Lindsay Seers/Keith Sargent
Materials: a programmed robot, silver pipe, surround sound, scaffolding poles, surround sound 5.1, 5 projections, smoke machine, a programmed roving light, mylar curtains.
Cold Light Lite is a new installation by Keith Sargent & Lindsay Seers. It represents a fragment of a larger work which included two robots, a scaffold structure and VR headsets placed in constructed pods.
The exhibition here at FRAC is shaped by the artists’ research into the life and work of Nikola Tesla, the title drawing on historic references to the ﬁrst electric lights. No longer reliant on ﬁre for illumination, the new electric light bulbs were referred to as ‘Cold Light.’ Tesla was an inventor, engineer and futurist who performed scientiﬁc experiments theatrically, as a showman. He is best known for his contributions to the design of the Alternating Current electrical system. Cold Light takes inspiration from Tesla’s visionary revelations in science, his extraordinary consciousness and his non-normative brain. He considered himself to be an automaton reacting to internal and external stimuli. He aspired to give free energy to the world and to raise the level of human consciousness.
Cold Light takes a complex stand on how time exists in the brain and the signiﬁcance of electromagnetism in all things. The work displays a desire to edit images, objects and sounds in a relational way. It follows the associative way the brain functions as described in neuroscience, rather than the historic theatrical and ﬁlmic techniques that create seemingly coherent stories that resolve themselves. Potentially we revise our narratives endlessly. There is an intensity in the unfolding of the work that relates to a neurodivergent state of consciousness – in this case autism and attention deﬁcit hyperactivity disorder. Human life appears to make very little sense.
Slippages and repetitions weave between real and virtual elements – sculptural and architectural forms recur, rendered and recombined physically and digitally, calling into question distinctions between materiality and dream states and their interchangeable possibilities.
Research on these subjects has been sustained over many years and developed through dialogues with scientists including Chris Frith, FRS FBA, professor emeritus at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London; Anil Seth, professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex; Paul Fletcher, Bernard Wolfe Professor of Health Neuroscience, University of Cambridge; and science writer Philip Ball.
Cold Light Lite: FRAC, CHALEUR HUMAINE – TRIENNALE ART & INDUSTRIE, Frac Grand Large — Hauts-de-France, France. 10.06.23 - 14.01.24
© Lindsay Seers/Keith Sargent, 2023.