Image: Black Rain © Semiconductor
Semiconductor is artistic duo Ruth Jarman &Joe Gerhardt. They make artworks which explore the material nature of our world and how we experience it through the lens of science. After a celebrated show at Art Basel they are currently participating in The 2018 Sydney Biennial. Screening of “Black Rain” and “Brilliant Noise” was included of “The Astrologer Who Fell Into A Well”. CAS in Osaka.
"Black Rain" is sourced from images collected by the twin satellite, solar mission, STEREO. Here we see the HI (Heliospheric Imager) visual data as it tracks interplanetary space for solar wind and CME's (coronal mass ejections) heading towards Earth.
Working with STEREO scientists, Semiconductor collected all the HI image data to date, revealing the journey of the satellites from their initial orientation, to their current tracing of the Earth's orbit around the Sun. Solar wind, CME's, passing planets and comets orbiting the sun can be seen as background stars and the milky way pass by.
As in Semiconductors previous work 'Brilliant Noise' which looked into the sun, they work with raw scientific satellite data which has not yet been cleaned and processed for public consumption. By embracing the artifacts, calibration and phenomena of the capturing process we are reminded of the presence of the human observer who endeavors to extend our perceptions and knowledge through technological innovation.
Many thanks to: Chris Davis and Steve Crothers at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK + Stuart Bale and Steven Christe at Space Sciences Lab UC Berkeley, USA."
"Brilliant Noise" takes us into the data vaults of solar astronomy. After sifting through hundreds of thousands of computer files, made accessible via open access archives, Semiconductor have brought together some of the sun's finest unseen moments. These images have been kept in their most raw form, revealing the energetic particles and solar wind as a rain of white noise. This grainy black and white quality is routinely cleaned up by NASA, hiding the processes and mechanics in action behind the capturing procedure. Most of the imagery has been collected as single snapshots containing additional information, by satellites orbiting the Earth. They are then reorganised into their spectral groups to create time-lapse sequences. The soundtrack highlights the hidden forces at play upon the solar surface, by directly translating areas of intensity within the image brightness into layers of audio manipulation and radio frequencies."
Image: Brilliant Noise © Semiconductor
Image: Brilliant Noise Semiconductor © Julia Waugh