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The psychotic obedience of Jean Pierre Enfant

The psychotic obedience of Jean Pierre Enfant

22-09-2013 | 16.00

Previously, psychiatrists used LSD to understand what a psychosis is. The ' do- it-yourself ' digital LSD psychosis simulator by artist Jennifer Kanary will change that. On Discovery Festival, the audience has a chance to experiment with The Wearable, a portable headset with software that distorts your reality. We already had a chance to test The Wearable and took Les Enfants Terribles' Jean Pierre Enfant with us as a test case.
 
"When I received the invitation to do this experiment, I was wondering if this would be dangerous. I'm not so sure what to expect, but I comfort myself with the idea that the technology hasn’t yet developed in a way that something can completely take over me. "
 
"I must obey", he yells 15 minutes later through room. Then Jean Pierre runs away with The Wearable on his head, into the hallway. His eyes and ears are connected to a computer that he carries on his back, the headphones are so loud that voices seem to float around him. Jean Pierre's curiosity makes him even so obedient that he follows the commands that the voices in his head whisper to him effortlessly - as far as that is possible with flashing lights and delusions in front of his eyes. "In real life, I'm a lot less obedient though. Enfant Terrible, the name says it all, haha."
 
First words? "Quite violently. I found that I really became disoriented and it felt like I was going to talk very slowly. We were in a room with spots all over the floor, and I tried to walk around them very slowly. And then I was in a restaurant, and I saw a kind of large outlets that seemed to have a face".
 
Is this art? " Yes, it's socially critical work that lets you think in a playful way. Great that an artist has initiated this project, because artists are not caught in the web of science. In my opinion, science is so structured that there is generally little room for creative experimentation. With this simulator you break the taboo, it makes you want to talk about psychosis. I know people from my area who has ever experienced a psychosis but I did not really know what it was exactly. Now I know at once."
 
A trip? "I can imagine that this experience could be similar to a trip with stuff like LSD or ketamine. In Trouw it will perhaps be an even more intense experience, because it’s dark and the rooms are lit with different colors. Light impresses you through these glasses, I thought it was a sensational experience."
 
The Wearable is one of the programme components of Discovery Festival which takes place Friday, September 27th. The evening starts at 21:00 and includes interactive installations, live scientific research and experiments on the theme "No Order. The Wearable is available until 1 o’clock in the club hall and Jean Pierre Enfant will play afterwards in De Verdieping.