Tele-Pets video 7.34min 2006
Tele (greek for "far off") -Pets is an ongoing project I've started working with in 2006. The project evolves around the phenomenon of telepathy. The first part focused on telepathy between animals and human beings. At the time being Tele-Pets consists of a video, a webpage, live events, research material and documentation.
The video "Tele-Pets" has been shown at Threshold Art Space in Perth Scotland and at Gallery MeinBlau in Berlin (at this show "Ping", documentation was also shown along with the video). My aim is to continue and develop the project further as the field of work is quite large.
One of the main topics is telepathy between animals and people. There is quite much research about this, i.e biologist & scientist Rupert Sheldrake has a lot of theories that try to explain telepathy and to prove that there is a something called the morphic field, similar to the sixth sense.
Read more about Sheldrakes work on www.sheldrake.org
The writer Peter Singer compares racists to "speciesists":
Racists violate the principle of equality by giving greater weight to the interests of members of their own race when there is a clash between their interests and the interests of those of another race. White racists do not accept that pain is as bad when it is felt by blacks as when it is felt by whites. Similarly those I would call 'speciesists' give greater weight to the interests of members of their own species when there is a clash between their interests and the interests of those of other species. Human speciesists do not accept that pain is as bad when it is felt by pigs or mice as when it is felt by humans.
As the area of the phenomena of telepathy is large the project will dig deeper into i.e telepathy between humans by conducting experiments, performances and interviews.
Synopsis - Tele-Pets by Nina Lassila
The main character, a young woman who is an artist, discovers that she likes speaking to animals. She wants to find out about what the animals are thinking and about telepathy.
She tries to talk with help of telepathic communication with a dog,Texas. But the attempt is unsuccessful.
She does not give up and therefore starts collecting stories and evidence from people and from books. In the video she tells us about these stories. There are stories ranging from parrots that see into peoples dreams to dogs coming to terms with their own death. The video ends with a still image from a public event in a park. In this event the Artist met people and discussed telepathy with them.
"A speech to an ageing dog"
"A speech to an ageing dog" is a text that I wrote to my friend Texas some years ago on a day when I noticed that he had clearly aged . Texas is claimed to be a Parson Jack Russel Terrier of 15 years of age.
I find that dogs (animals) and human beings are very similar to each other. I have seen so many old dogs who are exactly as old grumpy men who try to hide from the fact that they are aging. They act as nothing has happend - they think they can still run as fast and as far as before though they might be blind and deaf by now.
I don't know how many times I have pitied old dogs or/and old people - and I wonder what is most difficult to me - my own sorrow for an old dying friend or the realization that all of our existence is quite short and perhaps also meaningless.
The performance / experiment is influenced by experiments on telephone telepathy done by Rupert Sheldrake and his texts on so called paranormal phenomena.
In EXPERIMENT 1:10 the audience is asked to follow a simple relaxation and focusing exercise. The effort done by each participant will hopefully result in incoming telephone calls or other ways of contactmaking. I wonder wether we can make things happen by controling and focusing our minds.
I'm interested in these alternative ways of perceiving and understanding our world, not because I myself believe in these things but because of the idea of an optional lifestyle, perhaps even utopian.