In 2017, diplomats from the United States in Cuba experienced an attack with a sonic weapon described by one as “an invisible wall cutting straight through his room.” Immediate effects 1 included pain and disorientation. Longerterm effects included mild brain injury, with symptoms including cognitive impairment and memory issues.
The immediate reaction from the science community was inconclusive; the effects didn’t match what we know about sonic weapons . At this point most researchers believe that the weapon 2 was most likely microwave radiation modulated by ultrasonic sound . 3
Since early 2018, we have been experimenting with reproducing this sonic effect at an intensity that is low enough to avoid the shortterm or longterm effects, and merely lets you appreciate the brilliant weirdness of ultrasonic sound.
For the 2019 New Media Art and Sound Summit we would like to present the results of our experiments as a safe sound and light installation, in which the audience is able to voluntarily confront an attack on the senses.
About Thomas Bey William Bailey
Thomas Bey William Bailey is a psychoacoustic sound artist, researcher and writer on saturation culture. Working with a number of different communications media, TBWB’s body of work investigates and interrogates notions of utopia, anthropocentrism, and “the extreme”; refusing to reject any unpopular cultural manifestation as invalid until its more nuanced aspects have been brought to light.
A restlessly ‘transitional’ and uncategorizable artist, TBWB has performed, recorded, and taught in several distinct global regions, sharing with others the joys of chaos and of the valuation of creative process over end product.
About Alex Keller
Alex Keller is an audio artist, sound designer, curator and teacher based in Austin, Texas. His work is in the media of performance, installation, and recorded release, and reflects his interests in architecture, language, abstraction and music.
He is an active audio production professional, has taught classes in media production at the Art Institute of Austin, Shoreline College, and the Art Institute of Seattle, and has won awards for his creative work from the Austin Chronicle, the City of Seattle, Puget Sound Transit, and Jack Straw Productions.
Alex received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1995 and an MLA from St. Edward’s University in 2005. He is a founding member of Phonography Austin and the Mimeomeme collective.