Neon signs are resurging, whether as a corporate aesthetic or decor in a coffee shop, but what meaning do they attribute to their given space? Signs carry different meanings in form and content. Each has a different viewing experience due to their own subjective visual semiotics—seeing symbols and imagery as a communicative tool or language—like in a dark alleyway with flickering letters that illuminate immoral deeds that took place, or as a common backdrop in sci-fi films, representing the future.
The Halo Effect is a series of seven site-specific projections using illustrations and text, specifically designed to replicate the aesthetic of neon installed in different Lower East Side spaces at night and to convey the seven deadly sins in the Bible. The spaces are chosen to generate social commentary of the particular establishments they are projected on. The interaction between the projections and the site prompts viewers in the vicinity to stop and reflect on these places, bringing their social impact to light.
This thesis explores how the visual qualities of neon signs—their color, contours, sizes, and lighting—can facilitate different perceptions in mood, context, and spatial meaning. The Halo Effect invites the viewer to be reflective and conscious of the wider implications of neon signs and the spaces they live in—to pause when they would normally walk past.