Future Signals

Future Signals 1.jpg

A morse code conversation between the University of Kent and the city of Canterbury, led by Canterbury Cathedral, using dazzling beams of light from signal lamps. We made the piece with The International Festival of Projections (which Jess curated). In concluded with a performance of Yoko Ono’s ONOCHORD.

 In celebration of the University’s 50th Anniversary, Future Signals looked to the next 50 years, with individuals transmitting a 5 word hope, wish or aspiration for the next half century: their projections for the future, encoded into a pulse of light.

 People within the City were then invited to respond to the messages by turning their lights on and off manually three times (.-.), to signal “R” (or, received as transmitted). The City’s response was visually conducted by the Cathedral, who hosted a signal lamp on their grounds. The whole city was invited to join the conversation by simply switching on and off a light: children flashing their bedside lamps, individuals with torches pointing out of their windows, friends with phones pointed skywards.

 At the same time as the morse code messages flashed accross the dark sky, we transmitted the messages via FM radio (listen here). Messages were written by a variety of people including Hilary Lister (a record-breaking quadriplegic sailor), Gemma Cairney (Radio 1 DJ), Professor Peter Stanfield, Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, The Dean of Canterbury (The Very Revd Dr Robert Willis) and, of course Yoko Ono. Future Signals closed with Yoko Ono’s ONOCHORD, with everyone invited to signal “I LOVE YOU”, by fllashing their lights once, twice, three, times.