The Skeptics

by David De Beyter

The Skeptics is an artistic research which draws on an amateur prac- tice derived from ufology, scientific ufology. This marginal community of thinkers brings together a hundred amateurs around the scientist Juan Vicente Ballestros in Spain, around Erling P. Strand in Norway. But since the 1970s, it is in the United States that it has been most prolific around the famous skeptic Philip J. Klass.

This artistic research is developed around three main lines of research. The first is conceived as a photographic investigation around volcanic landscapes in Spain and the United States which in scientific ufolo- gy jargon is called «Magical places». The second R.O.T.G focuses on the iconographic backgrounds of this amateur science of emergence, scientific ufology. Flash Blindness is the last axis, is an experimental research around the very materiality of photography and its specula- tive dimension. This part of the research will engage a reflection and a double discourse around the image, that of the limit of photography and that of the limit of the representation of elsewhere.

All of this research in art The Skeptics can be seen as a reflection on the obsolescence of a belief, on the collapse of a myth. By focusing on this community of skeptical ufologists, the project will seek to re- veal these forgotten contemporary practices that have sculpted the imagination of geological chaos. Jean Rouch said that «the role of an- thropology is to put disturbing objects into circulation». By focusing on these great successive waves of appearances from the 80s and 90s, the project offers us a reflection on the loss of utopias and the ques- tion of progress and questions in depth this mythology that scientific ufologists are trying to deconstruct, the governance of our reality by the goddesses of technology.