Arcadia explores the hidden electromagnetic soundtrack of Essex’s coastal arcades with a saturated lighting display that transmits audio via light to the audience’s handheld listening device. Its an installation brings a sense of wonder, fascination and carnivalesque excitement to audiences.

The installation uses colourful cabochon lights, inspired by Southend’s historic illuminations and modern day arcade signage seen at coastal arcades along the Essex coast.

Arcadia works by modulating the 12v power sent to the lights with audio. This means that when the light is shone at a solar panel, the electricity generated replicates this modulation. When we treat this signal as audio and amplify it we can hear the original audio.

The colour of the light has no impact on the sound.

All the recordings are made at arcades alongside the Essex coastline. Using specialise microphones, I captured a mixture of acoustic and electromagnetic sounds. The sounds of people, the place and the machines themselves – such as the magnetic fields from arcade machines and the rhythms of flashing arcade signage.




Focal Point Gallery, Southend


2nd Oct – 23rd Dec 2022