The Beacon
Sound Reactive Installation

‘The Beacon’ presented at ‘The Annex’ in 2018. ‘The Beacon’ is an immersive installation with a sound reactive lamp, hooked up to Bluetooth headphones, playing the intro to an earlier version of my critical research paper, which through a complete overhaul and redirection has been eradicated in this version you are reading.

The text was fed through a text to speech application, usually used to aid the blind and those with learning disabilities to read/hear text. Over-layed with an alpha wave soundscape said to improve memory and imbue super intelligence. Said version of the intro pulls on a variety of sources for inspiration, speaking briefly of the dawn of man and the evolution of consciousness. It shows the construction and degradation of belief systems and a lineage of the spiritual.

The light is sound reactive to the voice, which suggests a ‘being’ unmanifested, perhaps in another dimension possessing the lamp in this physical reality. The headphones enable an intimate interaction with a single viewer as if they are having personal, secret, one-to-one time with an entity unseen. The alpha waves soundscape and slight reverb of the voice coupled with the intermittent flickering light in darkness create an entrancing and hypnotic state within the viewer. The speech application I used is advanced, and the voice is initially indistinguishable from that of a real human. Upon a closer or perhaps repeated listening, a ruse is uncovered, glitches become apparent leading towards a feeling of unease created by a virtual voice, and then the validity and veils of authenticity and authority are lifted.