Project Authors:

Madeleine Gallagher

Madeleine Gallagher is an interdisciplinary artist, technologist and educator at MIT. Her practice embraces a wide variety of mediums, including traditional object making, photography, time-based media, and performance in order to investigate cultural phenomena related to technology and how media culture shapes human interactions. Her core process as an artist practitioner is rooted in painting. Her artwork has recently been presented at Berklee College of Music, MIT, Duke University, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center, Roulette NYC and Issue Project Room.Madeleine has collaborated with several musicians and artists including Scanner, Stephen Vitiello, Either/Or, D. Edward Davis, Adam Savje, embarker, evidence and Jane Rigler.

John Steiner

John Steiner is a performer, songwriter and visual artist working in audio, sculpture, electronic media and design. As a performer and songwriter, John's musical accomplishments are lengthy; aside from five successful international tours and two American tours, he has also enjoyed a long list of publishing credits. Many of his songs have been used on MTV, NPR, ABC, NBC, Showtime, as well as feature films.


But how shall we define the Infinite?
How shall we fix each fresh and varying phase
That fits for aye across our baffled sight,
And makes us faint and giddy as we gaze?"
- Rumi, The Parrot of Baghdad, Translated. by Edward H. Palmer

Autoluminescence is a mobile light and sound lounge featuring live electronic music and visual performances by Madeleine Gallagher and John Steiner created during the Culturunners Tour of New York City. Cruising the technological landscape, Autoluminescence reconnoiters and collects recordings of media, frequencies, and mechanical vibrations of the NYC streets like on a scientific mission. The Autoluminescent performance series is a presentation of the artists' findings communicated through the emission of sound and light. These new works are composed through geometric and mathematical patterns inspired by traditional Islamic Art and Music, performed live.

Technological environments are by default the result of the chaos of human activity and consciousness, expressing both unity and multiplicity over space and time. The core of Islamic Artistic traditions focuses on points when multiplicity creates a unified pattern. Like a decoded message to be solved, the geometries of Islamic art are based on principals, which lead to rhythm, patterns and infinite shapes. Is it even possible to think about the sum of all the patterns of light, sound and visual transmissions happening concurrently while being surrounded by them? The barrage of media, information and technology leaves us often feeling like we are being swallowed by a black hole. Autoluminescence traverses and explores the architecture of signal transmission like space explorers. Inspired by retro-future design of a space lounge, this installation and performance series provides a place to relax, reflect and possibly decode or invent meaning from the infinite chaos of our ever-expanding technological landscape.

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