Parasolstice Winter Light 2012 – Shezad Dawood

5 December 2012 - 23 February 2013

For the ongoing project, Parasolstice – Winter Light series, Parasol unit invites a different artist each year to create a work that explores the phenomenon of light. The work is exhibited on the foundation’s outdoor space throughout the winter months. In 2012, British artist Shezad Dawood will exhibit his immersive, sculptural light piece the New Dream Machine Project, and will create the new film, New Dream Machine Project II, commissioned to accompany this sensory work.

The ‘New Dream Machine Project’ is part of an evolving body of work that explores the relationship between Beat culture and Middle-Eastern artistic traditions, and their legacy today. Dawood’s New Dream Machine Project, a 3-metre-tall spinning steel sculpture, is a reworking of the original Dream Machine created in 1959 by artist Brion Gysin and scientist Ian Sommerville. Best experienced close-up with eyes closed, participants feel an increasingly bright and complex pattern of colour as the pierced steel cylinder spins around tubes of variously coloured light. As the swirling pattern of shapes speeds up, the viewer feels surrounded by colour. The revolutions emit light at a frequency that corresponds to the alpha waves and electrical oscillations normally present in the human brain in a relaxed state, causing visual stimuli that can become a hypnotic experience. Dawood’s New Dream Machine Project, an interactive piece with an imposing physical presence, draws attention to how science, art and mysticism have come together, and the surprising technological innovations that can result.

To enhance and complete the effects of the New Dream Machine Project, Shezad Dawood will stage a live improvised performance event that will form the basis of his new film New Dream Machine Project II. Commissioned by Parasol unit for Parasolstice 2012, New Dream Machine Project II is intended to move the project away from its original location (Tangiers, where the first film was staged), and is the second instalment of what is to be a trilogy of films, each mimetically documenting a unique improvised musical performance. Enacting new juxtapositions and interventions through their response to the New Dream Machine Project light sculpture, New Dream Machine Project II will incorporate the experimental music of international duo Praed.

About the performers: Formed in 2006 by Swiss musician Paed Conca and Lebanese artist/musician Raed Yassin, the Praed duo experiments with a complex and vast terrain of sonic/musical influences and geographies. Collaborating with Praed will be the Paris-based soprano and sax player Stephane Rives and electric guitar player Sharif Sehnaoui.