Surface of Spectral Scattering is a site-specific, multi-channel sound and light pre-programmed installation. The installation translates the city as a "complex existence" into a high energy discharge system with boundaries dictated by a poetic physics of transmission, where human actors play the role of inert conduits charged by abstract, external forces of zeal and fury. Electric currents pulse through hand-embroidered LED lights, pumped by different power centres through hand-soldered electric connections. Each power supply is triggered by sound waves radiating from the periphery of this field of scattered illumination. A consistent thrusting of deep frequency sound defines the sum total of the shape of light, while intermittently, the speakers transmit a parallel track of high frequencies — the aural equivalent of the sharp point of the individual LED light itself, the basic unit of the work.
The work hangs between a series of tensions — between the intense pulling in and pulling out movement generated by the contrasting acoustic poles; the impersonal abstraction of a map and the deeply visceral, personal experience of the installation; and the seemingly cold, industrial use of technology and the laborious, craftsman-like process of creating the piece. But beyond those dichotomies, “The Surface of Spectral Scattering” is suffused with a reverence for that which is felt, but not understood — and for the deep memories that are increasingly known only by the shape of their absence. The Abu Dhabi Edition is made especially for Abu Dhabi art 2017.
Image rights: courtesy the artist and Galerie Brigitte Schenk
About Magdi Mostafa
Egyptian, b. 1982, Tanta, Egypt, based in Cairo, Egypt