7,000 fireworks (2020)
Digital video and sound, 16’30”.



Installation shots:


Part of group exhibition:
Attention Anticipation Anxiety Release Relief

Fitzrovia Gallery
February 2020

For this exhibition, Ariel Helyes and Garrett Pruter present two video works and two sound works that investigate cycles of collective engagement—attention, anticipation, anxiety, release, relief. The artists share an interest in psychological states arising from shared forms of consciousness, captivation, and image consumption.

In 7,000 fireworks (video), Pruter fixates on a fireworks display in San Diego from in which a computer glitch caused 16 minutes and 30 seconds worth of fireworks to be released simultaneously. Pruter takes a found 30-second clip of the event and stretches the 7,000 fireworks to their originally intended 16 and a half minutes.

In the accompanying sound piece, 7,000 fireworks (sound), Pruter presents a customized granular synthesizer in which the audio’s pitch is controlled by the video’s relative luminosity. The ignition of each additional firework drives the sound’s frequency further into a high-pitched ecstacy, while the sky’s gradual fade into darkness returns its pitch to a low, ominous hum.

Helyes’ video, titled The healing, addresses the omnipresent feeling of malaise often associated with our times. The video consists of reversed CGI film footage of falling bridges, appropriated from Youtube.

Along with the video Helyes presents the audio piece Buzz. Focusing on crowds, excitement and scale, it records the visitor’s live voice then mutates it with a sampling of bees. The pitch of human voices, commonly thought to rise in states of excitement, artificially raises the pitch of the buzz.