Palais de Tokyo

A few houses, a service station, a post office, a few “diners”… And an enigmatic scientific base. Gakona, a small village in the center of Alaska, is home to the American research program HAARP (High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program). Inspired by the work of the brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), researchers there are studying the possibility of the wireless transmission of electricity by means of ionizing the high strata of the atmosphere. But because of its military funding and the phantasms associated with electromagnetism since the 19th century, HAARP has also become an inexhaustible source of rumors. Climatic disruption, influence on human behavior, a giant electronic communications intelligence system … Powers worthy of science fiction are attributed to the forest of aerials that bristle up all over the base.

GAKONA, the first session of 2009, lies at the point where the paths of fact and rumor, reality and phantasm, science and imagination intersect. It consists of four solo exhibitions: /Chizhevsky Lessons / by Micol Assaël, a gigantic generator of static electricity, /Haarp / by Laurent Grasso (Duchamp Prize 2008), a sculpture inspired by the eponymous program, an exploration of negative space by Ceal Floyer and a set of accident-sculptures by Roman Signer. All immaterial, impalpable, almost invisible works that derive their power from the viewer’s fears and projections.

After 2008, a year characterized by the putting into perspective of the logic of the spectacle, in 2009 the Palais de Tokyo plans to take the question of the exhibition beyond its visual impact. Pursuing its intention of showing works that evade any vague impulse at a fixed, theoretical or esthetic interpretation, it therefore continues to promote a dynamics of looking and thinking based on a permanent oscillation between opposite poles.

Following GAKONA, the program will again engage with the margins, taking an interest in figures like Theodore Kaczynski (known as “Unabomber”) or Paul Laffoley, and artists who cut themselves off from the outside world to develop systems aiming to shift our reality’s center of gravity.

opening every first thursday of the month
05 / 02 – 01/ 03

05/ 03 – 29 /03

02/04 – 03/05

*Lectures, concerts, projections every Thursday…
“/People doing strange things with electricity /”: carte blanche to Dorkbot-Paris

N° 8
*New issue aroung GAKONA : a Nikola Tesla short story by Cory Doctorow, an interview of Laurent Grasso by Marc-Olivier Wahler, two portfolios (Ceal Floyer, Roman Signer), archive documents about Alexander Chizhevsky (selected by Micol Assaël), unexpected experiments with high voltage current, and also a guide section. Free with full-price entry ticket.

For further informations :

Dolorès Gonzalez
Tél: +33 1 47 23 52 00

13, avenue du Président Wilson
F – 75116 Paris
Tél: +33 1 4723 5401 & +33 1 4723 3886
Fax: + 33 1 4720 1531