adriana  sá
trans-disciplinary   music


Sensations are products of context. Prior to awareness, they are selected subjectively through biological functions that enable us to make sense of the world while preventing us from a permanent stimuli overload. The ‘Sensations Laboratory’ series explored the boundaries of related psychophysical criteria.

Developed between 1996 and 1999, the series investigated the diversity of perceptions & experiences that might emerge when a speech about art is performed within an immersive environment, competing with a wealth changing sound events.

Working with sound provocatively, Adriana played with the transitions between different psychic-physical states while performing inside a cube of black fabric placed in the middle of the room and the audience. Within total darkness her outline appeared only occasionally through strobe flashes - this was the genisis of her light percussion instrument

The sonic and visual stimuli competed with the intellectual demand of understanding the performer's speech; any effort to follow what was being said was constantly counteracted by sudden aural and visual events. Many people thought they understaood that speech, and yet their perceptual mechanisms had changed its original meanings in radical ways.

Soundtrack of a solo performance at ZDB, Lisbon 1998. It was live-mixed with voice and electronics, so as to confound a speech about art.

Instrumentation: stroboscope and neon lamp modulating audio generator sounds through photosensitive circuits; pre-recorded audio-track and laptop; voice, microphones and digital processors.


  • "Sensations Laboratory 3", performance-installation,
    EIF - Experimental Intermedia Foundation NY, USA
  • "Sensations Laboratory 2a", performance & lecture,
    Weslayan University, Middletown, USA
  • "Sensations Laboratory 2", performance-installation,
    ZDB Gallery, Lisboa, PT
  • "Sensations Laboratory 1", performance-installation,
    FBA – UL – University of Fine Arts, Lisboa, PT

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, PT
FLAD- Portuguese-American Foundation for Development, PT
Insituto Camões / Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PT
IAC-Institute for Contemporary Arts, PT