I am delighted that my compositional work on stellar resonances and my collaboration with Prof Bill Chaplin of the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham feature in the newly published report from AHRC: Understanding the value of arts and culture. The report presents the outcome of the AHRC Cultural Value Project which looked into the question of why the arts and culture matter, and how we capture the effects that they have. The report is available here on the AHRC website.
Poetics of (Outer) Space 0001 is a one-off vinyl record exhibited as part of the group show MK Calling at MK Gallery. Comprising a live recording of the sound installation Poetics of (Outer) Space, the vinyl hangs vertically on the wall of MK Gallery and is the first in a series of unique vinyl discs, each cut from a different section of the composition. MK Calling runs until 6 Sept.
5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun – my sound installation made with data from the BiSON team at University of Birmingham will feature on BBC World Service at 3pm today. Honor Harger, curator of the ArtScience Museum in Singapore will talk about the work and the methods I used to sonify the data on Sounds of Space: The Solar System – an episode of the weekly Discovery Science slot.
The video documentation of Poetics of (Outer) Space is now available on The Wire Magazine website:
Filmed by videographer, Luke Williams
Poetics of (Outer) Space, my sound installation in Perrott’s Folly, Edgbaston is reviewed in this months edition of The Wire magazine. Excerpt below from Mark Hancock’s review in The Wire 376 Deep Cover issue:
It seemed appropriate to visit Caroline Devine’s installation for Poetics of (Outer) Space on the day of the solar eclipse and spring equinox: a day loaded with mythology that draws us away from our logical, empirical classifications of everything in the universe and back to our primitive reactions to it. In the darkening of the late morning sky, it was just about possible to imagine our own moon and sun as objects we could scale down and hold in our hands with pinhole cameras and other improvised instruments.
So it is with Devine’s installation at Perrott’s Folly, commissioned by Ikon gallery. Devine has taken data from NASA’s Kepler missions to create individual compositions that occupy each floor of the 29 metre high tower, built in 1758. Each composition can be thought of as a subset of data, and a mapping of the range of frequencies and information gathered by the missions to a more manageable, human scale. The compositions from each star’s data are positioned according to their age, frequency range and the number of exoplanets they host, moving upwards through the tower, which could almost have been custom made for the installation.
…As you ascend through the building, you’re also moving light years through the universe, outwards towards the different solar systems with their exoplanets and changing resonances. Just as musical instruments resonate with frequencies, so can the stars and planets, and it is this resonance that Devine has scaled for the human ear.
…The creation of the compositions and installation within Perrott’s Folly (and the effort required to climb the stairs) feels like a more satisfying response to the glut of data visualisation installations that have sprung up over the past few years. Poetics of (Outer) Space reminds you that it’s still possible to factor in human imagination and physical presence to our understanding of the universe, something that’s missing from so many other big data projects.
Mark Hancock, The Wire
Poetics of (Outer) Space is to be sited in the extraordinary Perrott’s Folly in Birmingham – presented as part of the University of Birmingham’s Art & Science Festival in connection with IKON Gallery’s offsite programme. Open daily from midday to 5pm, 18-22 Mar 2015, the sound installation will transform the 18th century tower with a multi-channel composition developed from data collected by the NASA Kepler mission over the past four years.
Poetics of (Outer) Space explores the natural acoustic resonances of stars and the orbits of newly discovered exoplanets. A ‘vertical’ composition rises up through the tower and stars are positioned according to their age, frequency range and the number of exoplanets they host – frequencies from the youngest star can be heard on the first floor of the piece with the top floor hosting a composition derived from data on Kepler-444 – the recently discovered (but ancient) star system that hosts five rocky exoplanets. The work was developed during my artist residency in the School of Physics and Astronomy at University of Birmingham throughout 2014.
Poetics of (Outer) Space is supported by Arts Council England, Ikon Gallery, University of Birmingham and the Leverhulme Trust. Entrance is free. The tower can only be accessed via a steep staircase and only 8 people are allowed in the Folly at a time so there may be a short wait if the site is busy.
I am thrilled that my sound installation, On Air has been shortlisted for a BASCA British Composer Award. The 2014 Awards take place on 2nd Dec in Goldsmiths Hall in London. I am one of three composers shortlisted in the Sonic Art category.
On Air was a large scale outdoor sound installation for The Open University campus – 100 concealed speakers were located in trees and bushes and throughout the walkway and gardens. On Air comprised archive material, interviews, field recordings and musical elements that formed an acoustic layer of thought, idea and enquiry that floated on the air currents throughout the site. It was commissioned by The Open University in 2013 to celebrate 50 years since Harold Wilson’s University of the Air speech.
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 will be talking about my practice at the LSE Space For Thought Literary Festival next Saturday, 1st March at the London School of Economics. I’m looking forward to joining Trevor Cox, professor of acoustic engineering at Salford University and composer/sound artist, Aleksander Kolkowski for a panel discussion chaired by Professor David Hendy entitled Sonic Landscapes: understanding the world through sounds.
The event is free and open to all. E-tickets are required and can be booked via LSE E-shop.
Next week, I will be starting a ten month residency with the Solar and Stellar Physics group in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham in February, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. This is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate further with the BiSON research team headed by Professor Yvonne Elsworth and Professor Bill Chaplin, whose data I used as raw material for my 2012 sound installation, 5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun.
I will be learning more about helioseismology and asteroseismology – the study of the sun and other stars by observation of their natural acoustic resonances. The residency will allow me to realise a new body of work using real Kepler data gathered over the past three years and develop my compositional practice in this area to the natural resonances of other solar type stars, including those that host newly discovered planets.
An exhibit combining extracts from 5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun with information about BiSON research is currently installed at the entrance to the Planetarium of Thinktank Science Museum in Birmingham.