I'm a conceptual and sound artist and an unwitting practitioner of radionics. An early fascination with the natural world and a lust for learning about it drew me toward a study of marine biology. At some point during my undergraduate education, however, I discovered that my passion was for the parts of phenomena that were not inherently scientific - the intuitive, the mysterious, the aesthetic. I loved tidepools, test tubes, the clanging of bell-buoys and the drone of foghorns in the distance. I craved the dizzying sensation of overwhelm that accompanied learning about highly complex, intricate, and elegant processes such as photosynthesis, the Kreb's cycle, and DNA replication. Raised to consider a range of religions and philosophies without particular alignment to any, the study of biology, chemistry, and physics provided a deep overarching sense of the breathtaking intricacy, profound elegance, and harmonious balance of the elements that must coalesce in composing our reality. The study of science also instilled in me a sense of its own limitations - the scientific method functions very well for certain types of inquiry, while (inadvertently or not) completely discounting others. I became interested in developing hybrid, holistic, non-discipline-specific systems for accessing intangible forces and sensations I could feel but couldn’t see or measure. I knew this would require further education, but hardly knew where to begin. A graduate program in scientific and technical illustration - a methodical study of the beauty of science and nature - seemed like a logical way to proceed.
Feeling compelled to use installation, performance, graffiti, sound, and video in my “scientific illustrations”, I soon found myself in the printmaking, sculpture, and textile studios. I began to think of my work as “subtle reality technologies” - laboratory equipment designed to access and analyze the unquantifiable. I learned about kindred systems used by Peruvian shamans and Tibetan Buddhists, Beuys, Duchamp, Goethe, Steiner, homeopaths, permaculturists, and radionics practitioners. All of these groups, individuals, and techniques are concerned with social and environmental healing through the development of special sensitivities to unseen natural forces.
At first I imagined that my mission would be to simply convey a sense of the miraculousness and wonder of science through art. I certainly never set out to become any sort of healer. However, like Joseph Beuys and many others, I came to realize that any technique that has the effect of reconnecting society with the natural world may have extremely broad and profound implications. At a time when so many people have become disassociated from relationships not only with their environment but from an intuitive connection to their physical bodies, restoring a sense of union with nature could have a transformative, healing effect on humanity and the environment at large. Goethe believed that this sort of understanding could be achieved through prolonged empathic observation, and referred to this method as “delicate empiricism.” Beuys believed that the connection with nature is not only essential for the enhancement of one's own potential as a conduit for creative forces, but also in order for one to contribute to society as uniquely, efficiently, and joyfully as possible. In Beuys’ words, “Everyone is an artist.” I couldn't agree more.
I built the satellite dish hat ten years ago. It was the first three-dimensional piece of conceptual art I ever made:
Every Brain is like a Satellite Dish, Each One Attuned to a Unique Frequency, Emitted by the Cosmic Infinity, Where All that Is to be Created, All that Can Be Created Exists, Woven into the Energy Particles of the Universe, Ready to be Absorbed, Translated, Assimilated, Manifested by Bodies that Hear that Feel the Harmony of the Spheres. Just tune in. Reality is your oyster.
It's my understanding that radionics, like shamanism, is the development of highly refined technologies for the deliberate wielding of intention, inspiration, and other subtle energetic forces for the purposes of healing. While shamans tend to employ very ancient, traditional implements in their ritual and ceremony, radionics devices often take on a retrofuturistic laboratory gadget-like form.
From certain perspectives, both radionics and shamanism are illegal to practice. On the one hand, the intention to heal is taken extremely seriously by the legal profession (this is a matter with severe implications and punishments for those found to be practicing healing without appropriate licensing), and on the other hand, the concept of healing via intention is considered quackery by the medical profession. Could it be that lawyers understand and appreciate the power of intention, while doctors do not? I find it very odd that intention isn't taken more seriously in medicine, since music, painting, film, dance, and other forms of creative expression are known to evoke a wide range of emotional states in the audience. I would argue that most forms of art are, in fact, intention-enhanced technologies.
This is precisely why artists are fortunate, and why radionics is the Secret Art! Artists are exempt from many spoken and unspoken laws, doctrines, and rules typically applied to scientists, holy people, and healers. Declaring oneself an artist provides a number of handy loopholes, including freedom from obligation to uphold the scientific method, and release from the need to abide by the regulations of the medical and legal professions.
Until reading The Secret Art, I was unaware that I was a practitioner of radionics. For all these years, I have been reluctant to wholeheartedly embrace the notion that my work may contain healing properties (perhaps I should attach a warning label?), although this has long been implied. After all, being a healer comes with great responsibility. “The Secret Art” is at once a wake-up call and an invitation to all who have cultivated healing potential in their work. The time has come for those of us who wield the Secret Art to ramp up its power by applying it with conviction!
The realization that I had been inadvertently constructing radionic devices initially came as quite a shock. Although to a great extent I have always believed that my apparatus are “real”, “The Secret Art” made me aware that I had been harboring some level of residual, subconscious doubt held over from training as a scientist. As I finished the final paragraph of the last chapter of “The Secret Art”, it suddenly struck me that not only are my pieces (and every element of the reality in which they exist) real, they are alive, autonomous beings. Outcroppings of nature-intelligence, they moved me to help create them in order to communicate their message.
Examples of works created pre-radionic-awareness (PRA) include the Homeopathic Remedies for the 5 Ills of Society and a giant “attunement” apparatus complete with proclamations that, “The entire universe is in tension” - R. Buckminster Fuller and “You ARE the technology!”
One of my own more recently-created inadvertent radionic devices is in the form of a necktie that's made from sonic fabric (http://www.sonicfabric.com), a textile woven from audiocassette tape that's recorded with an intricate collage of sound. The “good vibes” with which the tie is imbued are discretely radiated out into the vicinity of the wearer.
I honestly don't know as yet how my artwork will change in light of recent revelations. I can only hope, as “The Secret Art” posits, that in the future my work will become “a relentless anarchy experienced as art.”
While I believe there are myriad specific ways that radionics can be applied to current situations around the world, from soothing victims of natural disasters to ending wars and helping crops grow, I hope that, by highlighting the connections between disciplines, my own work can act as a general catalyst for others who may be on the verge of realizing the potential power of their own brainwaves. Not only do I believe that everyone is a radionic practitioner, I believe that everyone is a radionic device as well.
We're living in a topsy-turvy world where all manner of strife makes things seem upside-down.
Turning it all around - making things right - begins with a simple mental shift.