In a world standing at the precipice of nuclear calamity, a group of scientists encounters five enigmatic symbols, veiling the potential to unravel the intricacies of the human mind, the arcane world of extrasensory perception, and, perchance, the subtle undulations of historical reversal: unfulfilling prophecy.
PARADAYS, 1989, special price of the jury at the 4. Marler Video-Kunst-Preis 1990
Betacam SP, color, mono, 7:29 min

In 1989, Michael Saup birthed the experimental video “Paradays”, a visual choreography that communicates like a cryptic missive from extraterrestrial intellect. At its core, “Paradays” pulsates with the enigmatic energy of five abstract symbols, pivotal to parapsychology’s quest into the uncharted territories of mind and extrasensory perception. These symbols assume a dual nature, serving both as the conduit and the communiqué, the medium and the message, beckoning spectators to decipher their enigmatic significance amid the looming specter of an impending nuclear cataclysm, signaling information as the final state of matter and energy as its transformative parasitic process.

In juxtaposition, Percy Shelley’s treatise “On Life” stimulates contemplation not only on the transience of empires, the collapse of dynasties, and the cyclical nature of religious and political systems but also on the inherent grandeur intrinsic to existence itself. “Paradays” stands as a testament to Saup’s audacious vision and impeccable execution, birthing a sensory expedition that unfolds in a linguistic tapestry transcending human vocabulary and comprehension.

What are changes of empires, the wreck of dynasties, with the opinions which supported them; what is the birth and the extinction of religious and of political systems, to life? What are the revolutions of the globe which we inhabit, and the operations of the elements of which it is composed, compared with life? What is the universe of stars, and suns, of which this inhabited earth is one, and their motions, and their destiny, compared with life? Life, the great miracle, we admire not, because it is so miraculous.

It is well that we are thus shielded by the familiarity of what is at once so certain…

If any artist, I do not say had executed, but had merely conceived in his mind the system of the sun, and the stars, and had painted to us in words, the spectacle now afforded by the nightly cope of heaven, great would be our admiration.

…Truly we should have been astonished, and it would not have been a vain boast to have said of such a man, “Non merita nome di creatore, se non Iddio ed il Poeta.” [“None merits the name of creator except God and the Poet” by Torquato Tasso (1544 – 1595)] But now these things are looked on with little wonder, and to be conscious of them with intense delight is esteemed to be the distinguishing mark of a refined and extraordinary person. The multitude of men care not for them. It is thus with Life – that which includes all.

Percy Bysshe Shelley, On Life, 1819