Lots of catch-up reading for you….

May 8, 2009

1st – 7th May

Well, guess what? I have forgotten.

And I’m not quite sure where to begin telling you about my time here so far.

Perhaps, as they say, there is no time like the present. So here goes.

Right this very minute I am trying to work out the logistics of the workshop I plan to hold at the end of the month. I realise that I need to tell you about that….

“Measuring Soul” – Project Proposal for V&A Residency

I would like to make people aware that they have an impact on the world – spiritually, ecologically and culturally. The objects and things we leave behind when we die is, in a way, a kind of life after death.What we make and create is an expression and extension of ourselves.

Joseph Rhodes Buchanan, an American physiologist, developed a theory from his studies, that “all things give off an emanation. These emanations contained a sort of record of the history of the object. Buchanan believed that objects recorded senses and emotions and these could be played back in the mind of the psychometric seer.”

Buchanan coined the term ‘psychometry’ in 1842, to mean ‘reading objects by touch’. Whenever we handle an object we are laying down information about ourselves on that object. “Just as a photograph may be taken on film or plate and remain invisible until it has been developed, so may those psychometric “photographs” remain impalpable until the developing process has been applied. That which can bring them to light is the psychic faculty and mind of the medium”, he said.

Its also important to remember that an object may have been handled by more than one person, and can reveal the histories of different lives. If, for example an object has been passed on down the family, it could contain information about its previous owners.

Strong emotions seem to be stored well on objects, psychics are often able to pick-up on these signatures. The imprints left on objects could relate to any information, a location, a time, a feeling – all seem to be stored. The Dutch psychometrist Lotte Plaat said she could not go into the British Museum in London because she felt that the exhibits were literally shouting their history.

One explanation for how objects may be able to ‘store’ our memory can be explained by the existence of a morphic field.

Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world’s most innovative biologists, is best known for his theory of morphic fields and morphic resonance, which leads to a vision of a living, developing universe with its own inherent memory, i.e that memory is inherent in nature. “The morphic fields of social groups connect together members of the group even when they are many miles apart, and provide channels of communication through which organisms can stay in touch at a distance.”

“The morphic fields of mental activity are not confined to the insides of our heads. They extend far beyond our brain through intention and attention. We are already familiar with the idea of fields extending beyond the material objects in which they are rooted: for example magnetic fields extend beyond the surfaces of magnets; the earth’s gravitational field extends far beyond the surface of the earth, keeping the moon in its orbit; and the fields of a cell phone stretch out far beyond the phone itself. Likewise the fields of our minds extend far beyond our brains.” (Taken from Rupert Sheldrake’s website.)

I would like to investigate whether there is any evidence of objects in the V&A, and the museum building itself, containing a memory/memories of their past owners and past lives.

The aim of the workshop is to see if the psychic medium, through being near or at times being in contact with particular objects, will be able to sense any residual energy from the objects and read their stories. Anything more will be a bonus.

This exercise is to try and make the collections more relelvant and accessible to the public, particularly from an emotional and psychological viewpoint rather than the usual aesthetic or informational viewpoint, and to enhance their narrative by giving them a place in someone’s life whose story can be unraveled by the psychic medium. My hope is that there will be some results form the psychic to suggest that certain objects do indeed have a form of ‘spirit’ or stored residual energy from their makers or owners. The psychic may also be able to sense residual energy from the Museum building itself, which is rich in it’s own history.

I would also like to arouse curiosity about the notion of life after physical death, and provoke questions about what we are and whether we can affect the things around us just by existing. Can we leave something of ourselves behind – traces of our existence – in inanimate things?

There is the ambition to make tangible art from the results of the workshops, but at this moment that is still lurking somewhere in the morphic field and hasn’t quite made it’s way into my brain yet.

Fingers crossed that something will be delivered.

About the author

May 8, 2009

Mona Choo is a printmaker working in Singapore and London. She has had a diverse career, working for Singapore's top advertising agency, establishing an Australian greetings card company, and staging...

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