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Bureau for the Investigation of Subliminal Images

The Bureau of Subliminal Images, directed by Adam Dant and Donald Parsnips, pursued its researches independently for a numbers of years before its affiliation to the Institute in 2002 (vulg.).

A couple of paragraphs from the preface to its first LIP publication suffice to delineate its area of research:

A subliminal image is an image that is inadvertently concealed within a natural feature or manufactured object. It can be revealed only by an act of imagination on the part of the observer. Once found, its existence can be demonstrated to another: it can be solved. An imaginary solution par excellence (and an imagery solution as well!). Subliminal images constitute a sort of rational hallucination, and Alfred Jarry was fond of this quotation from Leibniz: “Perception is only a hallucination that is true.” (Days and Nights)

Such a definition implies various exclusions. Deliberately manufactured visual puzzles, illusions and the familiar “duck/rabbit” tests employed by psychologists do not qualify as subliminal images. Likewise, innumerable devotees of belief systems - religious enthusiasts, conspiracy theorists - are capable of, indeed they often cannot avoid, perceiving evidence of their monomanias in the most unlikely corners of external reality (the arrangement of pips inside vegetables, the products of mass-advertising), Too often, unfortunately, these images are only perceptible to their fellow zealots, which disqualifies them as objects for our investigation.

The Bureau conducts various experiments and projects in which members of the public at large are invited to contribute. Details may be obtained by contacting BISI at

0. Preface to an Introduction
2.1. Cataloguing the Museum's Collection of Subliminal Images, Stage 1 An Introduction to the Methodology and Proceedings of the BISI
2.2. Corroboration and Confirmation of Images at the National Gallery (Stage 2)

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