Radio Ceneola – The Inertia Variations

Lighting designers join forces with musician and artist to bring light to dark winter night in Gothenburg, Sweden

Radio Ceneola - The Inertia Variations

Kate Wilkins – one half of lighting designers Kate and Sam and musician Matt Johnson (The The) and visual artist and film maker Johanna St Michaels to create The Inertia Variations – a new light and sound sculpture.

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The focus of the first stage of the installation is a nine-metre high sculpture on the roof of Gothenburg’s Röda Sten Konsthall. Inspired by the Soviet-era Sukhov radio tower in Moscow, its mesh of illuminated strands is intended to evoke propaganda tools used by both dictators and revolutionaries. A subsequent stage will see the tower move inside the gallery, when the viewer will be encouraged to step inside and become immersed in an unsettling combination of narration, soundscapes and music. 

The Inertia Variations is inspired by John Tottenham’s poem of the same name – a work exploring themes of apathy, failure and indolence. Contained within the void of the tower and surrounded by a dense mesh of light, the experience – like the poem – can be likened to an individual’s creative block and struggle against inner demons, and also, on an outer level, as an inability to reach out and properly connect with the world at large. The ‘transmission’ of The Inertia Variations is the first instalment of an Anglo-Swedish collaboration that will move between Sweden, the UK and the USA. 

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Kate Wilkins describes the project, 

I’m fascinated by using light’s influence on mood and perception, and in this first stage we reveal the inner surfaces only, in a white with all warmth filtered out. The tower looks as we had hoped, and very striking in the Gothenburg’s docks skyline.”

Kate and Sam is a partnership of Kate Wilkins and Sam Neuman. Their current portfolio includes a series of lighting designs for Wahaca and Llanelly House – a recently restored historic property in South Wales.

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