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Image courtesy Dohm Shop

Image courtesy Dohm Shop

Events - Talks

Symbolic Devices

On the Hieronymous Machine and Other Magical Technologies

14 Jun 2018



"If, as Arthur C Clarke famously observed, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, then can we accept that any sufficiently advanced magic is also indistinguishable from technology?"
In this illustrated presentation, Mark Pilkington presents a historical overview of psychotronic devices - the radiant collision point of witchcraft, art and technology. Psychotronic devices fuse aspects of vitalism, electromagnetic field theory and psychic sciences like telepathy, psychometry and dowsing. From an orthodox materialist perspective they are cargo cult technology, a fantasy of science. But it is too simple to reject all psionic devices out of hand as deceptions or slight-of-mind; Instead, we can perhaps best understand them as technological adaptations of ancient, sympathetic magical practices, a magic that feeds on, and is fuelled by, the conviction of both the practitioner and the subject. Mark will look the development of psychotronic technologies from the 19th century to the present, a journey that incorporates experimental medicines, science fiction fandom and some of the world's most prestigious art galleries.
This event is part of Dohm Shop's residency at Nottingham Contemporary. To see a full list of related events click here.
Free. Booking Required
The Space
Mark Pilkington founded Strange Attractor Press in 2004. He is the author of 'Mirage Men' (2010) and 'Far Out: 101 Strange Tales from Science’s Outer Edge' (2007). His writing has appeared in publications including Fortean Times, The Guardian, Frieze, Boing Boing, Sight and Sound, and the Wire. Mark is also half of the experimental synthesiser musical duo Teleplasmiste.