GALLERY ONE, GALLERY TWO, THE NIGHT SCREEN, PROJECT SPACE & WORKERS WINDOW
Public Event: Wednesday 08 August 6pm–8pm
The Sputnik Effect
Staged as a companion to Simon Pummell’s feature film Shock Head Soul (screening in the Melbourne International Film Festival 2012) The Sputnik Effect explores the relationship between society, psychosis and technology.
Pummell’s The Sputnik Effect shares its depictions of a fictional Writing Down Machine with Shock Head Soul. The Writing Down Balls that make up this writing machine are inspired by both the delusory writing down systems described by Daniel Paul Schreber, and also the early typewriter, the Hansen Writing Ball, invented in 1865 by Rasmus Malling-Hansen.
In The Sputnik Effect the flying orbs of the fictional Writing Down Machine are viewed using the technology of 1950s pulp B-Movies to re-invent Daniel Paul Schreber’s visions of fearsome nineteenth century communication machines as sci-fi icons and to mark the moment in the 1950s informally referred to by psychiatrists as The Sputnik Effect. Within days of the launch of the first satellite—Prosteishii Sputnik (PS-1)—on October 4th 1957, patients at Psychiatric casualty units were displaying delusions of being traced by, and receiving messages from, the Sputnik.
As Nietzsche wrote on his Hansen Writing Ball, “Our Writing Tools are also working on our Thoughts.” Visit miff.com.au for full details.
The Sputnik Effect is presented with the assistance of The School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne.