Kinetic Light Drums on Governors Island NYC





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Published on Jul 30, 2010

Thanks to everyone that came down and played light drums in the magazine! This performance is incredible and truly lived up to the NYT press release:

Jenn Figg and Matthew McCormack are preparing their kinetic light drum sculptures for performances on Governors Island this July 23 - 25, 2010. Their performance installation, titled Kinetic Light Drums, is part of a larger investigation of energy transformation and public interaction.

The light drum performance will reverberate the old gunpowder storage magazine in historic Fort Jay on Governors Island. The island is a former military base now managed by the Governor's Island Preservation and Education Corporation. Within sight of Jersey City, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, the island landscape is undergoing rapid change as the large open spaces are challenged by the demand for commercial development and cultural enhancements. The cool darkness of the restored magazine will explode with human generated light and sound. The audience will be invited to become performers alongside local percussionists. The performance of this work in Fort Jay is a way for us to reclaim and appropriate a space that has been off limits to civilians.

Kinetic Light Drums works on a principle of biorhythms. The light created within the instrument is organic and dynamic, rather than the mechanized strobes of police lights and the television. While referencing these pulsing lights, they are intended to disrupt and unwind the catatonic effects of the stupefying, hypnotic, and poisonous light vibrations prevalent in our everyday experience.

The drums are self-contained, fully functional and user powered. The work is activated and illuminated with direct human interaction. For instance, when the instrument is drummed upon, the ultra-sensitive speaker converts sound energy into light through 8-10 ultra bright LED's, which are diffused into custom enclosures. As the drum is played, the light reflects and diffuses through the instrument body, going out into space to bounce off walls and the audience.

Kinetic Light Drums affirms our power and ability to guide civic development towards a culturally vibrant and sustainable future.

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