“luminiferous aether” Amy Hicks

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Luminiferous Aether is titled after the 18th-19th 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 sound, 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 modeling 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. I followed the footsteps of Wilhelm Reich, Dusan Makavejev, Kate Bush, William Burroughs, and fellow curious travelers. So began my journey, waxing on unintended consequences, irrational beliefs, natural phenomena, and the wonder of error. – AH


Airing throughout the High Noon program, April 19-May 10, 2015 

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