It can be argued that MIRA HUNTER (née BURKE) has been whirling for most of her life. As a visual artist and second-generation sufi mevlevi whirling dervish, she began her traditional training at the age of 16 with her father Raqib Burke and Sheikh Jelaladdin Loras. As a visual artist, she studied at NSCAD and Yale, graduating with a BFA. She has performed at such acclaimed international events as the Montreux Jazz Festival, the London Forum, Istanbul’s Arena, Celebrate Brooklyn, and the Dubai International Film Festival. She has collaborated with Turkish born musician/producer Mercan Dede, the Modern Dance Company of Turkey, she was featured in David Michalek’s Slow Dance project that was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2008, and appeared in Fatih Akin's award winning documentary Crossing The Bridge: The Sounds of Istanbul.
The traditional form of Turkish whirling claims to transmit healing energy to human beings present. Whether this is a metaphorical or a physical claim is difficult to prove. Hunter is recreating the Backster Effect in order to see if the positive energy transmitted from whirling can be detected by plants. Hunter also collaboratives with her husband sculptor, Derek Junck Hunter, creating works that explore the restorative energy of the act of whirling translated through multi media installations using binaural sound recording and bullet time photography within custom built viewing environments. She is currently pursuing her MFA at Columbia University. She studies Sufism under Sherif Baba Catalkaya and lives and works in New York.
>>Click here to see video of Mira Hunter, including excerpts from the installation Time Machine
>>Click here to see pictures of Time Machine
>>A Short History of Whirling