Ad: [ ? ]

Saturday, November 28

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« The red, black and GREEN Movement Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: The Annual "Homecoming" »

Art Wed Apr 11 2012

Hypnosis as a Vehicle for Art/Moon Pondering at New Capital


image courtesy of New Capital

As you might imagine, there are difficulties that come along with hypnotizing groups of people at a time, and Jacob C. Hammes certainly faced these difficulties on Friday night as the small room he performed in at New Capital coursed with 50+ fidgety onlookers, awkwardly trying to cram themselves closer together so that they could take part in the action, or at least get a glimpse. About an hour into it, the room had emptied to about a dozen people - about five who seemed to be hypnotized and the rest along for the ride. The hypnotized slouched in their chairs, eyes closed, mumbling about balls of gas and floating inside of diamonds when engaged by Hammes.

During his performance, Hamme's audio was being broadcast throughout New Capital to mingle with the work by Michael Lane, Matthew Siriani and Lauren Payne, and under this soothing, hypnotic context, the work pulsed with energy. One onlooker laid on a set of bleachers by Lane to try to soak up Hamme's audio in a less cramped setting. The bleachers, made out of particle board and cut with a CNC machine, inhabit a brightly lit "living room" or sorts, facing a sterile, white still life - one you might imagine on the mantle in a posh penthouse - giving the sense that the bleachers have been transplanted into this private living space for spectators to soak it in.

In the "basement", Sirianni works with similar ideas of public vs. private, via video documentation of live video chat, where he manipulates a different kind of unassuming audience than Hamme's -- the casual and anonymous cyber sex object. The performer has no idea he is now the subject of a work of art, he was likely simply collecting a payment. The result is a quirky examination of both what it means to be a participant and how the lines between public and private are more tenuous then they may seem.

After the performance, the hypnotized lazily meandered downstairs and joined the rest of the crowd in the yard to stare at perhaps the most popular of all meditative agents, a bonfire, and wait for Payne's 12am lunar performance, where she re-arranged glowing orange stones on the ground to suit the movement of the moon, which was full and bright. The mood was extremely calm and subdued, especially for a rather large group of beer drinkers on a Friday night. Even those who were not fully hypnotized had a heightened sense of perception from meditating on Hamme's words - a state that lends itself to art-viewing - and the result was a lovely, hyper-stimulating treat for the senses.

For more information about the show, visit ACRE's website.


Doug vanderHoof / April 11, 2012 2:27 PM

Yeah, they DID seem kind of quiescent for a Friday night of pay what you want beer and Art.
Did you get the Prisoner's Cinema effect (AKA Ganzfeld Effect)?
I was waiting for the flashbacks they promised my generation.

Kelly Reaves / April 11, 2012 7:23 PM

Ha! Flashbacks? No, I can't really say I experienced the Prisoner's Cinema effect. I was, however, stuck in the hallway shoulder-to-shoulder with people for the first 30 minutes, awkwardly trying to hold a bunch of crap. By the time I was able to squeeze into the room and sit down, he was already telling people to open their eyes :( Shoulda gotten there way earlier. I want to try again!!!

Add a Comment

Please enter the letter t in the field below:

Live Comment Preview

Notes & Tags

Items marked with a * are required fields. Please respect each other. We reserve the right to delete any comments borne out of douchebaggery or that deal in asshattery.

Permitted tags and how to use them:

To link: <a href="">Link text</a>
To italicize: <em>Your text</em>
To bold: <strong>Your text</strong>

Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Thu Nov 26 2015

The Good Dinosaur, Creed, Victor Frankenstein, Legend, A Ballerina's Tale, The Wonders, In Jackson Heights, Tab Hunter Confidential & The Creeping Garden

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


An Angry White Guy
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Devening Projects
DIY Film
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Mess Hall
Neoteric Art
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
The Seen
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery



Sat Nov 28 2015
You're Being Ridiculous @ Mayne Stage

Sat Nov 28 2015
Shop the Block on Chicago Avenue

Sun Nov 29 2015
The Nut Tapper @ Old Town School

Thu Dec 3 2015
Secret History of Chicago Music book release party @ Empty Bottle

Thu Dec 3 2015
The Wonderful World of Industrial Musicals @ Music Box

Fri Dec 4 2015
Best of Too Much Light @ Neo-Futurarium

Fri Dec 4 2015
Greg Sestero @ Music Box

A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.

About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Nancy Bishop,
A/C staff inbox:



A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15


Sign up for our free email newsletter I Star Chi and get a weekly round-up of the best of Gapers Block, plus our picks for must-do events each weekend!


Preferred format    Preferred format