Laurent Montaron

Laurent Montaron The Invisible Message

Staged concurrently at Socrates Sculpture Park and Roosevelt Island (Lighthouse Park).

This is a weather-dependant event, in case of rain the event will be cancelled.


The performance The Invisible Message is a reenactment of the first experiment of a wireless communication.  Mahlon Loomis (1826-1886) claimed to have transmitted signals through the air in October 1866 between two Blue Ridge Mountains fourteen miles apart in Virginia with two kites. Each kite using the natural static electricity in the atmosphere acted as an antenna by carrying a copper wire whose other end was put at the mass with a metal rod into the ground.

The experiment at that time consisted of setting a transmitter / receiver system. The people conducting the experiment set their watches and at predetermined intervals sent a signal by connecting the wire to the ground. The receiver observed the movement of the needle of a galvonometer attached between the wire and the ground of the second kite.

This first wireless transmission without any independent witnesses was not only the discovery of radio waves but also the crossing of an invisible border into modernity. The performance stages this experiment before an audience  and in an atmosphere saturated with signals.


Laurent Montaron (b. 1972, Verneuil sur Avre, France) is a Paris-based artist who explores through the contemporary history of media the relationship between the tools that shape our representations and our beliefs, engaging viewers to question the paradoxes that accompany our awareness of modernity.

Major exhibitions include
11th Biennale de Lyon (2011); Galerie Schleicher + Lange, Paris (2011); Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel (2010); Centre Clark, Montreal (2010); Institut d’Art Contemporain, Lyon (2009); Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris (2009); STUK, Leuven (2009); Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius, Lithuania (2009); and Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2008).


Thursday, November 17, 2 — 4 pm
Friday, November 18, 2 — 4 pm
Saturday, November 19, 2 — 4 pm

The Invisible Message will be concurrently staged at Socrates Sculpture Park and Roosevelt Island (Lighthouse Park).

How to get there :

Socrates Sculpture Park
Closest train station : BROADWAY [N, Q]
10 minutes walk (go West on Broadway Avenue towards the park)

Lighthouse Park, Roosevelt Island
TRAM: From Manhattan: Take Tramway Car at 59th Street & Second Avenue Station (travel time is 4-5 minutes). Exit at Tramway Station on Roosevelt Island. MTA Metrocards are accepted
SUBWAY: Take F to Roosevelt Island stop.

20 minutes walk to Lighthouse Park
or a RIOC bus is driving from the train station to the Lighthouse Park ($0.25 per trip).


Supported by Etant Donnés Contemporary Art and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.