Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK


Cold Light is a new video installation and virtual reality work by Lindsay Seers & Keith Sargent. Its title draws on historic references to the first electric light bulbs: no longer reliant on fire for illumination, the new electric lights were referred to as ‘Cold Light.’

The exhibition has been shaped by the artists’ research into the life and work of Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) – an inventor, engineer, and futurist whose ideas about using naturally occurring electromagnetic fields to provide energy remain remarkable. Tesla performed scientific experiments theatrically, as a showman, believed in alien life forms and considered himself to be an automaton reacting to internal and external stimuli. Today, he is best known for his contributions to the design of the Alternating Current (AC) electrical system. Cold Light takes its inspiration from Tesla’s visionary revelations in science, his extraordinary consciousness, and his non-normative brain.

Research on these subjects has been sustained over many years and developed through dialogue with scientists 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.