Today's New York Times previews "The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult," opening September 27 at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. It sounds spectacular. Seen here, "The Ghost of Bernadette Soubirous" (unknown, c.1890). From the article:
It is not a place you would normally expect to find a curator preparing for a major photography show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But a few summers ago, Pierre Apraxine was camped out on the third floor of a rambling town house on West 73rd Street near Central Park, the headquarters of the American Society for Psychical Research, a 120-year-old repository of the paranormal whose founders included the philosopher William James.
In the world of photo collecting and scholarship, Mr. Apraxine is nothing less than an institution. For almost two decades, he served as the eyes, ears and auction proxy for the philanthropist Howard Gilman, who built a collection - recently acquired by the Met - that is widely considered to be one of the most important in the world, thanks largely to Mr. Apraxine's expertise and globe-trotting tenacity.
On this particular day, however, Mr. Apraxine was working in the service not of photography but of the sixth sense, of that great invisible interchange that the Russian spiritualist Mme. Blavatsky described as a kind of astral post office. He had folded his lanky 6-foot-3 frame into a small, steel soundproof booth illuminated by a red lamp. Halves of Ping-Pong balls were taped over his eyes and headphones hissing white noise were placed over his ears. In a room nearby sat a fellow curator and friend, Sophie Schmit, who was given a randomly selected image on a piece of paper. The goal was for Mr. Apraxine, sealed in his chamber - lulled into a deeply relaxed condition known as a ganzfeld state - to receive the image that Ms. Schmit was sending.
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]
This week’s top deals from the Boing Boing Store range from lobster to wine to desk organization. 1. Get Maine Lobster (50% Off)With these discounted packages from Get Maine Lobster, you can experience the sweet, fresh flavor of world-renowned Maine lobster right at your own dinner table. There are four options to choose from, each at […]