Read more - Apparitions

The ghost-machine of Edison 

On a cold december morning in 1877, a young man shows up at the offices of the magazine Scientific American in New York. Without much fuss he places a small machine in front of the editors, and activates it with a crank. To the astonishment of all, the machine says: “Hello. How are you? I am a Phonograph.” – Total consternation! The machine had spoken. It had a voice.

This young man, named Thomas Edison, had invented the first instrument possessing the sinister capacity to bring back to life a voice that had in reality already been extinct. His 'ghost-machine' could tear the voice out of the body that emitted it, then preserve that voice (beyond death even) and revive it indefinitely. Like a wandering soul. To the people back then, this seemed more magical than scientific.

Exactly 40 years laters that same Thomas Edison, who had turned grey and famous in the meantime, appears on the cover of Scientific American. Under his portrait-picture the intriguing title: «Those of the beyond - and why I seek to communicate with them.» In the interview the inventor discusses his 'necrophone': “I have been working for some time now on a scientific apparatus allowing personalities that have left our world – the dead – to communicate with the living.”

It is this intriguing story, that sparked the project Apparitions.

Diederik Peeters & the Apparitions-team

Detailed credits 

A performance by Diederik Peeters in close collaboration with Jonas Chéreau (performer), Henri-Emmanuel Doublier (lights), Lieven Dousselaere (music & sound), Marion Le Guerroué (artistic collaboration & production), Jérôme Dupraz (robotics), Camille Bono / Thomas Riou (production assistance), Christophe Hefti (visual design), Danai Anesiadou (outside eye),  Grégoire Blanc (thérémin), Maxim Daish-Belay (voice), Sara Manente (choreographic eye), Antoine Defoort (artistic advice), Kevin Deffrennes & Laura Deschepper (administrators), Marine Thévenet (international relations)

Thanks to : Hans Bryssinck, Bart Capelle, Bram Coeman, Anna Czapski, Caroline Daish, Ivan Fatjò, Pierre George, Françoise Lebeau, Ursula K. Le Guin, Kate Mcintosh, Francis McKee, Corinne Petitpierre, Michael Portnoy, Marine Prunier, Clémence Rousseau, Benjamin Seror, George Van Dam, Kurt Vanhoutte, Ingrid Vranken & Agnès Quackels.­

An associated production by SPIN & L’Amicale

Supported by the Flemish Community (B) and the City of Rennes (F)

Coproduction : Centre Pompidou (Paris/F), Kunstencentrum BUDA (Kortrijk/B), Kunstencentrum NONA (Mechelen/B), Schauspiel Leipzig (Leipzig/D), Le Vivat (Armentières/F), Kunstencentrum Vooruit (Gent/B).

Support during the creation : La Bellone (Brussels/B), De Brakke Grond (Amsterdam/NL), La Chartreuse (Villeneuve lez Avignon/F), Far West (Penmarch/F), Fructose (Dunkerque/F), Impakt festival (Utrecht/NL), Netwerk (Aalst/B), Playground Festival (Leuven/B), Superamas (Amiens/F), Théâtre de Poche/Salle Ropartz (Hédé/Rennes/F)

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Diederik Peeters





Thu 21.10 - Fri 22.10.21

Diederik Peeters adopts the role of an illusionist, but quickly gets lost in his own illusions. With optical tricks from the 19th century, he breathes life into his own shadow and conjures the ghosts of the future. In a kind of visual delirium, echoes of Méliès or Houdini clash with the 22nd century. Are the dead alive here, and does the future simply occur in the present?