Wave-lengths Hitherto Undetected
Opening 07.11.18 6-8pm
Artist Talks 29.11.18 6-7pm
Wave-lengths Hitherto Undetected is an immersive, multimedia installation incorporating organic, electric and interactive elements. Light and sound fluctuate within the space in response to changing electromagnetic fields and the electric potential measured within three sets of living Oyster mushrooms. This effect increases when the mushrooms are touched, leading to the ability to haptically “compose” with sound and light via contact with the mushrooms.
The installation combines scientific method with pseudoscientific and occult ideas, taking inspiration from the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, the cult 1970s book, The Secret Life of Plants(1) and its ideas on bioelectricity, the phenomenon of EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) and the research of Nikola Tesla. A device known as the Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio(2) responds to changes in electromagnetic fields, receives AM radio and channels ‘spirit voices’ and a lamp(3)with flickering lights (as often seen in purported spirit communication) are utilised within the installation. Both Tesla, in his scientific studies and Lovecraft, in his short story ‘From Beyond(4), suggest occulted worlds that are not perceivable by our senses.
Wave-lengths Hitherto Undetected takes its name from William Crookes’ hypotheses on the sensory perception mechanisms of other beings, ‘In some part of the human brain may lurk an organ capable of transmitting and receiving other electrical rays of wave-lengths hitherto undetected by instrumental means,’(5)chosen for its ties to both the fields of science and pseudoscience or the occult, with Crookes being both physicist and Spiritualist.
(1)Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, The Secret Life of Plants (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1974).
(2)Designed by ‘Mrfixitrick,’ https://www.instructables.com/id/Spooky-Tesla-Spirit-Radio/. Realisation assisted by Nick Wishart.
(3)Designed by ‘tim-1138,’ http://www.instructables.com/id/Mad-Scientists-Light/. Realisation assisted by Ahmad Mollahassani.
(4)Lovecraft, “From Beyond.”
(5)William Crookes, “Some Possibilities of Electricity,” Fortnightly Review 51, no. 302 (1892). 176. Cited in Iwan Rhys Morus, When Physics Became King (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005). 177.
Jade Boyd is a visual artist and PhD candidate at Sydney College of the Arts, researching occulted energies in nature and technology. Jade’s artistic practice encompasses audio, video and installation, often in a live setting and in collaboration with musicians and sound artists.
“Boyd is fascinated by the capacity of technology for manifesting the otherwise unseen forces which govern our existence, as acknowledged by science and the occult. The intersection of these superficially opposing areas is where Boyd finds inspiration…. Boyd works to unveil these forces via “sound waves and electronic impulses…”
(Joseph Stannard, (The Wire), 2011)
Jade’s work has been shown at MoMA PS1 (New York, 2012), Kunstraum Kreuzberg (Berlin, 2012), Stenersen Museet (Oslo, 2010) and TENT (Rotterdam, 2009). She has performed live video at numerous festivals including Unsound (New York/ Krakow (2010/11/12/14), Oslo Screen Festival (Norway, 2014), Vivid (Sydney, 2014), Antigel (Geneva, 2013), Rue Morgue Festival of Fear (Toronto, 2012), Vision Sound Music Festival, London (2011) and The Now Now (Sydney, 2017). Recently, Jade has exhibited at Sydney College of the Arts Galleries (2017), Electrofringe17 (107 Projects, 2017) and worked with DLUX Media Arts’ wearable technology projects, sARTorial (Sydney, 2016/17).