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Telepathy Playground

By Rhizome

Marseilles-based artist Mathieu Briand makes installations that use light, video, sound, and other media to let viewers destabilize and manipulate their own perceptions. His stylish works adopt the sleek, cold, and ambiguously menacing look of '2001: A Space Odyssey' and other dystopian science fiction fables of that era. Briand's first U.S. solo show recently opened at Los Angeles' Redcat gallery, and its title, 'Ubiq: A Mental Odyssey' references both the Kubrick film and 'Ubik,' the Philip K. Dick classic about telepathy, unstable realities, and an elusive cure-all product. On view through June 18, the exhibition includes a standout work consisting of four retro-futuristic helmets outfitted with cameras and monitors, which allow wearers to swap perspectives and steal each other's points of view as they explore the exhibition. The piece highlights an important difference between Briand's work and the bleak science fiction tradition that he references: his work makes a hallucinatory future of failed technological utopias seem like fun. In these playful installations, a Phillip K. Dick-style confusion between reality and fractured perceptions becomes the perfect context for anarchic play. - Bill Hanley

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