the labauratory!



Synesthesia: A Meditation Installation

Hello again! As I mentioned in my last post, I am very interested in using my visual art to create therapeutic art installations, which I hope to eventually install in hospitals, schools, offices, and clinics for permanent, everyday access to relaxation, rejuvenation, and meditation. I think it would be really beneficial for people to have access to individual sessions accustomed to their needs, but the community experience of relaxation has its perks as well. Connecting with others in a healing space and being reminded that we are all together on this crazy journey of life can be really uplifting and encouraging. For my Personal Projects final presentation, I decided to experiment with the first public exhibit of the therapy, and I titled it “Synesthesia: A Meditation Installation.”

An immersion of sound and visuals in a space designed to induce relaxation, I had everyone come in and sit on pillows or chairs and take a few deep breaths to embark on the journey to a cloud of relaxation. I wanted the music and visuals to wash over them, taking them away from the outside world and giving them a chance to experience truly being in the present moment of healing sensory stimulation.

The first section of the experience soothed the audience with soft ambient music and lots of abstract video of pure light and color motion. This sent them into an ethereal experience beyond the everyday world. The music picked up with some Chinese flute music, and I then took them through a sequence of  relaxation yet energetic harmonium music where microscopic footage showed them the beauty of the world that exists beyond the limits of our senses. Lots of naturally hypnotizing footage of cells going in and out of focus took them to an interesting level of relaxation and concentration. Finally a song combining drums, flute, and more intense melody brought an invigorating burst of energy to uplift them to a state of relaxed rejuventation. The visuals here showed the fusion between the ethereal world ight and microscope and the earthiness of real nature footage. Orchids with projections, various meditative mirror effects, and other footage of leaves and the wind brought them back to the beauty of the earth, but with a new serene awakening.

We planned out the visuals and the music before hand to create a journey, but Elijah mixed the visuals live, layering videos and adding visual effects to them. The experience was beautiful, but next time I hope to screen it in a darker room so that the visuals are more captivating.

Here is a small excerpt of the experience so you can get a glimpse into what I’m talking about!

After the experience, I had everyone fill out a feedback form so I could get a sense of what people want to see and the potentials this project will have as a therapy. Everyone enjoyed it and definitely felt more relaxed, and everyone also believed it should be in hospitals, schools, or clinics! My goal is to get this installation a permanent space in St. Edward’s Health and Counseling Center by the end of next year! For my senior thesis, I will continue working on visuals, music, and decorations to make this space possible. I have been talking to the St. Edward’s Wellness Organization, who want to have more student led events to spread health and wellness, and it seems that they may want Synesthesia to be a frequently ocurring event! =D I will keep everyone updated on how this turns out over the next year.

Love and light,

Aura

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