Tony Oursler’s work with the technology of projectors and optimizes the notion of ‘psychic television’, using art to focus on how the televisual projector, like television sets and monitor before it, inherently signify euphoric and sinister telepathic exchange and imagination. Since the 1990s, Oursler has collected images, objects and ephemera relating to magic and the occult, many of which are documented in his published book titled Imponderable. Imponderable is also a feature length ninety-minute movie first shown in 2016 at MoMA in an exhibition again with the same name of Imponderable. Imponderable, the movie, explores cultural influence of technology on both the spirit world and the stage magic, spirit photography, telekinesis, while drawing upon his family history. Oursler’s collection of occult and stage magic ephemera includes documentation of the artist’s grandfather Charles Fulton Oursler (a famous early 20th-century author and publisher) and his friendship with magician and escapologist Harry Houdini, as well as interactions with Arthur Conan Doyle, who was also keenly interested in spiritualism and the paranormal. In 2015, Tony Oursler was commissioned to create a special installation exploring psychic television, magic and telepathy for the exhibition Cosa Mentale exploring artists’ fascination with telepathy and thought transmission.

Watch Tony Oursler Imponderable on Vimeo