Information Comes from the Sun – Julian Priest

 

Information Comes from the Sun 2011, Julian Priest, Solar powered monitor, Video animation, Media player, Photovoltaic cells

 

Open System Closed 2011, Julian Priest, Assemblage (nine underwater camera cases, found objects)

Discussion

“Information comes from The Sun” is a video artwork consisting of an animation of The Sun that was first shown at ISEA 2011 in Istanbul Turkey.

The animation is made from Solar Observatory data images of the sun that have been rendered in zero’s and ones using ascii art software and a custom font.

The animation shows a single solar rotation (28 days) photographed twice a day by the SOHO orbital instrument EIT304.

The animation may be connected to a one pixel camera that measures light levels and adjusts the resolution of the animation accordingly.

In the dark a single zero is shown – as light levels increase the number of characters increases until in the brightest light a full image of the sun is shown with every pixel a character.

Information comes from the sun represents the sun as an information source rather than an energy source – an information service provider.

What is it that we get from the Sun that we use up on Earth to power life?

Most people would say energy.

While The Earth is bathed in an enormous flow of energy from The Sun, it is not the energy that we use up on Earth. Energy from The Sun falls on Earth as visible light yet if we look at The Earth from space as an energy emitter, we see that it radiates energy as infrared light. In fact the incoming visible light energy and the infrared outgoing energy are more or less equal. If they were not in equilibrium The Earth would quickly explode. As a whole The Earth maintains an energy balance and therefore in cannot be the ENERGY from The Sun that we use up.

If we look at the incoming and outgoing energy streams we can however see that there is a frequency drop. This is related to a quantity called entropy which is a measure of disorder or energy disspipation. Entropy can also be thought of as the opposite of information. A system with higher entropy has less information. The information we are talking about here is not digital information 1’s and 0’s but possible physical states.

The entropy of the outgoing energy from the earth is greater – there is less information in the global output stream, than in the input.

This entropy gradient is what we use to structure life on earth – all the biology, culture and technology that we see on earth is a result of the process of converting the more ordered energy stream from the sun, into a more disordered output stream. We take a high information source, convert it into a low information source, and the difference stays with us on earth – as biosphere, civilisation, culture and technology.

If we think about it in this way it is clear that it really is information that comes from the sun – it is carried by a massive energy flow, but what the earth uses from the sun is the potential to order – to create structure or information.

In the field of non-linear thermodynamics it is shown that it is precisely the fact that life is efficient at degrading the entropic gradient that makes it possible to exist as a meta stable state at all.

When we reframe our understanding of the relationship between us and the sun as an informatic one rather than an energetic one there are some consequences. If we understand that the life process is not about energy, but about transforming energy in a
way that maximises information capture, we may choose to do things differently.

Currently we foreground access to energy resources politically with much emphasis placed on securing access to fossil fuels. This is a kind of quantative view of the world as resource. If however we focus on the informatic, we look not at how much energy we can capture, but how much structure we can produce for a given amount of low entropy energy or information.

Looked at this way a tree is worth more alive than dead, as an ecosystem rather than firewood. As a complex living structure of information it is vastly richer informationally than an information poor ash pile. With informational eyes we foreground efficiency over power.

With this artwork I’d like to begin to propose a different language for re-framing what are currently energetic issues as informatic ones. With this as a starting point we will have more luck in designing a sustainable infrastructure as we slowly but surely out of the fossil fuel era.

Julian Priest
05.11.2011

 

 

Whanaunga – Lisa Reihana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whanaunga 2011, Lisa Reihana (artist) and James Pinker (sound), Digital Video

Curatorial statement for Te Kore Rongo Hungaora – Second Nature

 

Curated by Ian Clothier with an advisory panel of Nina Czegledy, Tengaruru Wineera and Trudy Lane, a bridge between Maori and European cultures of Aotearoa New Zealand has been constructed. The project began with the selection of concepts shared across ideological borders. The topics were loosely connected and include cosmological context, all is energy, life emerged from water, anthropic principle and integrated systems. All the selected works address more than one of these thematic regions.

Discipline boundaries have also been breached, following a course charted at SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens where artists, scientists, environmentalists, activists, educationalists, philosophers and tangata whenua came together to collectively re-imagine our narratives on nature. In this way the event sought to encourage cultural shifts in response to the environmental crisis facing earth and humanity.

