When Botborg was initially created in 2004 we didn’t know what to call it. How does one describe an audio-visual meta-instrument without any organic input which only self-perpetuates based on its own artifacts?
We decided it should be called the Photosonicneurokineasthograph, and it should have a story. And so taking the theories of Wilhelm Reich, adding a heavy dose of Discordianism, and a touch of Stanislaw Lem’s speculative fiction, the ‘lost’ art of Photosonicneurokineasthography and its ‘occult’ creator Dr Arkady Botborger were born.
We would regularly include the following passage in our biography:
Botborg is a practical demonstration of the theories of Dr Arkady Botborger (1923-81), founder of the ‘occult’ science of Photosonicneurokineasthography – translated as “writing the movement of nerves through use of sound and light”. Botborg’s ‘instrument’ is the Photosonicneurokineasthograph – a complex feedback machine incorporating an entangled mix of new and old technologies, that are altered and customized to the unique features of every venue. Although the human operators of Botborg are skilled manipulators of the system, it is equally unpredictable and uncontrollable, allowing Botborg to look and sound vastly different on every occasion. All demonstrations are completely improvised and no source material is used outside the Photosonicneurokineasthograph.
Aside from developing the fictional field of Photosonicneurokineasthography for a bit of fun it also gave us something to talk about in the media, which is always difficult as we are trying to create purely experiential work beyond language. Occasionally we were even able to convince some official publications that Photosonicneurokineasthography was real and we were its greatest advocates.
However as things progressed it became more difficult to maintain the Botborger mythos. For example, we received the following message in 2012:
“Hi, I just watching Botborg, amazing work! But I wonder if you have a link for the original work of Dr Arkady Botborger as I can not find anything online linking to the original work. I would be very interested to read something about as I also research in neuroscience for my AV work, let me know if you have some infos.”
Eventually we realized that although our intentions were sincere (we really are interested in ‘stimulating’ audiences into a sense of synaesthesia), this would not be the last time we were ‘caught’ in this way and that making fun of the press would come at the expense of ‘fooling’ our friends.
Nevertheless, the Principles of Photosonicneurokineasthography continue to guide Botborg, and thus we present here the complete ‘lost’ Botborger texts for your consideration.
The Principles of Photosonicneurokinaesthography
As outlined by Dr Arkady Botborger (1923-1981). 1. “Reality” or “The universe” is much simpler that we perceive it to be. What we perceive as reality is, in fact an infinitely complex system of interacting, self-perpetuating vibrations whose upper and lower reaches lie far beyond our perceptual capabilities. Due to the separation of our senses, we do not readily perceive that light and sound are simply different frequency ranges in this single system. 2. This information is then further filtered through…
Botborg and Dr Botborger
Botborg is a practical demonstration of the theories of the (presumably) late Dr Arkady Botborger (b. 1909). Botborg’s radical theories claim that sound, light, three dimensional space and electrical energy including “those neural impulses which cause what is romantically referred to as consciousness” (1) are in fact one and the same phenomena, incorrectly perceived by a “pathetically malnourished and untrained perceptual apparatus” (2). Botborger, much like his contemporary and good friend Wilhelm…
The Incomplete History of Photosonicneurokinaesthography
Photosonicneurokinaesthography means ‘to write the movement of neurons through use of sound and light’, and is a practice which blurs the boundaries between science, art and philosophy to the point where they become meaningless. Originally developed in a primitive form by Dr Arkady Botborger in the USSR, and later Norway, during the 1950’s and 60’s, it’s most publicly visible practitioners at the present time are the Australian group Botborg (named in tribute to the practice’s founder). The principles…