From multisensory room to frequency bathing art walk

Travel during COVID-19

With remote living and shelter in place regulations of the COVID-19 pandemic, people around the planet quickly adapted to the idea of rearranging their homes for not only sleeping and eating, but also for learning, working, relaxation, play, creativity, and health. Many discovered that our modern architecture that separates vocation, vacation, health, religion, culture, play, nature, and education from the home no longer fit this new way of life. Garden supplies, trampolines, ergonomic office chairs, and gym equipment sales skyrocketed. Suburbanites began to inhabit their vanity backyard show spaces as their exercise, relaxation, social, and food supply rooms. Parents locked themselves in the bathroom or garage to find respite from the chaos and stress of quotidian life under COVID-19. Bringing nature into the home, Americans bought their Christmas trees early and left them up well after the holiday.  

In the midst of COVID-19, Kosmorganica scholar Angie Eng was forced to redesign an interior multisensory space, Geo-Rhythmic Astro Zone [ see figure 1 ] into an exterior multisensory space. Although the construction and style are vastly different, the theoretical principles of frequency bathing have remained consistent. Visitors will find the contextual pivot from indoors to outdoors fluid since most of the elements of the original indoor installation design drew from elements found in nature. In fact, the multisensory room emulated the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku or  Forest Bathing, an immersion in nature for psychological and physical balance.[i]  

The original multisensory room design drew from fractal formations found in natural growth [ see figure 2 ] and sound frequencies used in healing and spiritual practice. Whether indoors or outdoors, Eng calls the immersion of sound, light, and color, frequency bathing. When frequencies are combined together in the right proportions, she propose that these frequency baths elicit emotional, physical, and spiritual balance. Recent psychological and neurological studies using MRIs and EEG technology reveal that fractals that are prevalent in frequency bathing have the potential to promote compassion, creativity, and generosity.[ii]

Metaphysical and physical balance through frequency bathing, has been practiced for thousands of years by megalithic cultures, Aztecs, ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Mesopotamians, Esoteric Christians, Kabbalah Jews, Taoists, and Buddhists. Their frequency bathing included chanting, sacred geometry, meditation, and aromatherapy. Since the Age of Reason religiosity has been severed from domains of life even if activities touch the spirit. For Kosmorganic art experiences, this is not the case. Kosmorganic art forms are integral experiences that recognize the spiritual and healing after-effects of cultural works.  For secular audiences, consciousness studies and neurological studies on brain wave states reveal similar conclusions. [iii]  [ see figure 3 ]

The frequency bath tour

The frequency bathing art walk is part of a larger trend in a plethora of art experiences associated with Kosmorganica. Yet despite its popularity, few historians have offered deep analysis beyond materialist readings. Read more on why there has been a spike in Kosmorganic experiences in the Get Around section. The frequency bath is offered as a free self-guided tour to get a taste of Kosmorganica. Register to receive your personalized viewfinder paddle.

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Viewfinder Paddles

Like portals in temples that frame the cosmos or star formations, [ see figure 4 ] the paddles help the visitor in focusing their attention on fractals along the path. [ see figure 5 ]These fractal formations are found in cloud formations, the mountain range, the flow of the creek, tree branches, wind patterns on the grass, and plant growth. The color of the paddles corresponds with the birth month of the visitor. These colors correlate with different regions of the body. According to tantra yoga, seven regions of the body align with various frequencies in light or color. [ see figure 6 ] Bodies are grouped with slight variations of frequency ranges. Harmony in mind, body, and spirit are directly related to these variations. With the aid of these colored filters, one attunes to their natural state. Seven basic shapes serve as keyhole cuts in the center of each paddle. They include the four basic shapes, the circle, triangle, square, and pentagon. The next three are the overlapping of these shapes, the 6-sized polygon or 6 pointed-star, the overlapping of the pentagon to make up the decagon, and two triangles to make up a diamond.

Sound

Another main component of the walk is sound. The tour begins with a narration that gives oral directions on how to use the paddles and to listen to audio cues to sit down on tree stumps placed along the path. The sound is a drone mixed with vocalizations with frequencies that correspond to body regions. They are the same regions used in tantra yoga called chakras.  The sounds played during these pauses correspond to the seven regions, root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown. [ see figure 7 ]Ancient cultures have been applying vocalizations to reach heightened states of consciousness which neurologists have called Zen gamma. [iv] Here minimal composer, Rhys Chatham uses the vowel vocalizations framework from sound healer Jonathan Goldman.[v]   Like instruments, the mind, body, and spirit need tuning to be in harmony with one’s environment. These frequencies help ground a person.

Timing

The 1-hour walk is divided into nine segments. The introduction, the seven parts of the frequency attunement walk, the return. The frequency attunement portion is punctuated by seven pauses that correspond to the seven regions of the body. During these pauses, the sound vocalizations play while one uses the paddles to focus on specific fractals in nature. These pauses last three minutes. In between these pauses a drone refrain plays. These liminal segments last from 2-5 minutes. After the last pause, one is instructed to no longer use the paddles and take their headphones off. They are to make the return walk of 20 minutes taking notice of any subtle shifts in their perception and awareness.

See map

Collaborators and Advisory Team

Angie Eng conceptualized and designed the Frequecy bathing art walk tour.

Rhys Chatham is the composer of the music with the aid of a vocalization chart from Jonathan Goldman. [ see figure 8 ]

Local tree company, x helped cut the tree stumps. Tree cutter, Jeff also provided tree stumps.[ see figure 9 ]

The Boulder County Library BLDG61 lab helped cut the paddles.

City of Boulder, Hazardous Waste provided the paint.

Jiffer Harriman advised on the interactive components of the multisensory room.


Kelly Masterson collaborated and advised on the design of the wearables for the multisensory room. [ see figure 10 ]

Ellen Do advised on the wearables and the multisensory room.

Michael Theodore and Betsey Biggs advised on the location scouting of the walking tour.

Betsey Biggs advised on art walks and the website.

Michael Theodore advised on the theoretical research.


[i] Park, B. J., Tsunetsugu, Y., Kasetani, T., Kagawa, T., & Miyazaki, Y. (January 01, 2010). The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan. Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine, 15, 1, 18-26.

Hansen MM, Jones R, Tocchini K. Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) and Nature Therapy: A State-of-the-Art Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Jul 28;14(8):851. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14080851. PMID: 28788101; PMCID: PMC5580555.

[ii] Agriculture and Landscape architect researcher Dr. Caroline Hagerhall has conducted research measuring the physiopsychological effects of gazing at fractals. They have concluded that fractals have beneficial effects when showing subjects fractal silhouette patterns. These studies correlate specific frequencies of form with activity in the brain, heart rate, and emotions.   

Hagerhall, C.M., Laike, T., Taylor, R. P., Küller, M., Küller, R. & Martin, T. P. (January 1, 2008).’Investigations of Human EEG Response to Viewing Fractal Patterns’, 37(10), 1488-94. https://doi-org.colorado.idm.oclc.org/10.1068/p5918

[iii] Dobbs, D. (2005). Zen Gamma. Scientific American Mind, 16(1), 9-9. Retrieved December 8, 2020, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/24997589

[iv] Dobbs, D. (2005). Zen Gamma. Scientific American Mind, 16(1), 9-9. Retrieved December 8, 2020, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/24997589

[v] Goldman, J. (2002). Healing sounds ; The power of harmonics. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press.118.