WHISTLE, MINOTAURE! 07
THE PROBLEM WITH MIND READING (AND OTHER WORKS)
curated by Francesco Cavaliere and Marcel Türkowsky
Artist: Sam Ashley
Whistle, Minotaure! is happy to present the seventh event in a series of following visual art-performance-music exhibition events. We are pleased to announce the exhibition The Problem With Mind Reading which presents a number of essential works of Sam Ashley´s practice along with new works that have been specifically created for the Whistle, Minotaure! exhibition series.
"Modern people have a hard time relating to divination. They (we) just don't have much experience with the process and so the tendency is to believe that it has nothing to offer, even before giving it a try.
The problem with approaching the world only by thinking about it is that one never has all of the information. Meanwhile, it turns out that the difficulty one faces when looking for useful hints through divination is that though all the information is there, it's hard to interpret. Also, when asking for that sort of advice, the answer that one receives is not necessarily the answer that one (ego) thought one was seeking, rather it is an answer that best describes how one should proceed. This is a common misunderstanding, and this misunderstanding leads people to 'disbelieve'.
This exhibition will be a collection of what might be called experiential metaphors. I'm interested in the fact that an experience can be a metaphor for another experience, because I'm interested in the fact that what we call 'reality' is, more accurately speaking, just such a metaphor, a kind of 'vision' approximately or symbolically describing the true nature of things. In a sense our lives are just very long 'fortune telling' sessions."
The exhibition includes:
THE PROBLEM WITH MIND READING (developmental mix for The Truth About Matter)
A divination sound-work. Complex chaotic sound made by simply playing all of the stock sound effects from several sound effects libraries at the same time, mixed. It is intended to engage the souls of an audience directly, whether their minds find it interesting or not. The purpose of this is to facilitate "hallucination", to serve as a sonic crystal ball. The sound is meant only as a catalyst, actually the piece is anything it might evoke. It might also reveal any ghosts that are present in the cellar part of the exhibition space.
EVERY HEAVEN IS THE BEST ONE, EVERY HELL IS THE WORST ONE - Performance
A window onto one form of spirit possession, this piece is an homage to my "familiar" spirit: a common form of spirit that's like a concentration of tendencies translated into human experience both "internally" (manifesting as mental effects) and "externally" (manifesting as coincidences). In performance I invite this spirit to partially take over my body, but only partially; the performance depends upon my simultaneously exorcising the entity, reasserting "myself". The exorcism (not the possession) produces involuntary muscular contractions that create movements in my body very much like the sudden movements one sometimes experiences when one is just falling asleep. These involuntary twitches can play instruments, drums for example.
GHOST DETECTOR - Installation and Performance
A Ghost Detector can be built by "hacking" any electronic device in a particular way: the device is opened up and random lengths of wire are connected to randomly chosen places on its circuit board. The device becomes unstable, responding to slight influences; the circuits are affected in unpredictable ways. If originally the device produced sound then the Ghost Detector becomes a musical instrument; it is a synthesizer, though what it synthesizes can't be controlled.
Sam Ashley has devoted his life to the development of an experimental, non-religious mysticism, one rooted in a "find out for yourself" attitude, an attitude that he advocates in direct opposition to so many traditions. He has been a modern-day witch-doctor for almost 45 years.
For over three decades Sam has been using this mysticism in the creation of music and art. His pieces are mostly about luck, hallucination and coincidence. Usually they include direct presentations of magic events, objects or phenomena. Sam's performed pieces often feature the use of authentic spirit possession, something he has been working with for more than 30 years. One could say that Sam's installation and "sound art" work is about finding ways to amplify imaginary sound. Almost all of what Sam does relates directly to trance.
Sam Ashley offers simple windows onto things that occur in-between the "real world" and that which transcends it.