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Assume Vivid Cathedral Psychedelia

By Rhizome

An architectonic conduit between the world below and the heavens above, the cathedral has been a spiritual beacon for Christians since the early Middle Ages. Tapping into this mystical energy, Haque Design + Research's 'Evoke' is one of the more stimulating projects in the 2007 Illuminating York, a luminous festival of site specific artworks and performances in the English city. Usman Haque, who is responsible for some of the most innovative projects within interactive architecture, has projected a massive 80,000-lumen animation onto the York Minster Cathedral. Comparing the magical effect to a Psilocybin-induced experience would be understandable, though also reductive as the work is much more than a light show. Created and affected by the viewers, the patterns of the animation are 'generated in realtime by the words, sounds, music, and noises produced collectively by the public, determined by their particular voice characteristics.' Individuals with different vocal rhythms and tones will 'evoke' different transcendental visions. In this outwardly humble project, Haque has ultimately fulfilled the best promises of both the psychedelic era and religion by assembling a collective vision that cherishes the infinite differences of those involved. - David Michael Perez

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