“Oh, God, if I’m anything by a clinical name, I’m a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.” - J. D. Salinger, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters.
Pronoia exists as the hypothesised counterpoint to paranoia. While paranoia is widely accepted as having an effect on an individual and their ability to interact with the outside world, pronoia and its potential to disrupt an individual’s understanding of any relationship between their actions and existence is little explored. The first usage of this term is arguably in the Journal of Social Problems in 1982, in an article by Fred Goldner. He writes, “The inability to distinguish between the trivial and the important characterises paranoia as well as pronoia”.
The paranoiac believes the world is out to get them, they are being plotted against and their actions are futile. While the pronoiac may not see the forces controlling their life as malevolent, there is a marked dissociation from one’s own actions and ownership of any outcomes.
This project aims to explore pronoia at its most extreme. Uncovering what the personal and political implications may be for an individual and collective consciousness that does not allow for any consideration of negative outcomes.
Curated by Sophie Nibbs.