Fauxtography Part 2: “PSYCHO”kinesis
My inspiration this week is telekinesis and psychokinesis. In scouring the nightmare of “scientific” research that is out there on telekinesis/psychokinesis, I actually learned an interesting factoid about the two words. Originally, the word “telekinesis” was used to describe objects being moved by ghosts, demons, imps, or other such supernatural forces via a medium. The name of this parlor trick was gradually changed to “psychokinesis” when the fad of using spirit mediums became passé and people in the parapsychology community started associating the phenomenon of movement of objects with the “power of the mind” and other such pseudo-science.
This is why I believe skepticism is so very important. It’s not about being religious or anti- religious, atheistic or believer or agnostic; anybody of any creed can fall victim to extraordinary claims if they are not careful. These frauds can say, “Use your magical mind powers to move items,” to get the atheist and religious to believe. There is no need for the help of spirits because you can just tap into the quantum energy that connects your mind’s essence to the material universe and bend the fabric of space around the matter of the object you want to control (or some other other such science-sounding-mumbo-jumbo) and anyone who is not prone to skepticism may fall for it. The trick is to combine complicated sounding science, self-importance, and “spirituality” (not necessarily religious).
During my research for this post I watched a series of YouTube videos that people who claim to have psychokinetic powers have posted. Whether they truly believe it or are pulling a hoax, I am not sure, but I must say how disappointed I was in the deluge of comments on each video that claimed that they (the commenter) themselves also had psychokinetic powers. They don’t just do this once in a while either, they do it ALL THE TIME! One particular 13-year-old boy said that he had been practicing for a month and moved his mom’s car. I know that he was a child so maybe I should ignore his self-delusion, but I doubt that any others who claim to have psychokinetic powers are any more mature.
If you’re wondering how I magically photographed myself, I must confess: I did not. I applied my make-up using traditional non-psi techniques. I went into my studio and set up the lights and backdrop. I got my trusty Canon Rebel out and adjusted the settings. My daughter, Jude, then pressed the shutter button and stood whereI told her to. Thank you, Jude. I absolutely loved channeling your spiritual energies into my effort.
Of course, I had a wonderful time editing the photos in Photoshop. To create my psychokinetic illusions I used pretty much the same techniques as my first fauxtography post. I photographed each object individually, removed the background using the magic eraser tool, copied and pasted them into the main photograph I wanted to use, and resized them to an appropriate size.
It’s our duty (and pleasure) to celebrate and express our skepticism. Trust me, we can make an impact. Having come from a place where I did not care to take the time to evaluate extraordinary claims, to now blogging for Mad Art Lab and participating in the skeptic movement, I personally have benefited from those who have voiced their skepticism. Thank you to all that have helped others through sharing your knowledge and skepticism and thank you to those who pursue truth and evidence. I believe things can only get better if we work together.