July 6–September 20, 2015
Les Forges, Parc des Ateliers, Arles, France
The project’s title, Imponderable, suggests the idea of something that cannot be determined with accuracy. The imponderable also suggests an area of open speculation populated by numerous conflicting belief systems. But Oursler is also interested in how even the most incredible ideas can be presented in such a way that they convince the audience of their veracity.
In the mid- 1990s, Oursler began to compile a personal history of virtual art production in the form of a simple timeline. In this work, Oursler shows that each new technology is cultural interrogated, often imbued with fantastical, oracle abilities before becoming commodified. How these moments of technological potential play out has inspired Oursler’s investigation.
This initial research into these fringe practices of media histories and occult phenomenon led Oursler further into ideas of speculative thought, the boundaries of science, the use of the spectacular, which resonate with contemporary pop culture. The landscape of the archive covers numerous categories such as: stage magic, thought photography, demonology, cryptozoology, optics, Mesmerism, automatic writing, hypnotism, fairies, cults, pareidolia, the occult, color theory and UFOs.