The Influence Machine

By Carlo McCormick and Marina Warner. Introduction by James Lingwood and Tom Eccles. Interview by Louis
Published by ArtAngel
Mar. 15, 2002

In Madison Square Park in New York, and subsequently in Soho Square, the heart of London's media world, video artist Tony Oursler created a spectral audio-visual experience for an image-saturated society. Conceived as a kind of psycho-landscape, "The Influence Machine" delves deep into the history of media, rousing long-forgotten spirits and setting them to roam about both squares at night. The ghosts of the Fox Sisters, who made telegraphic contact with the spirit world in the mid-19th century, haunted alongside the ghost of television pioneer John Logie Baird. This book brings together Tony Oursler's most elaborate deep media projects in an illustrated time line, the "Timestream", and accompanying texts elaborate on the phantasmagorias of the late 18th century, its contemporary equivalents, and the influence of spiritualism within the general development of media.