The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena or otherwise known as ASSAP, is a charity run project that dedicates its time to the investigation, education and research on a wide range of phenomena. And by that they do not mean scientific findings that aren't quite in line with supportive research, but full blown ghost hauntings, UFO sighting, conspiracy theories such as the attacks of 9/11, government cover-ups of weapon testing, to ‘weird things that vanish’, which is an ongoing project run by ASSAP.
The focus point of this unique project in truth does not appeal to all, particularly the hard fact pessimists amongst us. But here is where their investigative nature takes an interesting turn, ASSAP also examines the importance of ‘weird things that vanish’ in our communal psyche. By acknowledging not only the ‘evidence’ of anomalies on a vastly different scale, but also the role they play in their interviewing with visible facts, the project opens up a space for another type of discussion, one that can appeal both to believers or non-believers.
In light of our ‘post-truth’ world obsession, and perhaps shadowing Adam Curtis’ concisely shaped narrative of conspiracy theories in his recent documentary HyperNormalisation, Goldsmiths have invited ASSAP to run a day-long conference surrounding questions around our necessity for such circulation of knowledge, or theories. 'Seriously Suspicious' includes talks such ‘What are the psychological processes behind belief in conspiracy theories?’ for example. How do ideas based on uncertainty help to affirm, hide and even distract us from what is real? And why have such theories accompanied us since throughout cultural developments and translated across nations and traditions?