Prometheus Poster Installation
Prometheus is a piece of music by Alexander Scriabin composed for orchestra and color. The clavier à lumières, or keyboard of light, was a special instrument developed specifically for this piece. The instrument was in essence a “color organ” with notes corresponding to the colors of Scriabin’s chromatic scale. Scriabin also created the mystic chord, an atonal six-note chord in which this specific piece is composed.
The Luce, or light portion of the piece of music is composed of two voices, within two staffs on the top of Scriabin’s original 1910 score. The primary, mobile voice, cycles in unison with the harmony. The secondary, or slow voice, is omnipresent and throughout the piece. This slow voice represents the process of transformation from spirit, to matter, back to spirit.
This series of posters are handmade, using silkscreening inks on fabric. Each poster is composed of two fabric layers, one representing each Luce voice. Scriabin’s notes dictated that the two voices of Luce must never touch, thus, each voice is on a separate layer. The posters are designed to be backlit, showing the interaction between the two voices, yet never connecting.
The primary voice layer establishes a rhythm, which is composed of various permutations of the mystic chord. The rhythm cycles through the sixth poster, then transforms back to the first poster. The second layer responds to this primary layer, representing the negation of the primary rhythmic voice. It is composed solely of the three tones F, C, F. These tones and colors in Scriabin’s chromatic scale are the spiritual to material transformation cycle.