With social distancing still in place and tensions continuing to rise, artist Marcus Lyall has designed an interactive public artwork to provide a place for cathartic release. In this new site-specific work, Lyall invites you to join a Zoom call where you can scream, yell, shout or otherwise vocalise your feelings. In real time, you’ll watch as your outburst is used to power a unique, large-scale light show installed at a vacant office block in London.

So, how does it work? Scream The House Down uses thousands of low-energy LED bulbs to transform a soon-to-be-demolished building into a spectacle of colour, light and human emotion. The installation is programmed to respond to the volume, pitch and length of an audio message, which you can submit by joining the project’s designated Zoom call. Once you’ve been admitted to the room, each participant is allowed 20 seconds to vent their anger and anxieties, and to watch the building illuminate on a live feed. Every voice and scream is interpreted differently, creating a unique response for each guest.


A BIG, COLOURFUL OBJECT TO YELL AT

The idea is simple, but powerful and intuitive. With so many of us struggling under the stresses of lockdown — not to mention the social justice crisis we find ourselves in — we need art that offers both an escape and a sense of connection. Speaking about the project, Marcus Lyall, who is the experience designer behind some of the most remarkable audiovisual shows of our time, explains that he was inspired by the idea of ‘scream therapy’. He says: “I created the artwork as a place to direct your frustrations and tensions, without judgment and without affecting the people around you. I’ve used a building as a canvas to give those feelings a sense of scale.” 

The installation will run until July 4th 2020, and can be viewed from the street between 8.30pm-12.30am every day from Tuesday to Saturday. To participate, you can use any device that supports the Zoom app or send a short video of yourself to screams@screamthehousedown.com. The team will play all submissions on the building and post a Youtube link each day.

The project was produced by not-for-profit arts organisation Illuminate Productions, in partnership with New Art Projects and Nursery Theatre

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