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Istanbul Time Travel Experiment
„ (…) In fact, the discovery process started at a place like this one: That place looks like it has the structural characteristics of a tower. It’s as if there are two worlds and Istanbul has like a spiral that joins these two worlds together. I even feel as if there is a channel that stretches all the way from Istanbul’s surface to the centre of the earth.“ Cigdem Zeytin, participant imagining the past
2010 Collective Narrative, Installation
As artists, we work with the imagination. The object of our research is the imaginary and its effects on the physical, the “real”, world. Milton Erickson, a constructivist and founder of hypnotherapy, made use of mental journeys through time in order to re-awaken pictures from the past, but also as a way of integrating new ideas and perspectives along with, ultimately, visions of a possible self in the future.
Expanding Erickson’s approach – from the possible self to the potential self in a potential city – we undertake mental time travel through cities shaped by radical transformations. We visit them in their past, present and future with the aim of creating very individual images of a city’s transformation within the stream of consciousness of its inhabitants. The group of time travellers was composed of people who live in different parts of Istanbul. They were of various ages, social backgrounds and professions; some were born and bred in Istanbul, others (a smaller group) were foreigners temporary resident in the city.
They were accompanied on their journeys by one of the two artists who initiated the project – we took part in the experiments alternately – and by Dr. Cüneyt Karabiber, a hypnotherapist who works at the Milton Erickson Institute, and placed the group under hypnosis. The pictures that emerged in the process are documented by sound recordings, drawings and transcripts. The process of narration and storytelling via the individual imagination is reconstructed in the video by mean of the drawings. The places the time travellers visited in a trance are plotted on a map. A comprehensive website documents the experiments carried out in Istanbul in July 2010.
The project was possible thanks to the support provided by the Visual Arts Program Istanbul 2010, European Capital of Culture. We wish to thank all the participants for the trust they placed in us and for their readiness to share their imaginings.
- Projekt URL istanbul-time-travel-experiment.org