Alexander Gärtner, Carine Kuntz
MA Graduation Project
Supervison: Prof. Zane Berzina
The source of inspiration for the textile- and fashion collection EKMA were the detailed descriptions and photographs of so-called materialization phenomena, taken from the book “Materialization Phenomena – A Contribution to the Medieval Teleplasty”, which was written by the Munich physician and parapsychologist Albert von Schrenck-Notzing. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he held meetings with mediumistically gifted persons and documented the alleged outpouring of ectoplastic matter from the bodies of the media. Particularly fascinating is the claim that the media can synthesize that matter out of nothing, as if invisible energies and radiations were condensed and made visible to the viewer.
The ectoplasm undergoes a stage in which it resembles fine veils of chiffon or muslin. Completely materialized the semi-fluid structures comply with the physical laws of our world, casting shadows and sinking to the ground by their weight. Albert von Schrenck-Notzing repeatedly describes the apparitions as animated and animallike, creeping and meandering, leaving behind the impression of a wet, cool touch (Albert von Schrenck-Notzing 1914: 125). This fluid transition between the states of the ectoplasm is further characterized by the terms nebelartig (fog-like), halbflüssig (semifluid), fest (solid) (1914: 64).
Based on this classification, a tabular overview of the physical and visual properties of the ectoplasm was compiled, which formed the basis of a material sample collection, including material studies on the solid, liquid, and gaseous areas. Through manipulation, the textile and non-textile surfaces received strange and sometimes unfamiliar levels of effect. The combination of contrasting haptic and visual properties creates new surface phenomena – hard structures combine with soft structures, milky-translucent surfaces overlap sharply defined contours. Transparent fabrics overlap, creating vibrating moiré effects and flowing fabric surfaces. The interplay of elastic and inelastic materials creates relief-like structures and volumes.