Light flickering with the “7.8 (Reduced Reality App)” by Carsten Höller and Acute Art, 2021.
7.8 (Reduced Reality App)
by Carsten Höller
7.8 (Reduced Reality App) is a very recent work by Carsten Höller, a mobile application developed by Acute Art, debuting on DAY, the artist's exhibition at maat, in Lisbon.
Users are able to augment reality (or reduce reality, which seems more apt) by seeing their screens flicker at 7.8 Hz, a frequency that stimulates brain waves and, after a while, induces hallucinations – cf. also works like Light Wall (Outdoor Version), 2021, 7.8 Hz (Vitrine with Golden Fly Agaric Mushrooms), 2019, and Light Corridor, 2016. In addition to the visual modification, the phone’s torchlight goes on and off at 7.8 Hz. The phone also vibrates and makes a clicking stereo sound at this frequency. It is suggested to use the 7.8 app both in the exhibition and outside, also at night or in dark places where the torchlight can interact with the screen image.
7.8 (Reduced Reality App)
Software for download
Courtesy of the artist and Acute Art.
[QR code for download]
1. Scan the QR code to download the app.
2. Scan the QR code again to access the AR experience.
The exhibition meanders around light and darkness through the nude belly of the building, creating a flow of energy that guides the public through a multiplicity of sensorial experiences.
Curated by Vicente Todolí, DAY unfolds across the entire building in an arranged parcours through installations, sculptures and projections that enter in dialogue with the unique spatial character of organic curvatures, narrowed thresholds and differently sized and lit volumes. Devoid of any support structure nor using any inbuilt lighting system, the museum is solely illuminated by the works themselves, leading audiences through a sequence of multi-sensorial experiences of altered perception.
Extending outside-in, the exhibition features Light Wall, erected outdoor. Close to the museum’s entrance, it greets both visitors and passers-by with an array of light bulbs flickering at a mesmerising frequency of 7.8 Hz. Lisbon Dots, presented here for the very first time, installed in the large oval room in the centre of the museum, is an interactive installation made of 20 spotlight projectors that follow visitors’ movements and allow them to play a game with each other.
After earning a PhD in phytopathology with a specialisation in chemical ecology at Kiel University, Germany, from 1993 onwards Carsten Höller devoted himself exclusively to art. Höller applies his training as a scientist to his work as an artist, focusing particularly on the nature of human reasoning and interrelations. Notable installations include “Soma” (2010), a three-dimensional tableau vivant at Hamburger Bahnhof, in Berlin, with reindeer fed with fly agaric mushrooms; “Test Site” (2006), a series of giant slides installed in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall; and “Upside-Down Goggles” (2009–11), an ongoing participatory experiment with vision distortion through goggles. For Höller, the museum can be seen as a space for experimentation and for testing ideas and concepts that can eventually be enacted on a larger scale. “Synchro System”, referring to the synchronisation between viewer and artwork, between human beings and “machine effects”, was conceived by Höller for Fondazione Prada, Milan (2000) and consisted in the realisation of a “village of possibility” composed of psychophysical stimuli and interactive tools. Other major solo exhibitions by Höller include “7,8 Hz”, Le Consortium, Dijon (2004); “Carrousel”, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2008); “Experience”, New Museum, New York (2011); “Doubt”, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan (2016); and “Sunday”, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2019).
Acute Art brings together renowned international artists, new media and technology to produce and exhibit compelling, cutting-edge visual artworks in virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. The list of collaborations includes already names like Marina Abramović, Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Olafur Eliasson, Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Bjarne Melgaard, Jeff Koons, KAWS and more. The artworks are accessible through our creative collaborations with recent exhibitions taking place in Basel, London, Moscow, New York and Venice.
DAY (maat, 05/10/2021 – 28/02/2022) is a monographic exhibition by Carsten Höller, curated by Vicente Todolí, which brings together a vast array of works producing light and darkness, ranging from sculptures with lamps to projections and architecture dating from 1987, when Höller was working as a scientist, until today.