White Beam is a large-scale audio-visual installation created by artist Robin Fox. Employing a 30watt RGB laser projector it is designed for large outdoor areas and preferably for tree-lined boulevards. It was commissioned by the inaugural Dark Mofo, a festival run by the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart Tasmania in 2013.
The installation has two modes, static and active. In its static mode the White Beam is in fact just that, a beam of white light. In it’s premiere manifestation the beam emanated from a tower and shot 200 metres across the Salamanca Lawns. The beam was caught in a second tower at the end of the park. Below is a picture of the installation in static mode.
It’s almost impossible to capture the grandeur and scale of the installation in photographs and, as is the case with all laser work, it is impossible on film. The installation at Dark Mofo ran over three nights. The beam was activated at nightfall and remained operating for four hours. There were bursts of audio-visual activity starting with 3-minute sections and working cumulatively toward a 15-minute performance.
At certain times the beam is activated and a sound and light events takes place. The results are stunning. The static beam begins to draw the sound and articulate every frequency. The audience is surrounded in sound and the surrounding foliage is illuminated in an incredible, organic frenzy of light. Mist generators in the tree line are also activated (as well as smoke machines at ground level) and serve to articulate the laser light with a glistening, rain like effect. See the picture below.