This is the first in what we hope will be an ongoing series of interviews with persons working with subtle energies. I met Horia Cosmin Samoïla in September 2007 at the Live Performers Meeting in Rome. He immediately impressed with the assortment of equipment that he had brought with him from France, and in talking with him, the breadth of esoteric topics he was conversant in.
(Image courtesy of Ghostlab)
Cosmin, can you tell us a little bit about your background?
Well, I was born in Romania in 1975. When I was 8 years old, my mother, brother and I left for France. I think this "uprooting" is capital in the choices I made later in my studies and my life. All expatriates have a sense of this.
After my general studies I became more interested in art, so I began art studies in the Villa Arson school in Nice. I remember that I was a bit of an anomaly at school. My interests were in alchemic philosophy, shamanism and magic. Not typical subjects. But I have fond memories there, and good contact with everyone, especially with the painting teachers. There are some strange links between Painting, magic and ritual. Looking back, I'm conscious that I was surely considered an extraterrestrial at the school.
You started Ghostlab in 2003, how did that come about?
I have always been attracted by the paranormal; myths and mysteries of our world, like another world just beyond our own. This might be a part of the hidden soul of Romania that sleeps inside me. During 2003 I had a series of paranormal experiences, in an old Cathar castle in France. The events lead me to try to understand these phenomenon in a rational way. So I decided to create the GhostLab.
The focus of this project was originally to explore the electromagnetic landscape and it's interaction with consciousness and cognitive processes. For this I acquired some useful devices which helped me to perceive the invisible side of our world. At this point, I remember that I was fascinated with the complexity and omnipresence of electromagnetic fields, both natural and artificial. I started to make recordings, invisible sculptures and even music with these immaterial sources. No traditional ghosts were tracked down, but an incredible world of radiation, rhythms and pulsations were revealed to me.
You extended your work to include collaborations with others under the name Spectral Investigations Collective (S.I.C), how did the work expand?
The S.I.C started officially in 2006. The initial target of the S.I.C was to explore the effects of electromagnetic pollution on humans and life in general. The collaboration started in Paris, with Gabin Noir and was more focused on live experimental music. Gabin, at the time, was the editor of the Prism Escape freezine (2002-2004), and was passionate about ufology, and alternative music. Following this, we collaborated with Bureau d'Etudes, initiating a series of discussions in methodic criticism of our modern society. Later in 2006, I met Ewen Chardronnet, and we decided with the Bureau d'Etudes, to name our collective the S.I.C.
(Image courtesy of Ghostlab)
You have been exploring a wide range of subjects over the years, which areas are still under active investigation?
The electromagnetic spectrum has kept my focus. I've realized that the most important thing is not the strength of a signal but the information modulated and carried within it. Information can be thought of as the third compound of reality with Matter and Energy. This informative process seems curiously to be "non local", as if outside of the considerations we have on space and time. There at the edges, it starts to become interesting.
I recently came to review my old intuitions about ancient paradigms being more closely tied with the nature of magic. The only difference between magic and technology is that magic is a technology linked with the Cosmos, where known technology is a comparable practice but without this essential link. But this fact doesn't mean that commonly known technologies are not a part of a huge magical process.
Nowadays, fascinated by the growth of our technologies, we have a false vision of what our technological items really are. Living organisms are incredibly more sophisticated than our own creations. We may well be the High-Tec biological receptacles of Consciousness, in its own extra-territorialisation. Now, in a material process, we only repeat this phenomenon through the emergence of our technologies of Information and Communication. This is why the Internet and virtual reality, for example, are so close to the idea of the traditional astral layers or inner worlds. Web browsing should seem very familiar to a shaman from Gabon or the Amazon who has explored the realms of thought and might and beyond.
But this materialization process is really disturbing. In a way it is as if Consciousness, risking a more dense prison in matter, tries to come back to it's origin through the process that we have initialized with our own technologies. Paradoxically, this is why our technologies become more and more immaterial.
As in magical practice, alchemic philosophy and even art, the model was and is in Nature. Human existence is something between the inner and the outer path of Nature. It is as if we were in a lucid dream. By imitating natural processes, we can have power over them.
Radionics is a perfect example of the redefinition of modern magical practice. I do not know a lot about these practices, but I know somebody in the south of France who practices radionics. He heals people with it. It seems incredible but it works. To the outside observer, he just takes some matter impregnated with the "information" of the target, uses crystals, turns mysterious potentiometers linked to each other with simple wires, touches conductive plates, and that's all. But from the inside there is a complete coherence of thought focusing on precise intentions. Maybe this technology, repeats in a way an "imago mundi" necessary to crystallize the thoughts. Completely magical, but so technical!
(Image courtesy of Ghostlab)
With the "Invisible Sculpture," you give form to the electromagnetic waves and forces that bathe the earth. What exactly is being shown with the sculpture?
