In January 2010 Kinetica curated ‘Mind over Matter’ in association with the Phoenix Gallery and Animated Exeter Festival
'Not he is great who can alter matter, but he who can alter my state of mind' - Ralph Emerson (1803-1882)
In his Mathematical Preface to Euclid's Elements (1570), John Dee, scientist, mathematician and occultist, references an "art mathematical" called "thaumaturgy... which giveth certain order to make strange works, of the sense to be perceived and of men greatly to be wondered at."
He was writing on the growth in popularity of automata and other mechanical devices employing mathematical principles in their design and operated by means of compressed air, springs, strings, pulleys and levers. This technology was far beyond the comprehension of ordinary people who saw them as supernatural devices which could only function with the aid of magic.
A thaumaturge combines scientific knowledge with the practice or illusion of magical power. Thaumaturgy means making and operating physical devices, based on early engineering principles, to produce a sense of awe and wonder in the viewer, throwing sparks of light into the darkness of what we conceive of as the possible. Via a potent and creative mix of motion, engineering, technology & mathematics, the thaumaturge explores relationships between art & science, man & machine, chaos & order.
As magicians conjuring transformative works of art from their chosen materials, the four artists represented in Mind Over Matter demonstrate the alchemical ability to animate the inanimate. Through mechanical means, their work transforms into an art that has a life of its own and points to a tantalising bridge between the real and the potential.
Geraint Fallon - 2010