White Noise Exhibition

(White Noise Exhibition)

Traditional Custodians of the land
Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation

Completion Date

Australian Centre of Moving Images

(former dB(A))

Lighting Designers
The Flaming Beacon

Architecture Awards – Interior Design


I have ripped through the blue lampshade of the constraints of colour. I have come out into the white. Follow me comrade aviators…. Swim into the white free abyss, infinity is before you. – Kazimir Malevich, 1919

In 2005 we were asked to design an exhibition that explored non-representational expressions of light, sound and colour through digital mediums. The work consisted of nine local and international artists installations using light, sound, image, colour and rhythm to challenge the modern precepts of abstraction in digital age. An enfilade was created, a 110m long corridor of gates to both separate and connect the disparate works.


The result was a series of contemplative experiences that engaged and stimulated the individual’s sensory perception of the space. Drawing on modernist abstraction, and especially the above quote from Malevich, the artists created experiences of synaesthesia through constant alterations to the colour, sound frequencies and materials throughout the journey of the exhibition.


The design of the exhibition initially responded to the idea of a bathhouse and its cleansing rituals. Focusing on the process of palate cleansing, the exhibition narrative lead an individual through a sequence of spaces, with each visual and sound work being separated by spaces of white noise.


These threshold spaces of sound and light deprivation meant that the individual would be ‘cleansed’ of the previous sensory experience and be able to embrace the following work reinvigorated. These default spaces became key in the design of the space through its linkage of compartmentalised exhibits through a neutral corridor that at once separates and connects the disparate works.