I was raised in a family where extended gatherings frequently involved "readings." These occurrences were carried out at the kitchen table by my eldest aunt or my mother and involved the person being read (usually other family members or close family friends) handing over a ring or necklace that was held in the hand of the reader and inspired their prophecies. My experience of the paranormal didn’t end there. Until grade three, my immediate family rented a small older house that I still think of as my real home, as we moved every 3-5 years or so. When my father was out late, which was often, my mother would drive dinner knives through the mouldings around the door to the basement to keep whatever was down there … down there. Various family members saw or felt things that were inexplicable but suggested a connection to another realm, something beyond the ordinary and everyday. And I learned in adulthood that old aunts of my grandfather had offered to buy him, and his new bride, a home if they would only change their names and name their children according to their numerological beliefs. They declined the offer.
As a result, I have an open mind about the paranormal and the occult. It’s not that I believe; I just don’t disbelieve. I enjoy the tension produced by stories and events that straddle the familiar and the strange. In short, I choose to exist in a perpetual state of suspended disbelief.
Dr. Auftenhauzie, can best be characterized as a Renaissance Man. Research scientist, author, artist, musician and psychotronic investigator, Dr. Auftenhauzie is the de facto head of research and product development for ZencoCorp. Under his guidance ZencoCorp has developed and brought to market a number of innovative new-age products, improving the quality of life for all of us. In a major breakthrough in 2012, ZencoCorp completed the prototypical design for the Zenco Electroplasmic Neuroactivity Stimulator(ZENS). The breakthrough followed Dr. Auftenhauzie’s discovery that it is possible to access all corners of the human brain through the ocular passageways. The ability to access the brain in this fashion led further to the revelation that these same channels can be used to stimulate areas of the brain that are not functioning at peak efficiency.
Extensive testing was done at the laboratory level with a great deal of success. However, field testing was deemed necessary to test the equipment on a wider range of subjects. Dr. Auftenhauzie, whose scientific interests also included a healthy respect for the occult, expressed a particular desire to include in his field studies those people who have non-traditional belief systems. His team of field researchers, which include his close associate, F. Elda Hyde, joined M.E.D.I.U.M. in 2013, ostensibly to have access to the types of audiences that M.E.D.I.U.M. attracted.“We have had the greatest success with this subset of people,” claims Dr. Auftenhauzie. “Channeling is much less complex and the ZENS has posted some stellar results.”
Dr. Auftenhauzie’s research with Zenco has broken down the last remaining barriers of doubt for many people. He says “In our technologically-driven age, it is no long impossible to believe that our mental acuity can be improved through the judicious application of the technologies that we have at our fingertips.
Frater Tham is a defrocked academic who has since turned to the ancient sciences of divination, mythozooloogy, mediumship, sin eating, and congress with all manner of strange beings. He is interested in illusions; trompe l'oeil images on canvas, the illusion of political and idealogical veracity, the myth of cultural truths, and the fiction of a fixed self. Deceptions using sleight of hand, sleight of mind and sleight of mouth are the magical mechanisms by which reality operates. He reads the Tarot, eats sins, cleans auras, engages in necromancy, explores alchemy, hosts seances and traffics with the Darke Powers. Before performing with MEDIUM, he organized 'Psychic Fairs', 'Seances' at museums, and did readings at fundraisers for non-profit groups.
"I have been interested in Western occultism for over 20 years. Some of my interest has been practical and some has been scholarly. The vocabularies of the grimoire and goetic traditions, Rosicrucianism, Alchemy, Hermetic Qabalah, divination, and ceremonial magic have polluted my perception of the world and insidiously crept into my writing and art. Strange cyphers, scripts and diagrams still exert a strong fascination over me. I would, paradoxically, describe myself as rational, materialist, hermeneutic occultist and, to create minor miracles, I use my interest in illusion, stage magic, and sleight of hand.
If I could achieve one goal through my work with MEDIUM, it would be to communicate the Otherness, and Strangeness I feel about the world ... personally, culturally, semantically, and ideologically.
Certain structures of knowledge including ancient philosophies, mythology and folktales suggest that the material realm our physical bodies occupy is but one in a complex system of intelligibly organized realities.
"Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?" - Edgar Allan Poe
With the same kind of wonder Madame Symona questions the way one can distinguish between reality and imagination. She was introduced to ancient wisdom at a very early age by her grandmother who was proficient at the narration of fairy tales. She later studied literature and fine arts and learned to hear the same material consciously as a system of symbols, allegorically and poetry.
Madame Symona’s alter ego Maria Madacky’s professional practice is informed mainly by her interest in art, literature and metaphysics. Her current focus of interest is investigation into less conventional structures of knowledge that mediate the physical and metaphysical realms. Madam Symona is an imaginary but palpable character who walks the line connecting two planes of reality: the realm of physics and metaphysics. As an occupant of liminal spaces, she creates atmospheres and invites audiences to cross beyond the mundane and experience the dreamy landscapes of in-between-ness.