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Marcos Lutyens's video installation currently on show at Piccadilly Circus
Color Therapy, London.

LONDON.- Artist Marcos Lutyens’s Colour Therapy is a synaesthetic data project launched in six cities worldwide — Amsterdam, London, Milan, New York, Singapore and Toronto — and on show between now and December 31, 2014. A video installation on giant electronic billboards, this has been commissioned by Samsung.

Lutyens, a renowned intermedia artist based in Los Angeles, will also hold a performance from 8.30pm to 10pm in London’s Piccadilly Circus on September 12, 2014. This will involve an instantaneous gathering with 40 participants carrying umbrellas which will be electronically choreographed to respond to the ‘emotion-colour’ of passers-by, and will tie into the large-screen video installation.

If you’ve ever felt blue, seen red or been tickled pink, you know that colour is closely linked to our emotions. Lutyens wants to explore this with his series of interactive billboards that change colour as they react to the weather.

Each city has its own motif: the Milan billboard features shattered glass, Singapore’s is smoke, New York’s creates images from ink, Toronto’s uses bubble geometries, London’s theme is drops and Amsterdam is centred on paint.

Lutyens’s abstract images are accompanied by music by Oscar-winning composer Yuval Ron. The images change colour and shape in 900 ways as they respond to the humidity, wind and temperature of the city. Luckily for those of us in rainy climates, the colours contrast with the weather. On cold, wet days the billboards have warm tones and on sunny days they display cool colours. Similarly, the pace of the music speeds up or slows down in an inverse relationship with the pace of the city.

Lutyens says: ‘The project seeks to engage with passers-by as visuals evolve and morph to counterbalance each city’s current conditions. The installations’ colours counter the weather conditions, creating emotional warmth when it’s cold, wet or windy, and a feeling of calm and being refreshed when it’s hot, dry or still.’

The project aims to demonstrate the power of colour on the thousands of people who move through the heart of each city every day. The displays have been designed to have a positive impact on passers-by, lifting their mood through colour alone.

What’s more, Lutyens believes: ‘When one experiences colour on a purely emotional level, unfiltered and instinctually, it is as if one were actually seeing a completely new range of colours. There is also the tendency for colours to overlap with other sensory areas in the mind and create a synaesthetic awareness, where colour, sound, smell and other senses cross over.’

Colour Therapy is part of Lutyens’s ongoing exploration of synaesthesia and neuroscientific research. As well as showing his projects in public arenas such as Piccadilly Circus and Times Square, Lutyens has exhibited at such prestigious venues as Documenta, the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Royal Academy of Arts. He is currently preparing a large-scale installation for next year’s Istanbul Biennial.

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Marcos Lutyens's video installation currently on show at Piccadilly Circus

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