screen utopia

Festival Dystopie - Berlin - 2020

“Screen Utopia” is a participatory installation that combines cellphones and multiple screens stacked-up to form a colored luminous wall. It explores the color light flow emitted by the screens as raw material to produce sound. 

Inspired by the festival name, the installation articulates two levels of dystopia. First, as a claustrophobic spatial experience. Second, as a catalyst for paradoxical sensorial experience: “see with ears” and “hear with eyes.” The dystopian spatial experience stands in contrast to the inaccessible utopian place. Utopia is there, in the future, out of sight, beyond the line of  the horizon, where sunlight comes from. Dystopia is here, in the present, right in front of your eyes, where the screens form a vertical, dazzling wall, that feigns to lift the darkness.

Audiovisual installation with screen wall, subwoofer, and participation with cellphones. Festival Dystopie, Berlin, [email protected] Giusti

The reversal of sensorial experience is generated by two processes. On one side, the sound waves operate the color features on the screens; on the other side, the color signal is converted back to low frequencies. The monochromatic signal on all the screens is identical, but the slow color flow and the material differences between the monitors produce subtle color variations. The light that fills the room is transformed into body frequencies.

Perhaps it is our archaic fascination for light that has lead us to the era of “Screen Utopia”, heralding a flatter, listless, and dystopian world.