Juan Downey – Plato Now | The Tanks

Juan Downey (1940-1993) was a Chilean artist whose innovations in video, sculpture and interactive performance encouraged reflection on perception and the self.

Drawing together advances in technology with an interest in the rituals of his native Latin America, Downey engineered ‘invisible architectures’ to rethink connections between society, history, information and the environment.

The Tanks restages his groundbreaking 1973 video performance ‘Plato Now’. The event consisted of nine participants meditating with their backs to the audience whilst a row of nine video monitors positioned between the meditators and the audience allowed spectators to view the faces of the performers on closed-circuit television while shadows of the public animated the wall behind.

This combination of feedback, monitors and spectral projections reassesses our enslavement to sensorial experience, anticipating the complexities of global electronic communication.


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