There's a big, white container coming to South Bank. But, like most shipping containers in the city, it's not being used to transport furniture. And the word 'séance' will be written on the side in black. It's kind of ominous.
Séance is actually a new installation where participants take a seat inside the tiny space, put on a headset and place their hands flat on the table in front of them. The lights go out and the container enters complete darkness. For the next 20 minutes, participants are fed 'suggestible information' through their headsets.
You're probably thinking that there's something dark or supernatural about the whole thing — and going by the name, we don't blame you. But the installation's organiser assures us that 'séance' is simply a French word meaning 'session' or 'sitting'.
And so Séance is a sensory experience that looks at the psychology of a group sitting together. Despite not being a horror or supernatural-themed piece, it's a scary indicator of how easy it is for confusion, information overload and the people siting right next to us to affect our judgment.
Artists David Rosenberg and Glen Neath (who have collaborated in other sensory deprivation projects before) are the creative masterminds behind the project, which has been described as 'disorienting' and 'deeply unsettling'. It's not recommended for the claustrophobic or the easily frightened.
The spooky installation visited Sydney and Melbourne late last year, and is now descending on the Treasury Brisbane Arcadia, South Bank Cultural Forecourt, from September 8–29 this year as part of the 2018 Brisbane Festival.