Devine’s work with stellar compositions AHRC report

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.

5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun on BBC World Service

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.

Poetics of (Outer) Space review – The Wire

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 at Perrott’s Folly

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.

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In conversation: art and science

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.

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