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Carsten Nicolai: alpha pulse

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Carsten Nicolai – α (alpha) pulse

The application α (alpha) pulse is one part of the art project α (alpha) pulse by the internationally renowned artist Carsten Nicolai. This app is essential for the viewer’s participation in the project.

By directing the camera to pulsing light sources the app will allow the user to synchronize in such a way that the screen and the sound of the mobile device will be rhythmically and acoustically in tune.

Once synchronized the user has the option to choose different pulsing light speeds and different acoustic signals. The unlimited amount of user can create a very intense and interesting activity.

Carsten Nicolai’s new audio-visual installation, α (alpha) pulse, will take place during the second edition of our show in Hong Kong. Each night from May 15 to May 17, 2014, α (alpha) pulse generates a light pattern that will pulsate in a synchronized frequency across the entire façade of Hong Kong’s iconic 490 meter high International Commerce Centre (ICC) on the Kowloon harbor front.

α (alpha) pulse is an experimental construction that looks at the effects of audiovisual stimulation on the human perception. In accordance with scientific research, α (alpha) pulse is based on the principles of neural feedback on pulsating light sources. The work presents an experiential set-up that explores the effects that the light impulses might have on the mood, relaxation, attention, and creativity of viewers.

Visible from numerous locations across Hong Kong and accessible via the app, α (alpha) pulse can be experienced by people all over the city. Designed by Nicolai, the app will provide the audio for the installation and respond to the light display on the ICC, adding another layer to the installation.

α (alpha) pulse is commissioned and organized by Art Basel. For more information on the project, please visit