OUT OF THE WOR(L)D AND INTO A FOX: A New Experiment in Hypnotic Navigation | Performance-lecture April 12th 2013, 10 minutes
A lecture that uses audience hypnosis to address our relationship to language, naming and objects, delivered by a cartoon fox. Presented as part of Audacious Speculations at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, and re-presented at the San Diego Museum of Art, August 2013. An expanded version of the lecture is published in The Fox (Mathew Whittington, Paul Elliman and Hermione Spriggs, eds.)
Published by Werkplaats Typografie (2013) | 144 Pages, 14 x 20 cm, Paperback. Paul Elliman, Mathew Whittington, Hermione Spriggs (Eds).
I've been followed around by foxes for a long time. I vividly remember an early childhood dream in which I was a cartoon chicken driving a red car, pursued by a cartoon fox. When I moved to London my bedroom window opened into a small graveyard and I would sit on my window-ledge at dusk watching the urban foxes slink past to where our bins were kept. I wrote my undergraduate dissertation on fox trapping in London where the large population of urban foxes are treated as pests. When I moved to San Diego California I missed the foxes. I made friends with a medical hypnotist called Dr Edwin Yager and we conspired to create a series of hypnotic inductions that would enable me to feel more like a fox. We experimented with this in Dr Yager's office. My most salient memory of being a fox in Dr Yager's office was how strong and unpleasant his ankles smelled, and how exciting it was to be able to smell the difference between his chair, table and bookshelves which were made of different species of wood.
At the same time my close friend Mathew Whittington began working on a book-project in collaboration with artist Paul Elliman in response to the short-lived 1970s art journal "The Fox". This beautiful small book explores and appropriates The Fox as a shadowy figure of disruption that emerges from within the domesticated languages of design and urban planning. It includes contributions by Hannah Arendt, Esther Leslie & Ben Watson, Mike Davis, Roland Barthes, Frederico Campagna, P.J. Stahl, Bill Hutchinson, Charles Nodier, Franz Kafka, Mabli Elliman, Kirsten Gallerneaux Brooks and myself. The Fox #4 is available to purchase here: www.mottodistribution.com