Magdi Mostafa, ‘Surface of Spectral Scattering - Abu Dhabi Edition’, 2017, Galerie Brigitte Schenk

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

Solo Shows

Galerie Brigitte Schenk, 
Cologne, Germany,
Extract of Paradise
Townhouse gallery, 
Cairo, Egypt,
Surface of Spectral Scattering
Arab Museum of Modern Art, Project space, 
Doha, Qatar,
Sound Element
(6:40 hours of experimental soundtracks composed by the artist “looped” for one month), 
Solo streaming program on
old industrial district (Can Ricart), 
Barcelona, Spain,
Site Specific Installation (SOUNDSCAPE)
The Arts Grand Hall, Bibliotheca of Alexandria, 
Alexandria, Egypt,
Project 3 (sound installation)

Group Shows

ZKM, Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, 
Karlsruhe, Germany,
New Sensorium – Exiting from Failures of Modernization
Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art, 
Moscow, Russia,
Planting Sound, Alanica Permanent Collection Display Project
Lyon Biennial 13e, 
Lyon, France,
Surface of Spectral Scattering
Factory 4711, 
Cologne, Germany,
Sound Cells: Fridays (Installation), Sharjah Art Foundation Collection Show