The Invisible Sculpture is a tentative method to re-link with the idea of mental art and to place the observer in the role of creator, simply because the observer uses the power of their own imagination. Art always was and always will be mental. Its essence is purely referred to an immaterial state of being, like emotions, mental or even spiritual conceptions.
This mental construction to be more precise, is paradoxal, because it's formed belong geomagnetic fields, so in a way a concrete formation, but invisible. 100% objective and 100% subjective.
I've tried several ways to concretize the shape of isolated portions of the geomagnetic fields, in happenings, trough oral transmissions, maps, drawings, photo-montages, notifications and videos. I consider that like sculptures, invisible but virtually present and concrete, that emerge with the visualization of the others.
(Image courtesy of Todd Thille)
I saw your "Elements" audio visual collaboration with Gabin Noir and Marie Christine Driesen in Rome at the Live Performers Meeting 2007. I was very curious to see you setting up for the performance, with a random number generator, a wired plant and what appeared to be a pick-up coil. Can you tell us what the piece was about and whether it was a 'success'?
The results of this performance were completely unexpected, and at the end it looked more like pure noise experimental music. I remember that all the people except for four or five left the room. Also, the cadence of the video projection made it particularly hard to make out its images. The mix was so bad that it was impossible to discern the plant biofeedback from the RNG. Wrong place and wrong time I think to work with plants and psy experiments. In a way this happening was closer to the magician of the tarot or like a Hieronymus Bosch painting. Something was happening, but no one knew what.
There has been study of the influence of human consciousness on Random Number Generators, first at PEAR and the Global Consciousness Project, and later by Peter von Buengner. You have used the Orion RNG in some of your works over the years. How have you incorporated randomness into the works? Have you seen any incidents where there were abnormalities in the randomness?
True random systems are ideal, both for parapsychological experiments and more exotic broadcasting of the noosphere. The first experiences I had with random number generation was more based on the influence of psyche on electronic devices, like laptops. This phenomenon is called micro-pk or micro-psychokynesis. I don't know if in this case, we are confronted to a micro-pk phenomenon or a ESP one. But it works, and in a way it's common.
After that I tried more to create sound experiments, like the Random Phonetic Coherence works. It was more to confront a random flux of phonemes and cognitive processes. Sometimes I had weird "messages" that emerged from this flux and its understanding, like something close to EVP.
(Image courtesy of Ghostlab)
Can you talk about your experiments in parallel with those of Cleve Backster's work with plants from the 1960s? What sort of data were you getting from the plants and what kind of circuitry were you using to collect it?
I've basically reproduced the Baxter Experiment. I used a simple electronic lie detector. According to my empirical observations plants tend to react more to intentions and emotions, but the deeper ones. If you try to bluff the plant by miming that you want to cut it, it doesn't display any stress signals, because of course that's not your real intention. But if you are nervous or stressed yourself, the plant will feel it and variations of signal will occur. Plants also react abnormally to cell phone proximity and to electrosmog in general.
I remember one day a strange event. I've start the RNG and let it running. I've forget the RNG and I did a series of tests with the lie detector signals. Finally I attached the plant to an oscilloscope via the lie detector to find some signal patterns. Once I saw the RNG data recordings and I was stupefied. The RNG data was reading under 0.01% probability for the exact 20 minutes the plant was connected to the oscilloscope. I suppose that the "ghost ground" of the oscilloscope may have gone directly to the plant and generated a stress factor. But what was incredible was that this event modified the random generation itself for 20 minutes. In my experience, the RNG, by nature, doesn't react to any electrosmog influence.
Who are the researchers, scientists, or artists that inspire you the most?
I find inspiration in a number of eastern european scientists, like Tesla and Russians; Kozyrev, Grebennikov, and others like Thomas Townsend Brown who explored, in their way, the science of Aether. I'm also interested in old traditions like sacred geometry, astrology, cabal and gnosis.
Generally I investigate which inventor or scientist worked on a special subject that interested me at a specific time and within a specific context. Recently I was with Marie Christine in Labomedia in Orleans. We worked on the remake of Hodowanec's gravitational experiments and other ways of sensing the global earth rythms. We wanted to create an emergency cell counterbalancing the next CERN experiment, that potentially could generate a black hole in the center of Europe. I like this kind of shift between potentiality and reality. Purely cartesian in a way.
Do you have a favorite piece of technology or equipment?
All the devices I use in the Ghostlab protocol, are like extra-sensesorial prolongations that offer, by their typical function, an idea of invisible and inaudible. My favorite one is a simple VLF detector: the NASA Inspire one. I have walked through a lot of countryside searching for some natural ionospheric surprises. You feel the wildness of nature and the invisible realm just out of sight.
Are there any upcoming events or projects you could share?
Actually I am preparing with Marie Christine an installation in Singapore during the ISEA 2008 programme. This installation, "Aurora Consurgens", is supposed to work with brain waves and archetypal visualizations. The ultimate battle of our modern world is the battle for control of our minds. I think it's important to take a position with that.