- Pseodo-receptors -
According to the ponderous thought that troubled Walter Benjamin, in the age of technological reproduction the aura of art works will inevitably cease to exist. The answer is to create an aura in copy-art.
Before analyzing this artistic process it may be useful to understand the issue of the aura, this magical force, which is found at the frontiers of Romantic and scientific imagination. The aura is an energy shield filled with the thermic energy, electricity, and mystical rays of the individual spirit, which surrounds the body flexibly and accompanies us everywhere, just like our shadow, or an invisible cosmic mirror image. Everyone has an aura, an energy field. The healthier one is mentally and physically, the stronger the oscillation of their aura, the farther it radiates from their body. Our power increases in proportion with the energy flowing through us.
The Kabbalah, and Jewish mystical philosophy calls these energies astral light. In the Old Testament one encounters several references to the light surrounding people. In Christian representations Christ is frequently pictured with a halo of light. John White in his Future Science names 97 different cultures, which refer to the phenomenon of the aura in 97 different ways. By means of the SQUID technology (Super Conducting Quantum Interference Device) one may now measure the magnetic fields surrounding the human body. This tool does not even need to touch the body in order to measure this field. Allegedly, SQUID provides more information about the functions of the brain than normal EEG does.
Since 1989, I have been trying to unveil the connection between the aura and electricity via the copy machine. Doing this, I have supported a Romantic and pseudo-scientific approach to the question. The Xerox machine, in support of my experience, is a suitable medium for receiving the mystical rays flowing from somewhere to somewhere else. During the process I record moments of time in a visual form - normal photos taken by high quality devices. The moment of time, which has no prehistory, and no consequence, relates to the infinity of time as the point with no extension does to the infinity of space. All of these - whether one captures them with the help of an adequate medium like a looking-glass, a camera, a camcorder or not - have a visual content. In the case of the electro-aura that I create, I attempt to interfere with the system by the use of photo portraits placed in front of an "ecrane eye." My aim is to overcome the restrictions of technological devices, supplying them now with condensed, now with sparse information, occasionally getting them to remember events. Now I compress time arriving via the beam of light, now I slow down its motion. Thus the face or portrait moving in front of the machine's ray of light can be interpreted in its misty contours. The deciphered lines and patches outline the person, the (electro)aura not yet fixed in reality and in the normal photograph but conclusively recorded on the photocopy paper. A good measure of coincidence furthers my cause, if it is at all appropriate to speak of chance in the contexture of intellectual order. In the second phase I retouch the black-and-white aura series with a colour copy machine, and on the colourful sheets the negative or positive features, the signs of tranquillity or agitation occur. They are projected by the waves of feelings. I believe these auras as pseudo-receptors or patterns may help us recognize amid the masses of information bombarding us from the universe the rays of light suitable for us - the invisible building blocks of our personality.
Zsuzsa Dárdai, 1992
(Translated by Boldizsár Fejérvári)