Based on the words by American philosophy L.A. Paul, An Alchemic Experience is the new special project by Jaguar for Artissima Art Fair


Words Gianmarco Gronchi


At the 29th edition of Artissima Contemporary Art Fair, Jaguar presents its special project, promoting a dialogue between art and design. As it’s clear from the title, An Alchemic Experience, the installation created by the British automaker in collaboration with Artissima aims to promote a reflection about the cognitive possibilities of humankind.
An Alchemic Experience is a multisensory installation, which through panels backlit with LED lights, mirrors and low-frequency waves wants to make visitors experience a temporary suspension from the sensations they are usually accustomed to. To realize it, Jaguar chose the visual creator Anderson Tegon, Art Director and Founder of Pepper’s Ghost, a digital creative agency that creates experiential performances and exhibitions, pioneering in the frontiers of artistic communication. “with An Alchemic Experience we seek to offer the public an unprecedented experience that cannot be experienced elsewhere. The aim is to question the physical limits we are usually accustomed to thinking about, developing thinking beyond visible reality.”

The multisensory installation An Alchemic Experience, that will be open during the current edition of Artissima (Turin, Oval Lingotto, 4-6 November), is linked to the fair’s main theme: Transformative Experience. The topic is drawn from the works of American author Laurie Ann Paul, professor of philosophy and cognitive science at Yale University. More specifically, the theme refers to the homonymous book Transformative Experience, published by Paul in 2014. The philosopher will talk about transformative experiences and art related topics on Saturday the 5th, during a talk still promoted by jaguar inside Artissima Art Fair pavilion.

At the Artissima press preview held yesterday, L.A. Paul gave us a preview of the topics that will be addressed in Saturday’s talk. “The concept of transformative experience is based on revelation, but not with a religious sense”, she said. “It is an experience that not only brings non-reversible change, but also reveals something new. A virtual art installation represents a special form of communication. Virtual reality allows for immersive experiences that not only make us understand more about ourselves, but also aims for a deeper understanding of others. It is a special way, typical of art, of communicating”. It’s clear that technology can play a major role in the era we are living in. “Some truly momentous technologies have changed our lives, for example, the Internet, the cell phone, and, in the future, driverless and self-assisted cars. Technology in many cases is transformative because it opens up possibilities that we cannot even imagine at the moment. Even there, there is an element of uncertainty, of the unknown, that could lead toward negative outcomes”, Paul added. But on transformation there is always an element of risk. The American author fells that this is a problem that must be taken into consideration. “When you face a transformative experience your life is changed”, Paul said “but you don’t know what it is that causes the change until you experience it. The epistemic wall is a life-changing moment in a radical way. It is an experience that radically and irreversibly transforms one’s existence. In these moments there is a component of risk, related to the experience, because the results could also be negative. Change also has within it an element of risk, because you don’t necessarily always change for better. Facing change is something that is extremely risky”. On conclusion, Paul spoke about the relationship between transformative experience and the project supported by Jaguar. ” Jaguar face the theme of transformative experience whit a project that is on target with its identity. In the end, even driving a car is an immersive experience. When you drive you face an unprecedented feeling, which is to move on the road, which is not a natural thing. Jaguar is trying to teach something through experience, reinventing and rediscovering itself as a brand”.