Immersive Art Installation Shut Down for Causing More Seizures Than Expected

October 1, 2013 | Marina Galperina

“Usually, the statistics for photosensitivity […] in the States is one in four thousand people,” Chicago-based artist Kurt Hentschlager said earlier this year. “But for ZEE it’s much more, one in five hundred or so. The epileptic seizures are triggered by the flashes. It’s a very intense input, probably the most intense it could possibly be.”

ZEE has already induced seizures in China, France and Tasmania. The super-hyper-mega-immersive art installation was to be on view through October 27th at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s 943 Gallery, but after causing three episodes of seizure-like symptoms, it’s been shut down by authorities.

The visitors have signed off waivers, warning of the INTENSE INTENSITY OF THIS INTENSE EXPERIENCE THAT MIGHT BE TOO INTENSE, particularly to the claustrophobic, the anxious, the epileptics and those with breathing or heart problems. For some people, the “intense stroboscopic light in combination with thick artificial fog, resulting in a loss of spatial orientation” was TOO MUCH MAN TOO MUCH!

Don’t watch this.

Basically, Hentschlager took Antony Gormley’s Blind Light cube filled with dense white fog and put a rave into it and cranked it up to inhuman levels.

“I’ve often contemplated whether I should stop showing it because I always dread that some day something really serious might happen,” Hentschlager has said. “To have a seizure is very dramatic, but only a temporary event.”

Buy the ticket, take the ride, ride it through to the other side and “there’s the other half, the actual piece, which is quite benign. Really it’s a beautiful piece about the experience of the sublime.”

Don’t watch this either.

(Image: MONA/Rémi Chauvin)