Psychic Synth


Pia Van Gelder researches Hans Berger’s interest in telepathy, Berger being the inventor of the electroencephalogram. Her artwork Psychic Synth is a large audio-visual environment incorporating projection, light and surround sound. A viewer’s brain waves are captured by an EEG headset, to create an immersive biofeedback loop that responds to neural impulses. The effects of this feedback loop envelop the audience within a dark space that comes alive with lights, sound and projections to create a colourful, abstract portrait of human psychic states. She uses the technology of the synthesizer to assist telepathic projection of consciousness from bodies into space. Gelder playfully combines spiritualism and science and sees a direct connection between radionics and synthesizers. Radionics is the practice of healing through electronic oscillations and subtle microcurrents or radio waves, and it was practiced by her grandfather Harry Van Gelder. Significantly for Gelder “Harry developed his telepathic abilities with the guidance of C. W. Leadbeatter while they both lived in Sydney.”1

  1. Pia Van Gelder, “Psychic Waves: On Meeting a Friend”, Psychic Synth, Performance Space, colour catalogue, 11-15, 14