The first time I saw the BRAINLIGHT was at the Powerhouse Museum. There was a long queue of people waiting to try it out. Later, I was very fortunate to meet the artist, Laura Jade, who explained that the BRAINLIGHT was a collaboration between herself, a neuroscientist and a software developer. Using an actual an EEG (electroencephalography) wireless headset, Laura designed the BRAINLIGHT to change color and light intensity in response to the variations in brain activity transmitted by the person wearing the wireless EEG headset.
Two Day Pop-Up Exhibition
Laura recently finished a two-day pop-up exhibition in a vacant shop on Kensington Street, Chippendale. The first night was for the relaunch of the Kensington Street area, which had been extensively renovated. The second night was for the BEAMS festival, which runs for one night in September every year. The BEAMS festival is a multi-disciplinary arts festival which showcases work from the whole spectrum of the arts, with creatives coming together in the hundreds to surge the voltage of ideas and inspiration. Wandering through the art-filled lane ways of Chippendale, audiences experience a night of communal ‘enlightenment’.
To prepare for her pop-up exhibition, Laura posted information to her Facebook page and website, to let people know where she was going to be. She had less than a day to decorate the vacant shop before the opening in the evening, so she hung diaphanous sheets of fabric from the ceiling to fill up the empty space, and then projected light displays and images on the fabric and plain white walls. The BRAINLIGHT took center stage on a podium with a chair for the wearer to sit on.
During the exhibition, Laura posted images and videos on Instagram and YouTube of the light show in the shop and people using the BRAINLIGHT. After the two-day pop-up, she was then able to use images from the space for marketing, including posting the event details on her website. She also received emails and content from people who saw her pop-up shop exhibition.
Move Away from Traditional Model
The traditional sales model for artists has been to use a formal art gallery space for an exhibition of their artwork. The exhibition usually runs for 3 weeks to 1 month, for which they can be charged thousands in rent depending on the art gallery used. The artist is usually required to hold an opening night and to man the event for the term of the show. The art gallery promotes the event to its patrons and the artist then relies on the visitor flow at the art gallery which can be very slow, especially during the week.
Laura is now seeing artists move away from this traditional sales model to self-marketing using a website, social media and pop-up spaces or shops. She believes that selling on multiple platforms, artists have a better chance of reaching audience and clients. The benefit of doing the pop-ups is that she is getting more contacts from people who are interested in her work. It also gives her the opportunity to document her work for use on social media.
To further promote her art work, Laura has used a variety of creative spaces, studio spaces and even warehouses. She is now also targeting science museums, festivals and conferences to display her artwork. She will be heading off to Hong Kong shortly, as she has been invited to bring the BRAINLIGHT to the International Symposium on Electronic Art conference.
Article based on an interview with Laura Jade
Laura Jade is an illumination designer and artist who provides innovative entertainment for events, exhibitions, festivals and conferences with experiential artworks that combine light, art, science and technology