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Cold Light – new exhibition at E-WERK Luckenwalde by Lindsay Seers & Keith Sargent in collaboration with Performance Electrics exploring the life and work of Nikola Tesla

Cold Light – new exhibition at E-WERK Luckenwalde by Lindsay Seers & Keith Sargent in collaboration with Performance Electrics exploring the life and work of Nikola Tesla

E-WERK Luckenwalde announce Cold Light – a new video installation and virtual reality work by Lindsay Seers & Keith Sargent in collaboration with Performance Electrics (Pablo Wendel, artist and Co-Director, E-WERK Luckenwalde).

The exhibition will span two of E-WERK largest indoor spaces and has been shaped by the artists’ research into the life and work of Nikola Tesla, the title drawing on historic references to the first electric lights; no longer reliant on fire for illumination, the new electric light bulbs were referred to as ‘Cold Light’. It is the first time Wendel will collaborate with Seers and Sargent and this will be the biggest presentation of work by Seers and Sargent in Germany to date. Seers & Sargent blend objects, environments, light, sound, VR and CGI to contemplate scientific theories related to consciousness in a search for truths. They will work alongside Wendel who will elucidate the mysterious, occultish and ephemeral character of electricity, paying homage to Tesla’s most ambitious project the #Wardenclyffe Tower, a wireless energy transmitter.

The immersive exhibition, composed of robots, virtual reality, an encompassing sound installation based on the sound of electricity and drawing on Tesla’s love of pigeons a homing pigeon intervention will take over E-WERK’s Turbine Hall and Engine Room this Autumn, opening on 17 September (press preview 16 September) to coincide with Berlin Art Week from 14 – 18 September 2022

Tesla was an inventor, engineer and futurist who performed scientific experiments theatrically, as a showman. He is best known for his contributions to the design of the Alternating Current electrical system. The works presented in Cold Light take inspiration from Tesla’s visionary revelations in science, his extraordinary consciousness and his non-normative brain. He considered himself to be an automaton reacting to internal and external stimuli.

Cold Light takes a complex stand on how time exists in the human brain and the significance of electromagnetism in all things. The works display a desire to edit the films in the way the brain functions as described in neuroscience (a fragmentation of persistent thoughts and changing states). There is an intensity in the unfolding of the work that specifically relates to a neurodivergent state of consciousness – in this case autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Tesla perhaps would perhaps have been diagnosed with these conditions.

Research on these subjects has been sustained over many years and developed through dialogues with scientists including Chris Frith, FRS FBA, professor emeritus at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London; Anil Seth, professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex; Paul Fletcher, Bernard Wolfe Professor of Health Neuroscience, University of Cambridge; and science writer Philip Ba

About the artists

Founded by German artist Pablo Wendel in 2012, Performance Electrics gGmbH is a not-for-profit art project and Kunststrom energy provider. As the only energy provider worldwide to produce and supply Kunststrom; an original type of renewable energy generated through contemporary art, Performance Electrics has a client network of museums, institutions and private households. Performance Electrics reinvests 100% of its profit into culture and Kunststrom technology at E-WERK Luckenwalde. In 2022 Performance Electrics celebrates a 10 year anniversary.

Pablo Wendel is also currently working on SUPER DUTY, which deals with our current and future challenges of mobility. Performance Electrics has converted a former petrol-driven 1969 fire engine into a 100% CO2 neutral vehicle. SUPER DUTY is based on a pyrolysis process, whereby wood gas is generated from wood residues in the reformer, which powers the existing combustion engine in the vehicle. This transformation ultimately means SUPER DUTY is able to drive without fossil fuels.

Lindsay Seers works in London and lives on the Isle of Sheppey. She studied Sculpture and Media at the Slade School of Fine Art, and MA Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London, where she now works as a lecturer on the MA Fine Art programme. She is best known for her video installations and the hundreds of images she has produced using her own body as a camera. These works explore complex ideas and situations through elliptical narratives that are shaped by an evolving set of connections and coincidences that the act of making evokes.

Her works are held in a number of collections around the world including Tate, Arts Council Collection and the collection of the Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania. She has won several prestigious grants and awards and her large-scale artworks have been exhibited internationally at a number of museums, arts centres and festivals including Sharjah Art Foundation (2020), John Hansard Gallery, Southampton (2020), Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2020), Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea (2018), the MAC, Belfast (2018), Whitechapel Gallery, London (2018), Hayward Gallery, London (2014), and Turner Contemporary, Margate (2012).

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Keith Sargent lives and works on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent. He studied at Bath Academy of Art (1986) and at the Royal College of Art (1988). He is an artist, filmmaker, graphic designer and educator.

His films have won awards internationally: Award winner (Experimental), L’Age d’Or International Arthouse Film Festival, Kolkata, India. 2020, Award winner (Best Director), Luis Bunuel film festival, Mumbai, India. 2021. Award winner, Best VR/360 film, L’Age d’Or International Arthouse Film Festival, Kolkata, India. 2020. Award winner (Short film), L’Age d’Or International Arthouse Film Festival, Kolkata, India. 2020. Award winner, 1st Monthly film festival, Belgrade, Serbia, 2022. Award Winner, la Punta della lingua (La Poesia che si vede è poesia), the Franco Scataglini international poetry film award, Ancona, Italy, 2022. Honorable mention, Heart of Europe Film Festival, Kosice, Slovakia, 2022.

Award winner, Best VR/360 film, Barcelona Planet Film Festival, Barcelona, Spain. 2020, Award winner (best short film), Wildsounds Film Festival, Los Angeles, USA. 2021, Award winner (best animation), Eastern Europe Film Festival, Romania. 2021.

His films have been shown at Vienna Science Film Festival, Vienna, Austria. 2020, Aesthetica Film Festival, York, UK. 2020, FIVARS – Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality Stories, Toronto, Canada. 2020, The International 3D-stereo Film Festival, Moscow, Russia. 2020, Semi-finalist, Blackbird film festival, New York, USA. 2021, Global lift-off festival extravaganza, Pinewood, London. 2021, Human Rights Film Network, Dox: Prague, Czech Republic. 2021, Global lift-off festival, Berlin, Germany. 2021, Anifilm, Liberec, Czech Republic. 2021, Mumbai International Film Awards, Mumbai, India. 2021, G independent Film festival, Melbourne, Australia. 2021, Sweden film awards, Lulea, Sweden, and many more. Seers & Sargent have shown internationally including inNowhere Less Now3 [flying saucer], Sharjah Art Foundation (2020); Care(less), Fabrica, Brighton (2019), Care(less), frequency festival, Lincoln Castle, Lincoln (2020), Care(less), Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2020); Care(less), Bath Alumni, Bath Spa University, Bath (2020); Plicnik Space Initiative online virtual space show, film Anomaly 4 for one year, Earth(2020–2021), Vanishing Twin (Tetragametic Chimerism), Fotogalleriet, Oslo (2019); 2052 Selves [a biography], Knole House, UK (2018).

Seers & Sargent began working together in 2012 when Sargent was commissioned to develop digital animations and publications for Seers. Over the intervening years this continued and developed into a collaborative practice. The artists have developed a language of blending objects, environments, light, sound, VR and CGI to contemplate quantum theory in a search for truths. Their work references human, animal and plant life with an ultimate desire for a new philosophy of metaphysical thought that can chime with the science it evokes.