted: The Unknown – A Hypothesis About Immanence
Essay about the exhibition: Freeing the understanding of technology