We are delighted to announce that the commissioned artwork funded by the STFC from the Planet Disc Connection project (ST/S000399/1) and SPARK award Reading Between the Lines (ST/V002058/1) will debut at the 2021 NEoN digital arts festival in Dundee, Scotland.
Our art-science collaborators Semiconductor have been working with us for the past two years to study the methods, processes and data that have been used in our scientific research of planet formation. The resulting work Spectral Constellations is a series of generative animations, driven by scientific data of young stars. This data, collected by scientists using a method called Spectroscopy, creates an understanding of structures around distant young stars, where gas and dust come together to form planets. Scientists study the light this matter emits using prisms to split it into its constituent wavelengths, revealing its elemental make-up. By analysing this data over time, spatial formations of the matter can be decoded.
Semiconductor have worked with this spectral data as a physical material, translating it into rings of light which resemble the gradiated discs of planetary and stellar formations. As the data ebbs and flows it introduces a sense of form and motion, waveforms merge and interfere revealing patterns and rhythms, and engage our human tendency towards pattern recognition. The fragmented LED matrices provide partial windows from which the spectral data shifts and shimmers to create a raw visual experience.
For NEoN Festival Spectral Constellations is installed site specifically at Mills Observatory, Balgay Hill, Dundee.
Wednesday 10 November – Thursday 23 December
Opening hours: Monday to Friday – 4pm – 10pm; Saturday & Sunday – 12:30pm – 4pm.
Thanks to the European Space Observatory archive whose spectral data was used in this artwork.