Ethereal Art | Etzel Cardeña

In this invited address for the 2020 PA Outstanding Career Award, Etzel Cardeña discusses various ways in which non-representational art (from around the beginning of the 20th century) anticipated and responded to physicists’ and parapsychologists’ ideas of the dissolution of the subjective/objective distinction, a hidden order of unified reality, and multiple dimensionality. Artists who have been part of this dialogue include foundational figures in Abstract Art, Surrealism, and other movements. Although modern art scholarship had drawn attention to “esoteric” strands and related pronouncements from physics, in modern and contemporary art, it has ignored the importance of psi in the life and work and non-representational artists. This presentation fills that gap.

Etzel Cardeña has advanced degrees from Canada and the US, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. He holds the endowed Thorsen Chair in psychology at Lund University in Sweden, where he directs the Center for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology. His areas of research include anomalous experiences (including psi), dissociative processes and acute posttraumatic reactions, and the neurophenomenology of alterations of consciousness. He has hundreds of publications, some in the top mainstream, and his work has been covered by media including the New York Times and the BBC. Various professional organizations have recognized his work, including 4 awards from the PA. He is a former editor of the Journal of Parapsychology and founding editor of the Journal of Anomalous Experience and Cognition. He has worked professionally in theatre and has performed at Malmö’s Museum of Modern Art and had installations in Malmö’s Konstahall and the Jaktpavillion Gallery.

The Parapsychological Association is an international professional organization of scientists and scholars engaged in the study of psi (or ‘psychic’) experiences, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, psychic healing, and precognition. The primary objective of the PA is to achieve a scientific understanding of these experiences.

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Published on November 5, 2022