I am working on Poetics of (Outer) Space – a large scale sound installation comprising data from the Kepler mission that has been developed during my Leverhulme Residency with the HiROS team at University of Birmingham. The Kepler mission surveys the portion of our region of the Milky Way shown in the image below, with the Kepler Field of View located between the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra.
NASA Field of View (courtesy Carter Roberts)
The image below left shows the individual 42 camera views.
image courtesy NASA
Below is a screenshot of a section of one of the Kepler Full Frame images. I have zoomed in on one of the Full Frame images that can be accessed on the NASA Kepler mission site. Light curves derived from these images, provide the scientists with the data they need to study the stellar oscillations.
For the Poetics of Outer Space sound installation, I want the PIR sensors to trigger up to three boards simultaneously. Steve Hale from BiSON has made this neat board (below) where PIRs and audio devices can be configured (and powered) as required.
My sound installation – Poetics of (Outer) Space – has been taking shape throughout the residency at Birmingham. I am using these PIR sensors from Sparkfun to trigger sound when movement is detected. Certain elements of the composition will play automatically while others will be triggered only when a visitor enters the space, forming a constantly evolving piece influenced by visitor movement. I have taped the sides of the PIR to narrow it’s field of vision and this is providing just the right amount of trigger space for an individual body to set it off as someone passes beneath the sensor.
I am looking forward to speaking about my collaboration with Professor Bill Chaplin and the HiROS team at the workshop In Conversation: art and science that takes place in London tomorrow. Organised by AHRC in partnership with Arts @ CERN, the aim of the workshop is ‘to consider the extent to which bringing artists and scientists together leads to the opening up of creative spaces for each, and how this kind of environment challenges and transforms ways of thinking and working in both scientific and artistic practice.’ Collaborators speaking include CERN physicist, Dr Bilge Demirkoz and artist Goshka Macuga, composer Chris Chafe and Professor of Neurology, Josef Parvizzi, Professor of Comparative Cognition Nicola Clayton and Mark Baldwin of Rambert.
I have been working with Steve Hale of BiSON using conductive ink, an Arduino and an audio trigger. The conductive ink is used to produce hotspots that can be used to trigger sounds via capacitive touch.
I have been experimenting with the use of light as an element of composition. This is my first experiment using light levels to influence the composition. The tones are natural solar resonances that I have ‘sonified’ from data collected by the BiSON research team. Light Readings from a Light Dependant Resistor trigger the playback. I can influence the light levels (and therefore the composition) by moving my hands toward or away from the LDR. Different samples are triggered according to how much light is being detected by the LDR.
Composition with light 01 from Caroline Devine on Vimeo.
My Leverhulme Artist Residency is well underway in the Department of Solar and Stellar Physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham. Here is a picture of my bench at Birmingham. I will be updating this blog with my developments.
I am working alongside members of the HiROS / BiSON research teams, headed by Professor Bill Chaplin. As well as analysing helioseismological data from the BiSON network of observatories, HiROS are involved with NASA’s Kepler Mission, analysing asteroseismological data collected over the past four years by the Kepler Spacecraft. The mission has discovered hundreds of planets orbiting other stars and the data provides information on the characteristics of the planets as well as the stars they orbit.
Stars oscillate at various frequencies. It is these natural resonances that the HiROS team study for information about the structure and evolution of stars. I have been working with the team for a couple of years, becoming Artist in Residence in February 2014. I have made a number of soundworks using helioseismological data and the residency is providing me with the opportunity to learn more about asteroseismology and to use real Kepler data in my works – something I am very excited about.