From Dark Comes Light

From Dark Comes Light from Alan Gleeson on Vimeo.

From Dark Comes Light is a sound and visual installation that I recently exhibited in Berlin. It metaphorically explores the sound of the universe that is hidden but omnipresent.

A hypothetical situation based on an imagined possibility, manipulated to show the truth but presented as a lie that no one has ever experienced but knows exists.

A satellite reaching out, what a wonder to journey to who knows where, who knows care, does anyone care, is anyone there.

Everywhere is nowhere, as it is nowhere we have been but would like to go, isolation brings wonder, our ear lids are wide.

Before the bang it was black, then it was white, and so it remains, though energy fades, it still abounds, and still delights and conveys much.

An imaginary telephone line, stretching across the cosmos, travelling where no ear has ventured, probing the unknown past and future. This crude apparatus, prone to interference and distortion still conveys the sense of isolation and wonder from those places we have yet to set our eyes on. In the beginning was silence then there was not. Ever since waves of energy have been travelling out, they are the great explorers and their urge to travel faster and farther knows no bounds.

Since the beginning of telecommunications electromagnetic interference has been an issue. Technology has come a long way since the telephone. At the time the interference heard through the phone: hiss, crackles and pops was deemed to be part of the system, a limitation or flaw within the technology. While some of this was true the real source of this noise had a far more cosmic origin. The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is a remnant of the Big Bang and when not properly protected it interferes with anything that transmits electricity. Like other types of hidden energy in the universe different objects have different electromagnetic signatures, from celestial bodies to man made technology. When analogue phones were still in use everyone was familiar with the omnipresent background noise. With digital technology this has been all but eliminated. This ability to hear the cosmos has been exploited through the use of radio telescopes which allow us to hear across the universe and follow the path of the earliest energy from the Big Bang. Along the way many other sonic encounters have been made by close encounters with planets, stars, and other bodies. Listening out across the universe, space shrinks, the vastness of the distances our ear travels on these ripples of space and time gives us a glimpse into a world we do not know or fully comprehend yet.

The visual component to this installation was originally programmed by Adam Schabtach.

In September 2015 I took part with this piece in the group exhibition Imaginary Reefs at GlogauAIR artist residency in Berlin. The event was curated by Ana Sanfrutos and Lorena Juan. The following text from Ana Sanfrutos explains the concept behind the exhibition.

The metaphor alone furnishes an escape; between the real things, it lets emerge imaginary reefs, a crop of floating islands.”
Jose Ortega y Gasset, The Dehumanization of Art and Ideas about the Novel

According to Ortega’s theory, the metaphor is born in the human instinct to avoid realities. Could this instinct also be considered the motor of contemporary art? A motor that is refuelled with the creative power of symbols and visual allegories. In Imaginary Reefs, we will address the power of the metaphor in order to construct yet another layer of invented reality.

Through this furnished escape, our aim is to construct an analogy that describes the metaphor itself and allows us to pay homage and interpret the real world. During this transdisciplinary artistic project, we will freely drift towards the imaginary reefs and create beyond. (Sanfrutos, 2015)

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