Brilliantly Insane

A Little Application of Our Much-Touted Know-How is fruity and cuckoo and wonderful

The part of Oates' theory I will buy—and where does one get a tape recorder that can play things backward, anyway?—is about children who have yet to learn to talk. The most interesting tidbit was with a four-month-old baby. According to Oates, its mother was ignoring its cries until it gibberished, "Ymaaam." That penetrated the mom's concerted tuning-out of the baby, and she went and picked the child up. Backward, of course, one can clearly hear the baby say, "Mammy."

As for the Hawaii Remote Viewers' Guild, I always like to hear that the CIA is experimenting with ESP and stuff. Good for them! It gives them something to do besides trying to assassinate world leaders—unless, of course, they're trying to assassinate them with ESP!

One wall shows a couple of pretty amazing "targeted drawings," extraordinarily detailed pictures of power plants and other objects, when the subjects had no idea what they were supposed to draw. But there aren't quite enough of them, nor enough information about what the double-blind testing consisted of.

Still, thank God (and the Guggenheim) the theories presented fall just short (or real short) of believable. Otherwise it'd be a science fair, not an art exhibit. And the people presenting them would be sane and not a bit interesting at all. Just like Thomas Kinkade.

"A Little Application of Our Much-Touted Know-How," Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman University, 1 University Dr., Orange, (714) 997-6729. Open Mon.-Fri., noon-5 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Through March 29. Free.
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