University of Cambridge Contemporary Research Group

Month: January 2016


Lichen Beacons is a collaborative installation by Tom Hall, Drew Milne and Barry Byford involving slow immersive portable sound, images and poetry. It was first shown in the UK as Lichen Ohms Seriatim in Corpus Christi College Chapel in October, as part of the 2015 Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

Music, Composition & Sound: Tom Hall
Image, Text & Voice: Drew Milne
Raspberry Pi Code: Barry Byford


Lichens, poetics and the digital environment

Lichens have for some time been recognised as pollution monitors, and as beacons of environmental health. Digital photography and the ability to look at lichens on digital screens have transformed the awareness and representation of lichens. The 2015 Cambridge Festival of Ideas focused on art, power and resistance, providing a context for this installation. The world of lichens offers multiple resistances to human perceptions and aesthetics, suggesting different modalities of time, and a slower, calmer sense of sound and motion. Lichen Ohms Seriatim offered a site-responsive installation involving spoken word texts, music, and photographs conveyed through a dialogue between Bluetooth beacons and Raspberry Pis with screens and headphones.


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