Spiritualism, mediumship and talking boards
Our interest in talking boards is not a secret, in fact we published an article entitled ‘What is a planchette’ when we launched our sterling silver Planchettes’ Collection in May 2013 -which goes hand in hand with the history of talking boards- and we have even our own travel Ouija board: the one and only Singular Talking Board!
But let’s look back to the past for a moment in order to refresh our memories. Spiritualism was in vogue in the 19th century and channelers used automatic writing or drawing in regular basis. In fact, mediumship became quite popular in the USA and the UK after the rise of Spiritualism as religious movement. The trance mediums Paschal Beverly Randolph and Emma Hardinge Britten were among the most celebrated lecturers and authors on the subject in the mid-19th century. However, scientific tests by the English scientist Michael Faraday, the French chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul, and the American psychologists William James and Ray Hyman have demonstrated that many phenomena attributed to paranormal forces or ‘energies’ are actually due to ideomotor action. After the exposure of the fraudulent use of stage magic tricks by physical mediums such as the Davenport Brothers and the Bangs Sisters, mediumship fell into disrepute.
If you want to learn more about the history of the Ouija board in science, read now this article from the Smithsonian Magazine: ‘The Strange and Misterious History of the Ouija Board’.
So, can Ouija boards be used to communicate with the spiritual dimension? We may not have a definitive answer to this question, but the ideomotor effect may help us throw light over other relevant issues…
Don’t be afraid to take chances by giving the best you can give.
I.- Who is Jean-Louis Sabaji?
Lebanon has been described by Zeina Karam as Middle East’s Daring Fashion Capital; it has become an important tourist destination due to its European flavor based on French colonial influence and the sharp contrast between women with barely there clothes and others covered from head to toe. Jean-Louis Sabaji success story began here.
Jean-Louis was born in a design environment and raised in his father’s atelier. Following his graduation from the Lebanese American University in 2008, he headed to Milan’s Domus Academy. In 2011 Jean Louis’ allegiance to his father’s studio evolved to the responsibility of carving the new paths ahead.
We are glad to share with you one of our latest discoveries, the amazing Sharmanka Kinetic Gallery.
Based in Glasgow since 1996, Sharmanka Kinetic Gallery (Russian for Barrel-Organ) was originally founded by sculptor-mechanic Eduard Bersudsky (winner of the Creative Scotland Award in 2005) and theatre director Tatyana Jakovskaya in St. Petersburg (Russia) in 1989.
Eduard Bersudsky studied to be an engineer and then worked as lorry driver, naval skipper or even night watchman. Being a gifted sculptor unsatisfied with static form, he wanted his scultptures to move. To be an artist could be dangerous in communist Russia, thus he created his first ‘kinemat’ in his own house in St. Petersburg back in 1967. Rather than working almost exclusively with wood, his ‘kinemat’s became structured around recycled and salvaged metal objects.
Mechanical apparatus, spooky lights, evocative sounds. Eerie stories narrated by the gear wheels of mute automata. A mechanical ballet that deals with the lights and shadows of the human life.
Bizarre, hilarious, ghoulish, unmissable.
Sharmanka Kinetic Gallery has been exhibited in several museums and galleries, such as Eretz Israel Museum (Tel-Aviv), Edinburgh Royal Museum, London Theatre Museum, Manchester City Art Gallery, Museum Van Speelklok tot Pierement (Utrecht), science and technology Museums in Granada, Jerusalem, Switzerland and Copenhagen, etc. Commissions include, among others, the ‘Millennium Clock Tower‘ for Edinburgh Royal Museum (in cooperation with Tim Stead and others), ‘The Flight’ for Bloomfield Science Museum, Jerusalem, ‘St.Mungo-at-the-Tron’ in Glasgow and ‘World of Artist’ for Storm P. Museum in Copenhagen.
The following video provides us with a sneak peek of this captivating spectacle.
Official website: www.sharmanka.com
I’ve never wanted my work to fit in some kind of template or to be educated in what’s acceptable or not – this gives birth to fear which is void of any sense of art and only leads to being a follower.
Who is Magorzata Dudek?
Born in Poland, Malgorzata Dudek is a London-based fashion designer. Malgorzata is not a newcomer to the fashion industry, in fact her creations have been featured in publications such as Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Madame Figaro Paris, L’Officiel, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Amica Italia, Z!NK, Vestal, and Bullett, as well as top internet sites and blogs.
In May 2013 we shared with you our thoughts regarding Steampunk Chronicle Reader’s Choice Awards 2013 and, following the tenets of Steampunk Hands Around the World, we cannot deny that we would love to see these Awards become an evidence of the international reach and creativity of the Steampunk Community.
At this point you probably know that the Nominations Phase for the Steampunk Chronicle Reader’s Choice Awards 2014 is open (until 28th February). The top three nominees, as determined by the number of unique nominations they receive, will move on to become finalists during the voting phase. Like before, categories with no nominations do not make it to the voting phase.
As usual, after the Nomination Phase will come the Voting Phase (from 15th March 15 to 12th April) and winners will be announced on 26th April (as part of Steampunk Empire Symposium).
There are 40 new categories this year and we have to say, as Wilhelmina Frame told us in advance last December, our request to create a ‘Best Jewelry Designer’ category has been considered! There is no need to say that, after advocating for the creation of the perfect category for Decimononic, wouldn’t it be lovely to see us win it?
Remember, we would love to see these awards become representative of the talent and creativity of the global Steampunk Community. For this reason we are pleased to share with you some gifted artists worthy to get discovered (with special emphasis on Spanish maestros). We all need your support, nominate us now!