The Substation/
Currently closed

The Substation/ Gail Priest, Thomas Burless/​ Five Self-Vibrating Regions of Intensities/

Five Self-Vibrating Regions of Intensities. Photography by Thomas Burless.
The Substation, 1 Market Street, Newport, Victoria 3015, Australia
13 April–13 May 2023

Wheelchair accessible



The world premiere of Five Self-Vibrating Regions of Intensities is a study of sound as energy. Across five installations Gail Priest and Thomas Burless explore the transmission of sonic energy through materials and its visual manifestations as wave-driven geometric patterns (cymatics).

The exhibition is multimodal, in that each room houses the results of a particular experiment, yet together the five installations present an overall composition of audiovisual oscillations.

Two installations incorporate large-scale video to illustrate micro detail: the shimmer of a rainbow spectrum on a soap bubble in Membrane and the silvery-shake of sugar granules in Tridophone. In Pond Life Gail and Thomas recreate a marshy, urban ecosystem that ripples and rumbles with sonic energy. In a newly created piece, Calling Wire, they use the parlour trick of a tin-can telephone to explore the phenomenon of sound wave transmission though long wires. Weaving everything together is the spatialised poetic essay Vibrant Matters: presented as an assemblage of trembling introductory texts.

Through these experiments Gail and Thomas attempt to draw attention to the quivering oscillations, both large and small, that evidence the elemental energy shared by all matter.


Co-creator: Gail Priest
Co-creator: Thomas Burless
Project Assistant: Rose Hartshorn


Please be aware this installation exhibition has low lighting.


This exhibition is wheelchair accessible and gender neutral accessible toilets are available.

Exhibition wall labels (information about the works) will be available to download from here closer to the event date.


Saturday 15 April, 2pm. Free admission.

Join Gail Priest and Thomas Burless from the Institute for Non-Empirical Results, for an in-depth discussion of their conceptual obsessions, creative processes and the historical research that has resulted in the installations of Five Self-Vibrating Regions of Intensities. This will include demonstrations of several of the prototype objects that led to the final installations.

This project has been co-commissioned by The Substation and Performance Space (2019). It has been supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria; The Keir Foundation; and the NSW Government through Create NSW. The 2019 performance was developed with guest artists Carolyn Connors and Sonya Holowell.

Dive deeper/

Sign up to our

1 Market Street, Newport,
Victoria 3015, Australia

Currently closed
Wed–Sat 12–6pm

We acknowledge and recognise the Ancestors, Elders and families of the Yalukit-willam of the Kulin Nation, who are the traditional custodians of the land that The Substation is on. We extend our respects to their ancestors and elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people.

We are committed to continually improving our services to ensure our events can be enjoyed by all. If you have specific access requirements (including seating arrangements for events) please get in touch.

Privacy Policy


What's on
Gail Priest, Thomas Burless/​ Five Self-Vibrating Regions of Intensities/​ 13 April–13 May 2023/
Matthias Schack-Arnott/​ Tethering/​ 13–15 April 2023/
REALREEL/​ 1 March–1 April 2023/
Outdoor Billboard Gallery
Peter Waples-Crowe/​ Queer on Country/​ 20 January–2 April 2023/