Since our prehistory, the sun has been a keeper of time and catalyst for life on Earth. A deity to more than a few ancient cultures; its powerful interactions with the Earth have forever been a source of fear and fascination alike. Its radiation has the power to destroy our vision, burn our skin, and mutate living matter, yet we rely on the sun for heat, light, and to monitor the passage of time. Science has challenged its perception of the sun as a static force and suggested that cyclic variation (i.e., sunspots) and long-term changes (i.e., decreases in solar brightness) reflect a dynamic body doomed to live and die like the rest of us. Even for its keeper, there is no way out of time.
Sun Mutations is concerned with the transfer of data and energy between media. Audio and visual solar data are collected and processed such that the powerful rays of the sun are reduced to an iridescent glow. The aesthetic forms of these absorptions and releases of energy reflect a human desire to not only control and harness the power of the sun, but time itself. This Icarus machine mutates the energy it records until it too becomes a dim shadow of the blinding light it once was.
Part 1: Burnt by the Sun (Collection): Images are produced using a telescope mounted video camera pointed directly at the sun and programmed to follow its daily motion through the sky, until it inevitably destroys the light sensitive chip recording it. The footage is simultaneously recorded by a device connected to the camera, so as to ensure full recovery of the moment when the chip is burnt to extinction.
Part 2: Transduction (Distribution): The light borne of the destructive imagery collected in Part 1 is projected onto a solar panel screen that powers LED lights. Transduction investigates the transfer of energy as it moves from digital/analog data to radiative energy and vice versa. The soundscape is comprised of solar data generated from the Michelson Doppler Imager and processed by Alexander Kosovichev. Doppler velocity data were filtered, scaled and sped up by roughly 4 orders of magnitude to bring it into an audible human-hearing range (kHz).
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