Interference [Havana]
A sound and light installation by
Thomas Bey William Bailey and Alex Keller

The usage of sound by the military-industrial-scientific complex has become increasingly well-documented in this century: an inventory including everything from simple stun-volume assaults with pop music, to “enhanced interrogation” sessions with the same, to deployment of LRAD [long-range acoustic device] “sonic cannons” for counter-insurgency or riot control applications.

It was with this in mind that we approach a sonic experiment inspired by a controversial international incident in 2017, in which diplomats from the United States in Cuba experienced an attack with a sonic weapon described by one of its targets as “an invisible wall cutting straight through his room.” Immediate effects included pain and disorientation. Longer-term 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.

Since early 2018, we have been experimenting with reproducing this sonic effect at an intensity that is low enough to avoid the short-term or long-term effects. We would like to invite you to a private preview of Interference [Havana], the initial results of our experiments. as a sound and light installation. It is a relatively safe adaptation and interpretation of the original 2017 sonic attack, in which you may voluntarily confront the reality of psycho-acoustic weaponry and sonic deterrents.

While we have avoided reproducing any of the dangerous effects of the initial incident, hearing protection is recommended, and you should attend at your own risk.