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The Psychotropic House


Emerging art collective Cross Arts Projects (XAP) experimental project The Psychotropic House, is an interactive and multi-sensory art installation, inspired by the dystopian vision of J.G. Ballard’s short story, The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista. The bizarre and playful Psychotropic House combines traditional art media with interactive technology to create the interior of a house that responds to your presence. Come on in and explore!

A Responsive Lounge reacts to touch; audio installations create sound-showers of half heard voices and birds in the Whispering Gallery and the Screaming Attic. Drifting walls of fine material make barriers insubstantial; a projected Stairwell burrows into the floor; research is happening in the Study; a Control and Interpretation Hub reveals the mood of the House; a Rowlux painting reflects and warps its image; Living Wallpaper struggles for life; the Ocean is reduced to a few drops; bundles of electric cable burst through the wall; 2D paintings become mobile in live painting performances.

The multi-sensory installations invite engagement. There is no barrier between the artworks and the audience, most of the works may be touched, XAP explore the psychology of space, how we are influenced by art and technology, and how we affect the spaces we inhabit.

A programme of supporting events ran alongside the exhibition.

A Symposium with guest academic speakers debated issues that have inspired the installation. Dean Kenning, artist and writer, will look at the metaphor of the house, and dreams of houses, in psychoanalysis. Meriel Jeater, Curator at the Museum of London, spoke on aspects of domestic archaeological finds, traces of belief, including spirits and votive offerings, disaster and refuse. Sheep Dalton, lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture and member of the Pervasive Computing Lab at the Open University, will discuss pervasive technologies in architecture. Jeremy Millar is an artist and tutor at the Royal College of Art, London. His interests in contemporary criticism, the notion of ‘place’ and J.G. Ballard will be reflected in his presentation to the Symposium.

XAP are committed to making art accessible to all and work with a visual impairment adviser, John Thomas, a Trustee of VocalEyes, and a former member of the Arts Council’s Independent Disability Equality Advisory Group.

XAP have been successfully collaborating on projects for over five years. They inspire and engage audiences, producing exciting outcomes with interactive digital media, video, sound, performance, painting and printing.

Earlier Event: November 7
Dream Nation
Later Event: February 17
YMV