Suzanne Treister (UK, 1958)
Residency period: May – July 2022
At the start of my residency at La Becque I made a series of Tree of Life Garden Designs using photographs taken of wild flowers around Lake Geneva, at CERN, and in the garden of Carl Jung’s house on Lake Zürich, for my project KABBALISTIC FUTURISM. Then I made Scientific Dreaming, a project working with scientists at nearby CERN.
Encouraged by Carl Jung’s dream analysis of CERN physicist Wolfgang Pauli, Scientific Dreaming begins with a series of wild mountain flowers pressed inside pages of Jung’s book on the subject.
The central component is a series of diagrams resulting from individual workshops I carried out at CERN where I asked each scientist to write in turn a set of dates, characters and occupations, dreams, future hypothetical scientific breakthroughs and their outcomes for the world and for each character, plus a list of locations and events. I then explained this was the plot diagram for a science fiction short story they would write.
The third stage of Scientific Dreaming consists of nine diagrams grouping together material from the plot diagrams, and a following stage will be the completed science-fiction stories.
Scientific Dreaming is an attempt to open and expand the unconscious imagination of scientists in order to envisage positive futures based on hypothetical scientific breakthroughs and their potential outcomes for this world and beyond, whist exposing potential risks attached to related technological advances.
Suzanne Treister is based in London, having lived in Australia, New York and Berlin. She was a pioneer in the new media field from the beginning of the 1990s, making work about emerging technologies, developing fictional worlds and international collaborative organizations. She has worked simultaneously across video, the internet, interactive technologies, photography, drawing and watercolor. In 1988 she was making work about video games, in 1992 about virtual reality, in 1993 about software and in 1995 she made her first web project and invented a time-traveling avatar, the subject of an interactive CD-rom. Treister has developed a large number of projects, many spanning several years, which engage with eccentric narratives and unconventional bodies of research. An ongoing focus of her work is the relationship between new technologies, society, alternative belief systems and the potential futures of humanity.