Thursday 8th June

10.30 – 3.00


Official Festival After-Party

Altered States is a project that has been in the making for some time now. It all started with Sound in Z, an singularly amazing book that tells the story of Russian pioneers in music/ film technology in the 1920s. Many of their inventions and ideas explored the possibilities of induced synaesthesia, sensory art as way to transform society, and trans-coding between light and sound.

In between the lines of Sound in Z, it’s evident the Russians were trying to put into practice ideas thinkers like William James and Gustav Fechner had coined some decades earlier, while their weird machines and multi-media performances are reminiscent of the raves and clubs of the mid-nineties. Could it be that these post-revolutionary Russians were really proto-ravers, and that electronic dance culture is in fact an instant of Fechner’s pan-psychism?

To try and answer these questions, Altered States is an experimental installation that cross-connect the parts that make up a club night. Space, crowd, music and lights are all part of a feedback loop that runs as follows:

Triggered by the DJ/ performer, sounds are sent through an assault course of filters and modulation sources, operated by the crowd through glow-stick-inter-action (or any light you can get your hands on) with an array of light sensors suspended above the dancefloor. The lighting rig is plugged straight into the music and as such not just reacts to it, but is it; the light is generated by exactly the same voltages that drive the sound system. So, any modulation of the sound is a modulation of the lighting rig as well; all at the crowd’s (your) finger tips.

Beyond beaming your movements into space as an ever changing light-made-of-sound, the lighting rig is looking at itself and can be tipped over into a visual feedback loop, a fuzzy projection of the physical edges of Corsica Studios driven and modulated by the throbbing music and crowd.

In direct relation to the intensity of the music and movement, the sound waves that reflect off -and resonate through the architecture of Corsica Studios are scaled up to reveal how they inter-act with physical space.

The title Altered States alludes to the transfiguration of one medium into another, sound-into-light, light-into-space, space-into-light and so on.

The pro-active insertion of one’s body into these transfigurations however, may bring about an altered state of consciousness, a mental collapsing of the distance that separates our senses. In doing so, might we just collapse the furthest reach we know of, the distance between our minds?


About Corsica Studios

Corsica Studios is an independent arts organisation that sets up and develops creative spaces in areas of London. We are located in two railway arches immediately behind the shopping centre in the Elephant and Castle.

Corsica Studios is divided into two spaces – the live music and bar area and a second, smaller studio next door. There is also a large terrace and smoking area to the rear of the space that is completely self-contained.

More Info