Haroon Mirza, A C I D G E S T, 2017-18.
Electricity comes alive in The Night Journey, a mesmerizing light and sound installation by London-based multimedia artist Haroon Mirza. This site-specific, immersive artwork arises from the artist’s interests in Sufi mysticism, meditation, trance music and other consciousness-altering practices as alternate ways to experience the world.
The Night Journey is based on an Indian miniature painting in the Asian Art Museum collection, The night journey of the Prophet Muhammad on the heavenly creature Buraq (c. 1800). Mirza has converted a pixelated version of this image into a score, or source code, for his custom-built media system. Visitors enter a darkened room, where they are surrounded by vintage speakers that “play” the score as electrical sounds — buzzing, humming, droning, hissing — and corresponding colored LED lights.
By translating an artwork into a score and the score into electrical impulses in the form of sound, light and color, Mirza allows us to hear, see and even feel art in new ways, raising larger questions about our perceptions of the world around us.
(Photograph by Oriol Tarridas.)