September 16th, 2014

Incoherence @ InterDisciplinary and Experimental Arts Space

Incoherence is an AV installation work based on frequencies known as Schumann Waves. The work was part of an exhibition curated by Jessica Hunter-Larsen titled "Transmission/Frequency: Tesla and His Legacy" at the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center in Colorado Springs Colorado.

The physical work comprises two seperate rooms. In the "wave chamber" room, a powerful subwoofer modulates a shifting yet precise set of harmonics based on the Schumann resonances, while projecting a visual analog of those waveforms using reflective surfaces and a series of translucent projection surfaces, much like the cavity between the Earth's surface, and the ionosphere act as a waveguide for the Schumann resonances themselves. In the main room a secondary projection apparatus displays the visual component, as a trace, or an echo of the wave chamber. Projected onto the transparent surface of the large exterior facing windows, the imagery is one step removed from the originating source within the wave chamber, a flattened representation of a more complex set of phenomena.

For me, the power of the idea of Tesla, rather than the power of Tesla’s ideas is the most interesting and compelling. Incoherence is based on Schumann Resonances – global electromagnetic resonances that are excited by lightning discharges in the cavity formed by the Earth’s surface and the ionosphere. This phenomenon is related to Tesla’s explorations of wireless power generation and reception in Colorado Springs. Using custom software based on calculations of spherical harmonics, in combination with the work of composer David First and geophysicist Davis Sentman, I've transcoded electromagnetic activity into audible and visible forms, revealing emergent layers of pattern. In its theoretical foundation, the installation comments upon Tesla’s scientific research; its ethereal presentation evokes the various pseudoscientific theories that have arisen concerning both Tesla and the Schumann Resonance phenomenon.

Transmission/Frequency: Tesla and His Legacy features contemporary artists whose works reflect — deliberately or not — Tesla’s maverick spirit and enduring legacy. Featured projects engage some of Tesla’s ideas, such as free-floating electrical current, self-sustaining systems/movements, electrical and fluorescent light, and magnetic fields. The exhibition will also include images and reproductions of Tesla’s inventions and excerpts from his journals, particularly those written during his time in Colorado Springs. The exhibit also featured works by Matthew Ostrowski, Michel de Broin, Dmitry Gelfand and Evelina Domnitch, Björn Schüelke, neuroTransmitter and Dove Bradshaw.
The Colorado Springs Gazette did a nice story on the exhibit.

Located in the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, the I.D.E.A. Space is the home base for Colorado College’s InterDisciplinary Experimental Arts program.
Transmission/Frequency: Tesla and His Legacy is presented in collaboration with the Colorado College Innovation Institute with support from the Dean’s Office, the Bee Vradenburg Foundation, and the Colorado College Cultural Attractions Fund