This project reflects upon a new empirical concept that grew up in the first half of the 20th century from the progresses of modern physics and quantum mechanics. Since its premises, Western science has been based on the principle of casuality, intended as the relationship between cause and effect. New concepts brought in the 20th century by physics theories – relativity, quantum mechanics, indeterminism and uncertainty principle – have broken the axiomatic, linear, truth of the cause-effect principle, opening towards an approach to natural phenomena and laws of universe which only predicts the probabilities of possible outcomes.
Synchronicity is a term coined by Carl Gustav Jung from the 1920s to express the experience of two or more events as meaningful related – in opposition to the experience of events as casually related. “Synchronicity takes the coincidence of events in space and time as meaning something more than mere chance, namely, a peculiar interdependence of objective events among themselves as well as with the subjective (psychic) states of the observer or observers” (Jung, 1949). For Jung, the principle of synchronicity was descriptive of a governing dynamic that underlies the whole of human experience and history – social, emotional, psychological and spiritual.
His first ideas on synchronicity evolved during the 1950s – and have been stated in his essay Synchronizität als ein Prinzip akausaler Zusammenhänge (Synchronicity – An Acausal Connecting Principle) of 1952 – following exchanges with Albert Einstein and Wolfgang Pauli outlining parallels between his synchronicity theories and the ones of relativity and quantum mechanics.
Research project presented at the Summer Academy in Salzburg, within the frame of “Curating the boundary condition: encounters with the outside”, workshop with Nancy Adajania Summer 2014
Artists: Vincenzo Agnetti, Samuel Beckett, Alighiero Boetti, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Yves Klein, Stéphane Mallarmé, Bruce Nauman.
Image: Vincenzo Agnetti, Profezia (1970) | oil on canvas
The research project Synchronicities