M.E.D.I.U.M. exists in the liminal spaces of our belief systems. We walk the line between faith and incredulity. In this way, we draw attention to our ability to simultaneously embrace incompatible truths. We offer our "clients" the opportunity to question their faith and credulity or release themselves from the shackles of a rational, disillusioned mind.
In the past twenty-five years there has been a drastic increase in the number of people who believe in telepathy, clairvoyance, and other psychic phenomenon. One study alleges an increase from 25% of the population in 1995 to 49% in 2005 and, in their book Paranormal America: Ghost Encounters, UFO Sightings, Bigfoot Hunts, and Other Curiosities in Religion and Culture, authors Christopher Bader, F. Carson Mencken, and Joseph Baker draw on the Baylor Religion Survey -- a multi-year national random sample of American religious values, practices, and behaviors -- to argue that 70 - 80% of Americans are believers in some form of paranormal, alien, or crypto-zoological activity. This can be seen in the proliferation of TV programs that investigate paranormal phenomena such as Psychic Kids, Ghost Hunters, Celebrity Ghost Stories, Unexplained Canada, Haunted History, and Paranormal State.
To date, M.E.D.I.U.M. has been drawing in a broad range of participants, from those who are looking for a legitimate psychic experience, to nonbelievers wanting to partake in an unusual carnival-like atmosphere. By neither promising legitimacy nor denying that we are actual psychics, M.E.D.I.U.M. leaves some participants convinced they have been given a genuine experience while others are simply "mystified" and/or entertained. What is perhaps the most interesting is the desire of so-called non-believers to experience something beyond the pale .
M.E.D.I.U.M. has been performing together since December 2011, when we organized our first project, Phantasma Gloria on the Winter Solstice. Phantasma Gloria occurred at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, a local bar which provides live music and has a history of hosting art and performance based events in Lethbridge. During this occasion Frater Tham consumed people’s sins, Madame Symona divined the future of through I Ching, and Char Latan sung Country Western classics to foretell fortunes.
In January 2012, M.E.D.I.U.M was invited to perform at Art’s Birthday by EMMEDIA in Calgary. This time we included Claöd Idia ( Corinne Thiessen Hepher), founder, CEO, and employee of UUNUDAT Services (Uncertified, Unregistered, Non-regulated, Unprofessional Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services) to accompany us. The performance at Arts Birthday soon led to an invitation to participate in M:ST 6, a Calgary based festival of performance art.
In the spring of 2013, M.E.D.I.U.M had a visual arts exhibition at the Trianon Gallery in Lethbridge, AB, including large collaborative drawings, sculptures and photographs. In addition to the art displayed, M.E.D.I.U.M purchased tents to perform in, which added a theatrical element. The tents became small installations, similar to dioramas, which stayed erected in the space. During the exhibition, M.E.D.I.U.M had several performance evenings, including a Psychic Fair with 8 other performers, and an intimate séance for 15 people. It was during these events that we were introduced to Dr. I.M Auftenhauzie for the first time.
In the Summer M.E.D.I.U.M set up their tents and plied their psychic trade at South Country Fair, a large outdoor music festival in Fort Macleod, Alberta. They were also delighted to have the opportunity to travel to Edmonton, Alberta and performed at the WORKS Festival of Art and Design. Madame Symona was unable to attend, and Dr. I.M Auftenhauzie was invited to complete the trio. Due to his complete commitment to quackery and fraud, the Dr. was invited to become a full member of M.E.D.I.U.M, transforming the trio into a foursome.
In the autumn, M.E.D.I.U.M had the opportunity to perform at the closing exhibition of "Dr. Soane's Odditorium of Wonders" at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery. The exhibition was curated by Jane Edmunson, and recreated a dime museum within the Gallery. M.E.D.I.U.M set up their tent in the atrium and engaged to gallery goers.
After a small hiatus, September of 2014 saw M.E.D.I.U.M perform at the prestigious Nuit Blanche Calgary. Nuit Blanche is a massive outdoor, one-night celebration of performance & installation art that sees 20,000 people decend on downtown Calgary. Following several days of set-up and artist talks, M.E.D.I.U.M did a marathon performance from 7pm – 1am.
What is next for M.E.D.I.U.M? Despite our clairvoyance, the future isn't written in stone. Whatever it is, it will be magical!