Suzanne Treister


A Timeline of Science Fiction Inventions: Weapons, Warfare and Security

Wall Drawing: Felt pen and watercolour, 211cm x 552cm
Original works: Ink and watercolour on paper, 21 x 29.7 cm (15 works)

Wall drawing (click on each section above to enlarge)

In A Timeline of Science Fiction Inventions: Weapons, Warfare and Security Treister has drawn up a history documenting innovations of imaginary and fantastic military technology. These include the 'Raytron Apparatus', a form of aerial surveillance, which was described in 'Beyond the Stars' by Ray Cummings in 1928, or the 'Control Helmet', from 'Easy Money' by Edward Hamilton in 1934. The timeline starts in 1726 with the 'Knowledge Engine' in Gulliver's travels and carries on up to the present day. It allows us to see the meetings of worlds as these weapons sometimes travel from the fantastic to manifest themselves into the real, like the 'Atomic Bomb' described in 'The Crack of Doom' by Robert Cromie in 1895. The format in which she organises this information is the schema of the connected circles of the tree of life or the Sephirot, from the Jewish mystical traditions of the Kabbalah, a representation of linkages between the worlds above and the physical world below and which map stages of transformation between these realms.

The formal beauty of these geometries of information reminds us of the hermetic histories of Twentieth Century Abstraction, how it shared the intention to seek the hidden truths that lay beyond or behind everyday appearances. This desire linked mystics such as Hilma Af Klint (who in turn drew on references and symbols that the Alchemists themselves would have recognised) to artists like Kandinsky, Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg, Robert Delaunay and Brancusi and their transformative Theosophical dreams. The belief that art could change the objective conditions of human life requires similar transformations to those that captivated the alchemists: What is real is not the external form, but the essence of things,' wrote Brancusi. 'It is impossible for anyone to express anything essentially real by imitating its exterior surface.' Perhaps, disturbingly, Treister is showing us the world that has emerged in spite of - or perhaps because of - these dizzying intentions.

Excerpt from catalogue essay by Richard Grayson, published by Annely Juda Fine Art, London September 2008


Works on paper installed in the exhibition, Planet of Signs at, Le Plateau Art Center, FRAC, Paris, 2009

Wall drawing at: Annely Juda Fine Art, London 2008




TheTemplar Fellowship of America

Gershom Scholem

Science fiction

Sci-fi films


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