Art Square

Hypnotic Chamber



 R&Sie(n) is a Paris-based architectural office established in 1993 by François ROCHE and Stéphanie LAVAUX. Through these activities and the use of advanced technologies, R&Sie(n) produce cross-disciplinary art covering for example the relationship between robotics, mathematics, neurobiology, and biochemistry, in order to renegotiate and rearticulate science, environment, and human nature.
 In 2005, R&Sie(n) staged “I’ve heard about” at Paris’ Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition was a piece of research on how visitors simulate a “self-forming city as an extension of the human body.” One of the indoor exhibits, Hypnotic Chamber, has been adapted as an outdoor exhibit for installation in Art Square. The adapted artwork allows the visitor to experience peculiar physical sensations in a fictional city by undergoing hypnosis.
 The experience harks back to the movement known as Somnambulism. The unusual state of consciousness labeled hypnosis or magnetism in the first half of the 19th century had been an attempt to develop spaces of freedom, egalitarian social projects unable to be perceived and explored except in this state. Confronted by the impossibility of modifying the mechanisms of the tangible, political world, this pre-feminist movement strove to create a different and distanced layer of existence somewhere out of reach. Although the movement was demonized and treated as charlatanism, nevertheless all of premodern reformist thought drew on it. Hypnotic Chamber works as a trans-door, suggesting a way to travel in the “I’ve heard about” experiment.

Photo: Sasahara Kiyoaki



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