Jamie Allen

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Title: Apocryphal Technologies

Summary: While in residency at the Media Archeology Lab, Jamie Allen (PhD) will undertake a signal archeology of truth-telling devices. These include voice and polygraphy based ‘lie detection’ technologies, purported emotional and cognitive therapy testing devices like the theratest machine, the Scientology E-Meter and other simple machines also various known as ‘mood quantifiers’ and ‘love detectors’. The familiar, even skeuomorphic, form of all these devices — usually a portable ‘suitcase’ object made from wood or leather— helps to as well constitute them as ‘apocryphal technologies’.

The psycho-technological is a much explored area of often apocryphal promise, and here we examine contemporary and historical objects as media, as a revealing signal aesthetics. Focusing on lie detectors and pseudo-religious objects like Scientology’s E-Meter explores legitimation techniques—‘signals as truth’—in cultures of belief, in law, faith, worship, health and love. By exploring existing media-aesthetic objects, and through ‘media archeological re-enactments’, Jamie Allen hopes to provoke public discussions and interventions into what it is, precisely, we expect from these technologies, and what they can, should or do deliver.

A focus through the residency, workshop and exhibition activities will be detectors and testers that involve the live-spoken or recorded human voice. The residency will culminate in workshops that inquire into the heterogeneous discourses that such systems provoke, as well as giving people the opportunity to ‘build their own’ psycho-technical signaletic truth-telling machines. Through making, workshop participants analyse-by-doing, better understanding the distance between ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’ technological function. Synthesising apocryphal technologies—directly, and by hand—is explored as way of engendering a more authentic and equivocal relation with our contemporary modes of technological existence.

Visit Jamie’s website for more information on his work.

EXHIBITION AT DATELINE (3004 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205)
Opening May 6th, 2016, 7-11pm

Throughout the residency at the Media Archeology Lab, documents, archival media and produced artefacts will serve to populate an exhibition of apocryphal technological subjects and objects. These elements and items will be presented through a public exhibition (prospectively titled “How to Build a Lie: Apocryphal Technologies” or similar) mounted and staged at Dateline gallery in Denver. Some materials from the workshop processes in the residency would be included, as well as documentary material and other elements relating to the research project and process surrounding the theme.

PERFORMANCE / LECTURE AT DATELINE (3004 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205)
Dateline Gallery, 7pm, May 18th

Onsite: Yes

DurationMay 1 – 27, 2016

Equipment: Lie detectors, love testers, Scientology E-Meters, Voice Stress Analysis Lie Detectors

Documentation: Dateline Exhibition materials, performance-lecture documentation, poster-publication