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Francois Dallegret, Ted's Opera Cosmic Space Suit, 1968, Courtesy the artist

Francois Dallegret, Ted's Opera Cosmic Space Suit, 1968, Courtesy the artist

Events - Talks

Mike Jay: The Influencing Machine

Video Archived Online

07 May 2013

 

Mike Jay discusses the case of James Tilly Matthews, an “incurable lunatic” confined to Bedlam in 1797. Matthews insisted his mind was being controlled by a machine. He is regarded as the first person to present clear symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia, and the Air Loom was an example of paranoid delusion now known as “the influencing machine.” What seems to be delusion, might alternatively be understood as a heightened ability to read technological change. Author, historian and curator Mike Jay has written widely on the cultural history of drugs, and psychiatry.

Part of The Secret Life of Things

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