martin kaulen

Escuela del fosfeno
Registro hablado
By sound – Cologne
By sound – Paris
Les chutes du temps
Paisaje microscópico
Cool coco gallery


Escuela del fosfeno, 2022
Interactive installation
Espai Souvenir
Barcelona, Spain

Device (stepper motor, arduino, motor controller, wood, metal, cardboard, lamp, 400w lamp, suitcase, cable, stands); installation (recycled linen, foam, carpet, wood, brick, marker pens, acetate); sound (analog synthesizer, amplifier, surface transducer, cable); sculptures (carrara marble, alabaster, led light); stool

The light device installed in the room projects a flickering light at a speed of 10 flashes per second, inducing Alpha waves in the brain and the perception of visual hallucinations called phosphenes. This procedure, investigated by modern science since the beginning of the 19th century, entered artistic practice in the 1960s with the artwork-device called Dreamachine made by Brion Gysin and Ian Sommerville.

The exhibition is intended as a space for experimentation and exchange, proposing that the visions of people are drawn directly on the walls of the gallery. On the other hand, feedback is collected from some spectators, to determine the most recurrent colors and geometric patterns. Lastly, there are drawing, sound experimentation and phosphenic writing workshops (by Almendra Benavente), in which individual experiences are expressed through art, music and writing.

The name of the exhibition raises the idea of a school, being the phosphenes the ones that teach an inner dimension in each one of us. The experience of this non-ordinary state of consciousness is proposed as a type of knowledge, susceptible of being apprehended and transmitted, making possible the (self-)education around a mental state that is not specifically governed by rational intelligence, but rather by a visual-spatial and personal symbolic interpretation. It seeks to value certain forms of knowledge, such as shamanism or religious ecstasies, rediscovering human faculties that have been diminished and denied since modernity in the West.