Scanate: Entreat Part 2 is the second in the Entreat trilogy of psychic experiment performances by Canadian writer/artist RM Vaughan.
Entreat part 1, titled Super-Diviner, was performed in 2015 at the Toronto multimedia venue VideoFag.
Provoked by RM Vaughan’s life-long obsession and questioning of psychic phenomenon, Scanate will be constructed as a two-stage experiment in 'remote viewing'.
The title Scanate refers to the CIA program of the 1970s of the same name, a program that attempted to teach CIA agents how to “remote view” subjects and actions across vast geographical areas. The basic premise of remote viewing is that people with even marginal psychic abilities can be taught, through practice and the attainment of deep levels of meditation, to see and transcribe events transpiring in far-away places. The CIA targeted the Soviet Union in these experiments, and taught their agents to monitor the actions of the Soviet government via this weaponized form of telepathy. With the advent of precision spying via satellites, the CIA abandoned Project Scanate, leaving hundreds of trained operatives in unstable mental health.
For the performance, Vaughan will attempt to remote view the actions of five hired performance artists. He will record what he sees on paper, via drawing and text. The public will be invited to witness Vaughan’s experiments with Remote Viewing. The experiment will unfold thus: Vaughan will sit behind a desk with a pencil and a large, blank scrapbook. He will be partially hidden by a semi-circular enclosure, such as a room divider or a purpose-built half wall. An ambient soundtrack will play in the room, composed by the Swedish artist Tomas Hemstad. A docent will guide visitors to areas where they may watch Vaughan but not communicate with them.
Five performance artists will be hired in advance to go to a destination of their choice in Berlin or Toronto and do a performative action upon arrival at their destination. Vaughan will not be given any details by the artists and communication between Vaughan and the artists will be strictly forbidden. Vaughan will draw and write what he sees in the Scanate state, and attempt to remote view the actions of each artist in sequence. The artists will photodocument their actions/performances and email the images to the gallery, which will print them in sequence and display them for the public, but not for Vaughan, to see. At the conclusion of the day, the Berlin-based artists will assemble at the gallery and comparisons will be made between the submitted photodocuments and Vaughan’s notes/illustrations. A discussion between Vaughan and the artists, and the visiting public, will then be held at the gallery.
RM Vaughan is a Canadian writer and artist living in Berlin. He is the author of ten books and co-director of over 40 short films/videos.