Conversations with the Bride



Imants Tillers’ 1982 essay “Locality Fails” deals with the cultural and political relevance of a conceptual shift in the forces of quantum phenomena. “Since Bell’s Theorem proves that the principle of local causes fails it is of crucial relevance to the present discussion of a ‘local’ content in Australian art, ‘regionalism’ and ‘aboriginality.’”1 “Locality Fails” discusses the telepathy of Abramoviç/Ulay’s global project begun in Australia and performed all over the world, Gold Found by the Artists, later renamed Nightsea Crossing, 1981-1987. In Tillers’ artist catalogue Telepathic Music, Graham Coulter-Smith summarises Tillers’ obsession with evoking the quantum physics aspect of telepathy in connection to political forces of the world: “He cites ‘Bell’s Theorem’ which applies to subatomic particles and strongly indicates that a local particle can be influenced by another particle at the other side of the universe.”2 Imants Tillers works explicitly with notions of artistic telepathy derived from Marcel Duchamp. Tillers locates his work with appropriation in relation to the telepathy associated with quantum physics and ‘Bell’s Theorem’ as well as conceptual artists working with telepathy. He fuses the telepathy and panoptics of his (Arakawa) ‘I’ (eye) via his engagement with Duchamp’s Large Glass in his artwork Conversations with the Bride, 1975, and in his engagement with Robert Filliou’s Telepathic Music works made throughout the seventies. Tillers cites Filliou’s Telepathic Music No. 5 of 1978, noting that it uses music stands like his own earlier piece Conversations.3

  1.  Imants Tillers, “Locality Fails,” Art and Text (Winter 1982): 314-25, 319.
  2. Coulter-Smith, 7-17, 16.
  3. Imants Tillers,“Telepathic Music,” Telepathic Music, by Imants Tillers, and Graham Coulter-Smith (Sydney: Milburn Gallery, 1994) 3-5.