The Journal of the Imaging Machine Volume Two: drawings made under self-hypnosis 2008-2020
Late in 2007 I went on a short course to learn hypnosis… I wanted to learn hypnosis because I had a vision of a piece of work in a gallery empty except for a kind of object like a stage or film set of a “consulting room” … with a couple of chairs, a small desk a coat rack and potted palm… Visitors would come into the gallery and I would put them into a hypnotic trance and invite them to describe what they might imagine to be in the gallery, which I would audio-record, transcribe and incorporate into a publication. I made that piece of work in 2008: it was called “The Imagining Machine” and the publication is still in circulation.
As part of the training I learned self-hypnosis. Consequently, at the same time as I started work on the Imagining Machine I started a distinct practice of inducing some kind of trance state and making drawings with no more specific mental instruction than to “draw”. The process started with a countdown from 20… No, that’s not quite true, it started with framing an intention to enter a state of being hypnotised (whether self-induced or not).
But then making art begins before everything else with framing an intention to make art…