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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Zero Genie

  • On December 4, 2006

I’m doing a talk later this week at Goldsmiths Art College for the Live Art Garden Initiative along with a couple of artists including Jem Finer who’s work I look forward to finding a lot more about. Here’s his Zero Genie project which he collaborates on with Ansuman Biswas. They describe themsleves as ‘Slightly inept trainees of an ancient mystic sect, that have somehow managed to infiltrate the Cosmonaut’s Training Programme in Star City, Moscow and are determined to practice the kind of space flight taught by a long line of sages… and they certainly need the practice.’

See Video Excerpt from their Movie 

‘Thousands of years of spiritual insight and shamanic technology have enabled humans to explore the entire universe, conversing with the denizens of other worlds and witnessing far out visions. The Zero Genies are just beginners. Poverty stricken, slightly uncoordinated, and yet noble, they are convinced that space travel is not the exclusive pursuit of the rich and rational Western world. They are here to show that a comfortable carpet and well-packed hookah will suffice. At the Cosmonaut’s Training Centre in Star City, aircraft with cushioned interiors create weightless conditions on board by plummeting out of the sky. The Zero Genies, hailing from an obscure land on the fringes of civilization, want to put Race back into the Space Race.’

‘So, within the magic lantern of a Russian cargo plane, they demonstrate the ancient wisdom of their people. They dance, levitate, and reveal, for the very first time in the West, the mythical Flying Carpet. On a shoestring budget, with mental discipline and Russian hospitality, the Zero Genies defy gravity and military-industrial economics to celebrate the dream within us all.’



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