On a cold afternoon in November, I passed through the threshold of the smallest gallery in London to install my augmented reality prints. It reminded me of a scene from Harry Potter or an occult ritual in which two realms intersect and fuse into a visionary vista. This time, it wasn’t a wall that led beyond Newtonian reality but a heritage red telephone box outside the British Museum.
Entitled Visionary Brit Museum, the gallery represents visionary ideas in art, science and technology. It is also a gallery that utilises one of the major archetypes of modern communication technology, i.e., the telephone, as the foundation for its exhibitions and activities. Before the mobile phone, there was the telephone box that connected the indoors with the outdoors, bridging the public and the private spheres of existence. The telephone box became a station in time and space, a rock in a stormy sea, an oasis in the desert of the real, a wormhole for Trinity and Neo in the Matrix. All modes of verbal and silent communication were expressed inside the telephone box ceaselessly until it was abandoned, though not entirely.
Visionary Encounters in a Red Telephone Box
In the Visionary Brit Museum, communication with the unseen and unheard has been resurrected. The telephone line is activated by the artworks. As I am not a painter, my artworks in the current Visionary Miniatures exhibition are prints that with a telephone (mobile phone) and app transform into short films. Each film transpires upon the surface of its designated print. Each film is the manifestation of the invisible imaginal realm and story that emanates from the printed image. The film represents the invisible screen of consciousness that is part of multidimensional and transpersonal existence.
According to the gallery’s curator the artist Degard, the exhibition brings together a powerful group of Visionary Contemporary trailblazers who use paint and other mediums to discuss their unique visionary experiences whether it be shamanic, transcendental, religious or psychic.
The augmented reality prints that I produced can be viewed on a webpage with brief film trailers though the actual experience is both physical and telematic. It involves the viewer/participant and the physical print as well as the interaction between them through the use of a mobile app. The exhibition generates a telematic environment of double consciousness as the mobile phone is held within a telephone box as the designated space for the communication with the print.
In a technoetic aesthetic context, double consciousness implies experiencing more than one reality simultaneously. The telephone box provides the physical reality while the mobile phone inside the box generates an augmented reality that is virtual and apparitional.
The prints give an expression to the mysteries of ritual-magic and the occult via the feminine archetypes of the Sea Priestess, Jezebel Queen of Jerusalem and the holy serpents of the Virgin. They combine visual and digital art, screendance, performative photography, AR and ritual-magic.
Brief trailer of AR film & print: Jezebel Queen of Jerusalem by Lila Moore
The telephone box as a cultural archetype has inspired ground-breaking and critical visions and statements. One of them is made by Neo in his wake-up call to AI and enslaved humanity in the last scene of the first Matrix film (1999).
Let’s be creative, communicate from the heart, and make sure that we live in a world in which we are free to make our wake-up calls.
Links to the Visionary Brit Museum, Exhibition and the Artworks:
Discover the powers of the imaginal and visionary realms by taking the Option: Spirituality and the Imaginal, starting February, 2023. https://www.aleftrust.org/open-learning-list/spirituality-and-the-imaginal/