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<nettime-ann> Turbulence Artists' Studio: "Data_Sea" by Michael Takeo Ma
Turbulence on Mon, 13 Apr 2009 20:07:46 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime-ann> Turbulence Artists' Studio: "Data_Sea" by Michael Takeo Magruder

Turbulence Artists' Studios: ?Data_Sea? by Michael Takeo Magruder,
with Drew Baker and David Steele
and at Thinktank Planetarium and Futures Gallery (Birmingham, UK)

The televised broadcast of the Berlin Olympics in 1936 was humanity?s first
media transmission powerful enough to pass through Earth?s ionosphere and
travel into deep space. From that point in time our signals have radiated
into the universe, creating an ever-expanding globe referred to as Earth?s
Radiosphere. In the 73 years since that defining moment, our communications
have reached nearly two thousand other known star systems.

?Data_Sea? is a real-time virtual environment based upon this relationship
between broadcast media and astronomy. The core geometry of the artwork is
directly derived from the actual positions of all catalogued star systems
residing within the Radiosphere. Obtained from current astronomical
databases such as the Hipparcos star catalogue, these scientific
measurements have been translated into a three-dimensional structure
constructed in VRML (Virtual Reality Modelling Language).

Each star system?s basic properties affect its aesthetic manifestation
within the virtual realm. Star type is represented by shape, with normal
stars appearing as full spheres, ?failed? stars (brown dwarfs) as incomplete
spheres and ?dead? stars (white dwarfs) as compressed crosses. The stellar
nodes are connected to a central spherical body (representing our solar
system) by line structures that are coloured according to spectral class of
the individual stars. Systems that are known to contain exoplanets are
surrounded by concentric ring structures.

Live media from the BBC world news service is streamed into the environment.
The virtual elements are textured with images from today?s events, while
layers of live audiocasts are blended into a persistent soundscape. These
mediated reflections of the present are in constant flux, forever shifting
as they drift into an endless sea of virtual space.

?Data_Sea? is a Thinktank production for the International Year of Astronomy
2009. The project was made possible with funds from Arts Council England and
generous support from King?s Visualisation Lab, Centre for Computing in the
Humanities, King?s College London and ParallelGraphics.


Michael Takeo Magruder is an artist and researcher in King?s Visualisation
Lab, King's College London. His work uses emerging technologies, including
high-performance computing, mobile devices and virtual environments,
blending Information Age technologies with modernist aesthetics to explore
the formal structures and conceptual paradigms of the networked, digital
world. His work has been showcased in over 200 exhibitions in 30 countries,
including the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, EAST International 2005,
Georges Pompidou Center, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and
Trans-Media-Akademie Hellerau. His work also regularly appears in
international New Media festivals such as Cybersonica, CYNETart, FILE,
Filmwinter, Rencontres Internationales, SeNef, Siggraph, Split, VAD and WRO.
His artistic practice has been funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the
Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Arts Council England, The
National Endowment for the Arts, USA and public galleries in the UK and
abroad, as well as by commissions from leading Internet Art portals
Turbulence.org and Soundtoys.net.

For more Turbulence Artists? Studios please visit

Jo-Anne Green, Co-Director
New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.: http://new-radio.org
New York: 917.548.7780 ? Boston: 617.522.3856
Turbulence: http://turbulence.org
Networked_Performance Blog: http://turbulence.org/blog
Networked_Music_Review: http://turbulence.org/networked_music_review
Upgrade! Boston: http://turbulence.org/upgrade_boston
New American Radio: http://somewhere.org 

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