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.


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.

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.