The inaugural exhibition in Matt’s Gallery’s new Nine Elms space is Cold Light
Slippages and repetitions weave between real and virtual elements – sculptural and architectural elements recur, rendered and recombined physically and digitally, calling into question distinctions between materiality and representation.
The exhibition has been 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. The work 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.
Cold Light takes a complex stand on how time exists in the brain and the significance of electromagnetism in all things. The works display a desire to edit in the way the brain functions as described in neuroscience. 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.
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.
Seers & Sargent began working together in 2012 when Sargent was commissioned to develop digital animations and publications for Seers. Over the intervening years this continued and developed into a collaborative practice. The artists have developed a language of blending objects, environments, light, sound, VR and CGI to contemplate quantum theory in a search for truths. Their work references human, animal and plant life with an ultimate desire for a new philosophy of metaphysical thought that can chime with the science it evokes.
Cold Light is developed in partnership with Turner Contemporary and E-WERK Luckenwalde.
Materials: building equipment/materials, robotics, projections, VR, MDF and cardboard sculptures, 5.1 surround sound, water pool.
An exhibtion across two rooms – a virtual space (VR) is informed by a physical installation. One modifies the other, embodied and disembodied oscillate in the strange world of Nikola Tesla.