Poetics of (Outer) Space explores the natural acoustic resonances of stars and the orbits of newly discovered exoplanets. Sited in Birmingham’s historic landmark, Perrott’s Folly, the multi channel work presents sonified data from the NASA Kepler mission as an evolving composition. In this way starlight is translated to sound – described by Devine as “reimagining the Music of the Spheres in the age of the exoplanet”. Poetics of (Outer) Space is presented as a ‘vertical’ composition which rises up through the folly with stars positioned according to their age, frequency range and the number of exoplanets they host. Frequencies relating to the natural acoustic resonances of the youngest star can be heard on the first floor of the folly with the top floor housing sounds relating to the recently discovered (but ancient) Kepler-444 star system and the orbits of its five exoplanets.
Realised with the generous assistance of Arts Council England, Poetics of (Outer) Space was developed throughout 2014 during Devine’s Leverhulme Artist Residency with the Solar and Stellar Physics Group in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham. Devine has collaborated with Professor Bill Chaplin and the group since 2012 and has incorporated solar data into a number of sound works including Space Ham for BBC Radio 3 (2013), Oscillate for SOUNDWORKS, ICA (2012) and 5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun (2012) – shortlisted for a BASCA British Composer Award in 2013.
Press and Media
Poetics of (Outer) Space received a positive review in acclaimed experimental music magazine, The Wire (issue 365).
The Wire Magazine also featured filmed documentation of the work on their online video archive available here:
The exhibition was presented in conjunction with IKON Gallery and the University of Birmingham and further information appears at the following links:
IKON ran an artist talk where Devine discussed Poetics of (Outer) Space and her Leverhulme artist residency in the School of Physics and Astronomy at University of Birmingham with Prof Bill Chaplin, who leads the programme of the NASA Kepler Mission devoted to the asteroseismic investigation of solar-type stars, managing and coordinating the work of 170 international scientists. A podcast of the talk is available on IKON Gallery website:
Brumnotes magazine ran a feature on Devine and the exhibit and an interview about her Leverhulme artist residency appeared in University of Birmingham campus magazine.
Review of Poetics of (Outer) Space by Anneka French from New Art West Midlands available here:
Devine had a unique vinyl disc pressed comprising a recording of Poetics of (Outer) Space which was exhibited throughout July and August at MK Gallery as part of the summer exhibition, MK Calling