In the 1930’s the Russian technician Semyon D. Kirlian discovered a means of recording film imprints of electromagnetic energy as unique fields of color in living organisms. These photographs may have been first applied as diagnostic tools or as aids to behavioral modification. Chrysanne Stathacos has traveled extensively to record the results of both psychic and somatic phenomena by making biofeedback plates into Polaroid portraits of mystics and sadhus that show surrounding clouds of brilliant varying colors but the artist leaves all interpretations open-ended.
For the past three years I have traveled around the world using a bio feed camera taking “aura photographs” of diverse spiritual people. Since the Theosophists, Steiner, and Tesla, artists and scientists have taken an interest in capturing “aura”. Color theories based on these spiritual/scientific ideas and experiments had a profound influence on the modernists in the early 20th century, which formed the basis for how we look at and feel about color today. These ideas influenced me to embark on this project one hundred years later and to creatively investigate how our relationship to color has transformed with new technologies. The 600 portraits I have made thus far are of Sadhus by the Ganges, Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala, Krishna devotees from Vrindavan, Shinto dancers from Japan, Sikhs from Long Island, and artists/psychics from America, Germany, and Canada. All of the photographs are taken with an “aura camera”, a biofeedback invention capturing color fields on film. The bio feed back camera registers the thermal electrical touch from the body, which is transmitted into a small computer in the camera. The final result is a portrait engulfed in color.
Chrysanne Stathacos is a New York/Toronto based artist who has exhibited work at the Paula Cooper Gallery in NYC, White Columns in NYC, Real Art Ways in Hartford, the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the Aldridge Museum in Ridgefield, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and abroad in Switzerland, Italy, Japan, India, and Canada. Her garden installation Refuge: a Wish Garden, was commissioned for the exhibition Landesgartenschau, in Grossenhain , Germany . Her previous book, 1000+ Wishes from The Wish Machine project will be also available at the launch. The Wish Machine has traveled to the Frankfurt Train Station, Germany (2001), Grand Central Station, New York, The Ludwig Forum Museum, Aachen, Germany (1999); India International Centre, New Delhi, India (1999); The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, Canada (1999) and The Centre D’art Contemporain in Geneva, Switzerland (1998) and Concordia University, Montreal. Chrysanne has received awards from The Japan Foundation, The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Art Matters, and Special Editions, The Lower East Side Printshop. Her book about the Aura photographs, Invisible Colors, was published by Nature Morte Books.