The Octave of Visible Light: A Meditation Nightclub

The Octave of Visible Light: A Meditation Nightclub , 2015 .  Participatory installation and performance. Presented by Art Production Fund at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Photo credit: Samuel Cox.

The Octave of Visible Light: A Meditation Nightclub, 2015. Participatory installation and performance. Presented by Art Production Fund at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Photo credit: Samuel Cox.

Hailed by the New York Times as "mesmerizing" and PSFK as "engulfing and eternal," this work addresses the contemporary struggle to calm the manic mental landscape while remaining engaged with one's surroundings. 

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, in partnership with Art Production Fund, is pleased to announce artist-in-residence Lia Chavez who will create a pop-up nightclub in P3Studio. Combining performance art, neuroscience and technological invention, The Octave of Visible Light: A Meditation Nightclub invites participants to explore the wondrous nature of oscillatory resonance throughout the universe.

Chavez is known for work that probes the rich and mysterious relationship between light and consciousness. For The Octave of Visible Light, she has invented a revolutionary digital-neurology system in collaboration with the creative technology company rehabstudio, which allows participants to observe the relationship between their brainwave oscillations and corresponding frequencies in both light and sound. Brainwaves are harnessed to orchestrate an immersive atmosphere of luminous chromatics and sonic resonance that are intended to induce transcendental sensations.

In conceiving the work, Chavez has drawn upon a rich theoretical universe, including  Sir Isaac Newton’s synesthetic theories of concurrent frequencies, discoveries of physicist Winfried Otto Schumann, and the field of bio-resonance frequency therapy. The immersive experience is designed to produce a profound synchronization of the brain’s right and left hemispheres; featuring pre-recorded vocals by Au Revoir Simone front woman Erika Spring, low frequency sonic waveforms are noninvasively delivered to the body of the viewer. 

Guests are invited to wear an EEG headset as Chavez guides them through a meditation session. The headset reads their brainwaves and, via bluetooth, transmits a custom-coded signal to the audio visual system. The signal’s frequency and strength mirrors the participant’s brainwave activity, which is reflected in the intensity and register of the color and sound emitted by the system. As a result, each audio-visual ‘set’ is unique to the person wearing the headset. The deeper the meditation, the more fully the viewer is able to traverse the spectrum of visible light and sound. 

By creating carefully choreographed correlations between neurobiological, sonic, and visual resonances, The Octave of Visible Light generates real time feedback for the participant to observe and reciprocate. Light and sound are guides to ecstatic states of meditative intensity, thus empowering the viewer to explore the role consciousness can play in sculpting and stabilizing our bodies and environment.

The artist-in-residence program at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas represents one component of its larger art program, in which artists create projects that are interactive and participatory, giving guests the opportunity to connect at an authentic and personal level. Developed and curated in partnership with Art Production Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to producing ambitious public art projects, it strives to reach new audiences and expand awareness through contemporary art.

Artistic Director and Performer: Lia Chavez
Producer and Curator: Art Production Fund
Presenter: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Code and Hardware Developers: Samuel Cox and rehabstudio
Neuroscience Consultants: Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharya and Dr. Caroline Di Bernardi Luft
Research Funding Bodies: Creativity Enhancement through Advanced Brain Mapping and Stimulation (CREAM) and Seventh Framework Programme
Vocalist: Erika Spring
Curatorial Consultant: Tali Wertheimer
Composer: Andrew Gaskins
Production Assistant: Audrey Barcio