Wednesday, 11 March 2009

CONTRIBUTOR: Nervous Radiation

Nervous Radiation: The first years of the Dutch Society for Psychical Research

“It is impossible to report on our activities, since no phenomena have occurred.”

In 1921 the Dutch Society for Psychical Research was founded by professor Gerardus Heymans. Its stated aim: "We don’t desire to arrange interesting shows a la Rubini, nor to collect sensational stories, nor to satisfy higher or lower emotional needs, or the need
for comforting views or nervous shivers. We want to study the phenomena involved scientifically, and without prejudice…”

Nervous Radiation relates the story of the first, trying years of the S.P.R. as gathered from their minutes and proceedings from 1921 until 1925 (the year in which Heymans gave up
his presidency). A talk about empty mailboxes, wild metaphysics, and waiting around for a proper ghost to materialize. Because after all, “Surely not only sentimental old spinsters choose to manifest themselves? ”

Jantine Wijnja (1980) works as an artist and is co-director of Artist-In-Residence Hotel MariaKapel. Experiencing a
fierce lack of clarity in virtually all aspects of life led to a practice revolving around the notion of ‘articulated haziness’: carefully rendered crystallizations of, or tributes to obviously unclear events. Recent projects include Wild Metaphysics, a series of lectures concerning the current state of affairs in parapsychological research culminating in a group show, and The Darndest Miracle You’ve Ever Seen, a performance/lecture based on the story of self-proclaimed PK-man Ted Owens.

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