Luminiferous Aether, 2015, Digital Video, Color, Audio.

Luminiferous Aether is titled after the 18th century hypothesis that the Earth moves through a medium of aether that propagates light. Through a combination of animation and live video, I collage electronic pigment, archival images, sourced and recorded audio, and video footage in order to make visible the illusive orgone energy psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich saw when he looked skyward.

I began this project when I saw a photograph of an FDA official demonstrating the use of an orgone shooter, blanket, and hat in Cabinet Magazine. The photograph, dating from 1956, accompanied Christopher Turner’s article on the cultural significance of Wilhelm Reich’s legacy. In 2012 I traveled to Orgonon, Maine searching the sky for answers to ideological questions and instead found traces of Dusan Makavejev, Kate Bush, William Burroughs, and DEVO. This video is the first in a series waxing on unintended consequences, irrational thought, natural phenomena, and the wonder of error.

Third Object program
Third Object Info

Luminiferous Aether
Digital Video, Color, Audio
30 sec excerpt from TRT: 5:50