“Tony Oursler’s Imponderable offers an alternative depiction of modernism that reveals the intersection of technological advancements and occult phenomena over the last two centuries. Presented in a “5-D” cinematic environment utilizing a contemporary form of Pepper’s ghost—a 19th-century phantasmagoric device—and a range of sensory effects, Imponderable is an immersive feature-length film inspired by Oursler’s own archive of ephemera relating to stage magic, spirit photography, pseudoscience, telekinesis, and other manifestations of the paranormal. Drawing on these objects, Imponderable weaves together a social, spiritual, and empirical history of the virtual image that overlaps with the artist’s own family history. The cast of characters, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, Mina “Margery” Crandon, and members of Oursler’s family, is portrayed by an eclectic ensemble of artists, musicians, and performers, including Kim Gordon, Jim Fletcher, Keith Sanborn, and Constance DeJong.” — The Museum of Modern Art
Tony Oursler. Seven stills from Imponderable. 2015–16. 5-D multimedia installation (color, sound). 90 min. © 2016 Tony Oursler. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired in part through the generosity of Jill and Peter Kraus.
Images courtesy The Museum of Modern Art