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The Museum of Lost Interactions put together this exhibit, Forgotten Chairs, that move beyond design for necessity into a more creative realm. “Our exhibition of ten interactive chairs illuminates the genre beyond its familiar archetypes of rocking chairs, video arcade games and ejector seats. Once again we are grateful to a group studying Interactive Media Design who, informed by meticulous research and archive film, lovingly restored each chair to working order.” – Graham Pullin

This project as a whole acts as a history of the interactive chair to support our project and each of the individual chairs can inform our own. One project, the Phantasmagoria Chair, acted as a medium to the beyond as its creator had, as well:

“Between 1857 and 1908 Flora Cooke was a well-known name amongst the British followers of Spiritualism. Her demonstrations drew great crowds who witnessed her communications with the spirit Katie King. The turn of the century saw a decline in attendance and it is believed that Cooke crafted a tool to allow private demonstrations at her residence. Recently a derelict building in West London has uncovered this very tool: a chair. Documents discovered have given researchers an insight into the usage of the piece, named by Cooke as the Phantasmagoria Chair. Under Cooke’s guidance a member of the gathered circle would attempt to communicate with a spirit using the chair. They would be prompted to place their hands and feet on the metal conductors thus completing a theoretical electrical circuit, meant to collect the participant’s energy to power a spiritual connection and, in turn, allow the gathered group to contact the dead. The spirit would communicate by making words appear on the paper in front of the participant, which they would then read out, to the rest of the group.”

below: Phantasmagoria Chair

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December 2018
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