High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program.
A few houses, a service station, a post office, a couple of diners... and a mysterious scientific research base. Gakona, a small village in the center of Alaska, is home to the American HAARP research program (High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program). Inspired by the works of the inventor Nikola Tesla, it is believed that researchers there are studying the transmission of electricity in the high strata of the atmosphere. But because of its military funding and the fears associated with electromagnetism, HAARP has also become an inexhaustible source of rumors. From climatic disruption to influence over human behavior, this forest of antennas has been credited with powers worthy of science fiction.GAKONA, the first session of 2009, lies at the point where the paths of fact and rumor, reality and phantasm, science and imagination intersect. It consists of four solo exhibitions: Chizhevsky Lessons by Micol Assaël, a gigantic generator of static electricity, Haarp by Laurent Grasso (Marcel Duchamp Prize 2008), a sculpture inspired by the eponymous program, an exploration of negative space by Ceal Floyer and a set of accident-sculptures by Roman Signer. All immaterial, impalpable, almost invisible works that derive their power from the viewer’s fears and projections. After 2008, a year characterized by the putting into perspective of the logic of the spectacle, in 2009 the Palais de Tokyo plans to take the question of the exhibition beyond its visual impact. Pursuing its intention of showing works that evade any vague impulse at a fixed, theoretical or esthetic interpretation, it therefore continues to promote a dynamics of looking and thinking based on a permanent oscillation between opposite poles.