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Installation: "Suggestion" audiovisual performance by the Altered States Collective, 2019

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

The Altered States Collective (the Collective) formed in 2018 “for thinkers, dreamers and makers” grappling with the subject of altered states of consciousness (ASCs).

Collective members come together with their individual practices under the label of the Collective with the following aims:

- Amplification of current understanding of ASCs and their impact on the individual and society

- Collaboration between members and other organisations to produce varied responses from audiences to experiences

- Enhancement of creative tools used in the process of individual or collective creative thinking and practice

During 2019 the Collective organised several meet-ups at talks and exhibitions relating to ASCs. In March 2019 we created the audiovisual performance Suggestion presented to students of the Birkbeck School of Arts.


Audiovisual performance, Iron, wood, PEVA, video 10m08s

Birkbeck, University of London, 2019


- Mahdi Nasser - Concept, logistics, music production, sound

- Charlie Davidson (Al Shep) - materials. design, construction

- Danielle Jacques - video, projection

Suggestion was created as a research piece to look at how immersive experiences can promote autosuggestion in the participant. The work was created to promote awareness of how capitalism and mass production have been destroying the planet

through climate change and mass extinction. The performance was repeated to permit a solitary experience of the work for each participant.

Given the environmental focus of the work using sustainable materials was important. The iron tubing and wood were salvaged whilst the projection screens were made of biodegradable plastic.

Rough sketch of installation design, 2019
Rough sketch of installation design, 2019

Rough sketch of installation design, 2019

Collaborative sketch by the Collective. For the final design iron tubing was welded together to support the PEVA screens and roof. Timber was drilled into the stainless steel tubing so the screens could be attached.

Three projectors were placed outside of each screen. Music was played through a Bluetooth speaker placed on the roof.

Building of installation base in progress, 2019
Building of installation base in progress, 2019

Building of installation base in progress, 2019

Salvaged packing crates were used to create the base of the installation

and step.

Suggestion audio track

Audio track was made entirely using the Korg Monologue synthesiser. A never ending pulse was layered with two wave oscillators. The aim was to create an intense, oppressive textures reminiscent of signal generators.

Participant survey

Primary research was collated through the participants completing a written survey immediately after the performance. Survey results will inform future projects.


Experimenting with projecting onto PEVA

I was responsible for sourcing appropriate material for the projection screens. These were made from PEVA, a biodegradable plastic.

Still from final video for projection, 2019

I filmed black ink moving through water, creating visual reference to oil spills. Ink film colours were animated in After Effects using the bass and treble of the audio track. Several experimental videos were made and shared with Collective members for discussion. The slow diffusion of ink acted as a seductive contrast to the intensity of the audio.


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