Artist Sophie Usunier collaborates with C41 magazine in a unique short film communicating through light
The project #TalkingToTheUniverse by artist Sophie Usunier feels like a game, as often happens in the world of art. Sophie invites us to transform our words into light, and the houses we live into displays open to the street. It doesn’t take much: a lamp and Morse code.
Light, which embodies a natural power of communication, is the medium through which people’s voices silently take shape. With #TalkingToTheUniverse, Sophie encourages people to be part of an idea, with an honest open call to take part in the conversation, launched symbolically by Flos, a brand whose heritage is all about light, which believes in this initiative to support creativity, culture, and social togetherness.
#TalkingToTheUniverse invites us to reflect on the current time and historical moment, which began in March 2020 as the world found itself facing a pandemic, for which the only known cure is human isolation. A moment of impasse, where the world finds itself confined at home. Physical, spatial, social, and emotional confinement.
In response to this, the French artist has identified a method that allows her to continue expressing herself by communicating with others. “Morse code is an ante litteram form of digital communication. However, unlike modern binary codes that use only two states - commonly represented with 0 and 1 - Morse code uses five: dot (•), dash (—), short interval (between dots and dashes that form the same letter), medium interval (between
letters) and long interval (between words).” A dash is equal to three dots (leave the light on while counting 3 dots). The interval within a single letter is one dot. The interval between each letter is 3 dots. The space between two words is 7 dots.
#TalkingToTheUniverse is a game for all the family, which can be shared with neighbours or the people living opposite; it is an opportunity to socialise, have fun and reconnect with the outside world, our neighbours, passers-by, and family members. All people would need is a lamp and the international Morse code alphabet.
It’s a game designed to entertain children and show them the power and importance of light and Morse code. It is also a game for adults, allowing them to rediscover their inner child. The public are encourage to write anything they want; spread words of love, courage, joy and even words to remember those who are no longer with us - to use the energy of light to shout out everything that is inside us, to the world. It is a simple way to stay at home but at the same time to go out and spread magic and creativity. When night falls, the lights turn on to talk, sing, or silently and magically share the words of others.
Friend and supporter:
Alessandro De Agostini
C41 Magazine Editorial and Creative Director:
Luca A. Caizzi
C41 Magazine Head of Content:
Riccardo Fantoni Montana
Art Project Coordinator:
Rossana Ciocca #artcitylab
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