DEEP DATA (EXTRACT) BY ANDY GRACIE

9 04 2009

ENTER festival presents a working prototype from the current state of development of the DEEP DATA project; a developmental work connecting deep space exploration with terrestrial extremophiles and the science of astrobiology. The part of the system shown focuses on receiving and recreating magnetic field data from the Pioneer and Voyager probes within cultures of tardigrades, one of the microscopic species being used for current space and astrobiological research. By means of a video microscope and overlaid graphics it is possible to observe the generation, interaction and effects of magnetic field fluctuations on the organisms. The work allows users to navigate the trajectories and corresponding magnetic field strengths of the deep space probes Pioneer 10 and 11, and Voyager 1 and 2.

A specially designed culture vessel fabricated from silicone is used to house the organisms, three electromagnets, a hall sensor and LEDs for illuminating the sample. This unique observation device is housed within an inverted biological microscope with connected video camera. The image from the camera is combined with graphical feedback from the hall sensor to form the visual display of the work. Sonic feedback in the form of pitch shifting natural radio emissions from Jupiter offers an aural sense of the strengths of the fluctuating magnetic fields within the observation vessel.

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This project was developed with the collaboration of Marc Duseiller (CH), Georg Kettel (AT), Martin Kern (AT) and Anders Restad (NO) during the workshop Interactivos`09, at Medialab-Prado, a programme of the Arts area of the Ayuntamiento of Madrid. http://www.medialab-prado.es

Andy Gracie’s work is concerned with the information systems contained within living organisms and ecosystems and how they may be accessed and processed through the use of technology with the aim of creating relationships and meanings. In many ways his work reflects on the ideas of umwelt and biosemiotics as developed by Jakob von Uexkull and Thomas Seboek in as much as it aims to find how signs, symbols and signifiers may form the common ground between artificial and natural intelligences. The artist is interested in using organic cultures as processing systems for artificially generated, or technology based, data in an effort to extract the meaning contained in the organic informatic machine and to examine how forms of robotic entity can become immersed in living networks. This interest extends to examining how organic and inorganic systems can be wired together through various channels, where communication and presence are realised by agency. His process of investigation has led him through a diverse range of fields including microbiology, astrobiology, satellite and space exploration, wilderness exploration, hiking and mapping, as well as the majority of the more ‘usual’ digital art practices. The majority of Gracie’s work is realised in the form of installation, often employing robotics, custom electronics, sound and video alongside biological practice and live organisms. In recent years Andy Gracie has has a solo show at Kapelica Gallery in Ljubljana as well as group shows at Mejan Labs in Stockholm, Ars Electronica, BIOS4 in Seville, AV06 festival in Sunderland, Radar festival in Mexico City, la Casa Encendida in Madrid, Robots! in Lille, Ultrasound in Huddersfield and Artbots in New York . His work has been awarded honourable mentions by Vida9.0 and Ars Electronica.

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JAN-PETER E.R. SONNTAG: WARDEN SPRITE (RAUM #2)

9 04 2009

Based on inventions and ideas of Nicola Tesla, explorations of Selim Lemström in the late 1880th and the actual NASA and ESA research on SPRITES – transit luminous events in between the tropo- and ionosphere – and their radial echo in extreme long frequency natural electromagnetic waves Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag is going to transform live atmospheric plasma data into ultrasonic modulated air and high frequency electrical AC- fields in the space which let fluorescent tubes glow. Selim Lemström built up the first and only machines on a mountain in Lapland that creates artificial induced aurora borealis.

“The sky is a great dome of hard material arched over the earth. There is a hole in it through which the spirits pass to the true heavens. (…). The spirits who live there light torches to guide the feet of new arrivals. This is the light of the aurora. (…) The whistling crackling noise which sometimes accompanies the aurora is the voices of these spirits trying to communicate with the people of the earth.” – E. W. Hawkes reported about the “heavenly regions” of the Inuits in his book “The Labrador Eskimo” from 1916.

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Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag is an artist focusing mainly on media art-based room installations. He studied fine arts, art history, music theory, composition, philosophy and cognitive science and, in 2002, founded N-solab. He is a cofounder of “hARTware-projects” – now “HMKV”, “oh Ton” , “unerhört”. 2008: In addition to receiving a Haupstadtkulturfond grant for “e-topia”, he was awarded the “German Sound Art Prize”, the “Cynet Art Award”, got a prize in the  competition for a mobile architecture “ohrenstrand mobil” in Berlin and he opened the Ars Electronica in Linz with his sonArc::project.