press release

The SWISS INSTITUTE – CONTEMPORARY ART (SI) is pleased to present a project by Loris Gréaud this autumn, ILLUSION IS A REVOLUTIONARY WEAPON. Rooted in the deceptive potential of the transmission of information, the project stems from the William Burroughs essay, "The Electronic Revolution", in which the conspiratory capabilities of mass communication and mass confusion are elaborated. Acting as a hub in a worldwide network of simultaneous exhibitions which Gréaud is presenting this fall, for the SI Gréaud is working with Karl Holmqvist to occupy the SI as a base for diffusing information in the form of sound projects.

ILLUSION IS A REVOLUTIONARY WEAPON is the title of Gréaud’s vast current project, which not only spans continents -with projects appearing in Tokyo, Milan, London, Los Angeles and New York- but is structured as a multi-track exhibition. The impossibility of actually viewing all these projects renders many dark holes in the experience of the Illusion project, but it is the unattainable experience itself which defines the project. The exhibitions are linked, entangled in a quantum mechanical sense, so that though spatially or physically distant from each other, the disparate forms that exist separately refer to one another: they influence each other and exist in a linked system. Gréaud enables this system as much as the viewers activate it.

For the SI, Gréaud and Holmqvist will operate the SI’s phone project, ext-17, which for ILLUSION IS A REVOLUTIONARY WEAPON will extend to include also ext-18 and ext-19, for diffusing information. A kind of switchboard for the Illusion project, for the months of September and October listeners will have a chance to dial in to changing emissions of information and misinformation. A synthesized voice has been engineered for the project, combining the recorded sounds of William Burroughs, Kurt Schwitters and Dr. Konstantin Raudive. Mixed with the haunting voice of Karl Holmqvist, messages will be available for listening anywhere, anytime. The non-lieu of the extension projects mimics the format of the global Illusion project: with no center, the recordings exist entangled in an undefined space. They will be recorded continuously and remotely, from undisclosed locations during the two months. Following Burroughs, the layers created by the multiple tracks will only proliferate the possibility for playback to incite confusion.

In the SI lounge, Gréaud and Holmqvist will present another sound project, to be listened to on Gréaud’s newly constructed pod-phone prototype. A biomorphic device which enters the body (through the ear), this very present and physical object will feature longer, more dense recordings, opposing the quick location-less messages of the extension projects. Plugging into the phone prototype, listeners will enter a frenzied network of information – reports, theories, riddles, noises, lies - swarming around ILLUSION IS A REVOLUTIONARY WEAPON.


Loris Greaud with Karl Holmqvist