April’s Artist of the Month: Kite & Laslett

Posted April 8th, 2013 under Contemporary Art, Featured, Ikono, Installations, Sound Art, Videos

Kite & Laslett
ikono is proud to present the multi-disciplinary projects of Kite & Laslett, a young British artist duo experimenting on the border of installation, sound, performance and video. The duo explores the phenomenological perception of architecture and space in large-scale settings, providing the audience with a kinaesthetic experience.

Sebastian Kite and Will Laslett established their cooperation during their final studies in architecture at Westminster School of Architecture in London. Since then they create public installations and participatory events all over Europe, including exhibitions in London, Milan, Berlin or Rennes. Kite & Laslett are currently living and working in London.

For further information go to kiteandlaslett.com.


24/11/12 – 08/12/12
Temporary Nightclub
Postbahnhof Berlin

5x custom built 400mw laser motorised armatures
Custom software – audio/light triggering
2.5m (D) circular canvas

80m (L) x 6m (W) x 6m (H)


Enclosure is an immersive sound and light installation, whereby the audience interact with a specifically composed sound score in a quadraphonic configuration in the spatial volume it inhabits.

The installation consists of four suspended pyramidal volumes, arranged concentrically around the central node of a room. Each volume serves to emit sound and light towards the centre in a manner in which inner and outer spatial areas are defined and separated. The installation is the only source of light in the space. Standing at the node, the participants are blinded by light and drawn to its heat, focusing their perception towards sound. The participant is encapsulated in a parallel temporal experience.

Enclosure is designed not as a passive listening experience, but a piece that engages the whole body in a choreographed experience of sound, light and heat. The projected sounds pass from one volume to the next, creating an ever evolving sound field. Standing in the path of the panning sounds a kinaesthetic sensation passes through the human body.

In Enclosure, the projected sounds react directly with the spatial environment. The sound is affected by the space as well as by bodies within it. The acoustic signal is dry, with the knowledge that the inherent physicality of various rooms will create natural reverberations and acoustic anomalies.

This work was originally designed for a former war bunker, where it caused incidental momentary breezes in the air. This effect at the centre of the room was created by the inward facing loudspeakers. Bass tones produced vibrating air currents whereas mid-to-high frequencies would produce delicate flutters. The quadraphonic nature of Enclosure thus became more vivid, making possible for the listener to distinguish the orientation and conversation between the independent sources of sound.


10/09 – 16/09/12

An installation for Platform79,
Kantstraße Women’s Prison // Gerichtsgefängnis Kantstr. 79 10627 Berlin

Panoptic is the first Kite & Laslett project void of the combinative intervention of light and sound, pursuing a fresh creative path producing kinetic-based sculpture through inventive material exploration.

The installation is an instrument for observation, a device through which the ocular perception of the prison is altered. The project explores the notion of panoptics, a term derived from the philosophical and architectural concept of the panopticon, first conceived by Jeremy Bentham during the Age of Englightenment, a spatial paradigm through which society can be observed and controlled. The project investigates the correlation between voyeurism and architectural space and how panoptic-based architecture can influence our pathological state and consciousness.

The disused prison is situated within the former incarcerated island of West Berlin, concealed behind the high Altbau facades of Kantstraße. The prison is hidden both physically and psychologically, away from the public consciousness. Passing the threshold from the familiar realm of the current to this secluded place, dilapidated, dormant and frozen in time, one is engulfed by the prison’s spirit. In the manner of inmates, the processional sequences of Höfe lead to the final grand courtyard where the installation is revealed. Pendant in mid-air, held tort between the high red brick planes of the prison, Panoptic demarcates the state of arrival. The installation establishes a vantage point from which the viewer observes an abstracted and constantly evolving image of the courtyard’s facade, peering into the prison cells.

The installation engages forms of expression, a critical and active dialogue between artist, artwork and the viewer. Open to interpretation, Panoptic’s veritable meaning and associations could be viewed as follows: on one hand, the installation could be seen as an optical experiment, an interface between the earth and sky. However, from a phenomenological standpoint and with a sensibility towards the historical mode and context of the prison in mind, the installation could be viewed as the representation of the hierarchical relationship between guard and prisoner, blurring the distinction between the detained and unbound.

More videos from KITE & LASLETT