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September 30, 2005

The Spectrascope


Haunted Pixels

Spectrascope, by Susan Collins, collects an image via a camera at the rate of one pixel a second from a haunted manor house - South Hill Park in Berkshire, England - and transmits it to the exhibition in Manchester, via the Internet, where it is projected onto a 6 ft screen. The image works its way across the room from top left to bottom right in vertical lines. At a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels each complete image represents the previous 21.33 hours of time and is updated continuously, with peculiar changes in light and fluctuations and inevitable 'ghosts in the machine' creating a sense of suspense.

The Spectrascope also introduces the 'fear frequency' to the gallery. This audio frequency of 19hz is just below the range of normal hearing, but it has been linked to distorted vision (including spectral images), discomfort, and "irrational" fear and has been found to be present at sites of "haunted locations". Introducing this frequency to the gallery invites the viewer to question whether the frequency itself is creating the disturbance or whether the site of haunting is creating the frequency.

The installation explores how images can be coded and decoded using both light and time as building blocks for the work. In the Spectrascope time is counted across the room from top left to bottom right in vertical lines.

The installation is part of the StoryRoom exhibition. 11 October 2005 - 15 January 2006 at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, UK. [blogged by Regine on we-make-money-not]

Posted by jo at September 30, 2005 12:41 PM