Breaching boundaries of culture and discipline, generating cultural hybridity and interdisciplinarity has consequences. There are gains and losses in the approach, but what might be won is a way forward that is sustainable, affirmative and interconnected. One sense of the term ‘culture’ refers to customary practice or a way of thinking, while one sense of ‘discipline’ is method – in these senses of those words, the works here arise from a culture of sharing and a discipline of openness.

 

Curator – Ian Clothier CV and bio

Ian Clothier is Director of Intercreate Research Centre (intercreate.org) and Founder and Co-director of SCANZ residency, symposium and exhibition. As an artist his projects intersect art, technology, science and culture. Recent creative projects include the integrated systems The Park Speaks and Haiku robots; and the hybrid cultural Making History a project of his internet micronation The District of Leistavia. He has had thirteen solo shows and been selected for exhibition at institutions in twelve countries including three ISEA exhibitions: ISEA 2009 Belfast exhibition; Taranaki culture at Puke Ariki, New Zealand; ISEA 2008 Singapore symposium; net.NET at The JavaMuseum; for Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival in the USA (upstate New York); ISEA 2006 San Jose exhibition; Graphite at the University of Otago NZ; the First International Festival of Electronic Art in Rio de Janeiro; Fair Assembly at ZKM; New Forms Festival in Vancouver; ISEA 2004 Tallinn/Helsinki exhibition; ReJoyce in Dublin and Wild 2002 in the Tasmanian Museum. He was awarded a Converge Artist Fellowship at the University of Canterbury in 2005 for an augmented reality project. Written work has been published in respected journals, Leonardo, Convergence and Digital Creativity and he has delivered papers to conferences and symposia worldwide.

Curatorial experience includes being selection panel member for Solar Circuit Aotearoa New Zealand 2006; SCANZ 2009: Raranga Tangata; SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens; Inter:place at Puke Ariki 2010; WITT-wide an exhibition covering work by staff of all departments of Taranaki’s polytechnic in 2009; Interactive City selection panel for ISEA 2006; Exhibitions, Policy and Education Officer, The Gallery Akaroa 1990 – 1992; Co-director of Summer Entertainment in Akaroa 1986; and Exhibition Officer 1984-86 at the Gallery Akaroa.

As well as curatorial panel membership he also produced and creatively directed the SCANZ events with Trudy Lane. Previously he had been Special Projects Manager at the University of Auckland Business School (managing world class teaching technology installations 1997-2002), and Survey Manager for Halcrow Fox Associates in the UK 1988-1990). In 2002 he was awarded and MA (Hons) from AUT, and has a Diploma of Art in Visual Arts from Monash University Gippsland Campus.

Research Publications

Clothier, I (2009). The Collaborative Landscape: some insights into current practice in the visual arts ITPQ refereed conference proceedings.

Clothier, I (2008). Leonardo, nonlinearity and integrated systems in Leonardo Volume 41 Number 1 pp. 49-55.

Clothier, I. & Lane, T. (2008). Solar Circuit Aotearoa New Zealand in S. Brennan & S. Ballard (Eds.) The Aotearoa Digital Arts Reader. Auckland: Clouds.

Clothier, I. & Lane, T. (2008). SCANZ. New Plymouth: Intercreate Press. ISBN 978-0-473-13388-7.

Clothier, I. (2007). Formen der Reprasentation: Hybride Kulturen, Nonlinearitat und creative Verfahren (Forms of Representation: Hybrid Culture, Nonlinearity and Creative Practice). In Kroncke, M; Mey, K & Spielmann, Y. (Eds.) Kultureller Umbau: Räume, Identitäten, Re/Präsentationen (Cultural Reconstruction: Spaces, Identities, Re/Presentations). Bielefeld: Transcript. ISBN 978-3-89942-556-7.

Clothier, I (2007). Created identities: hybrid cultures and the internet (revised with images) at http://www.hz-journal.org/n11/clothier.html

Clothier, I. (2007). Art.data/branching. New Plymouth: Intercreate Press. ISBN 978-0-473-11915-7.

Clothier, I. (2005). Created identities: hybrid cultures and the internet in Convergence Volume 11 Number 4 p 44-59; London, Thousand Oaks and New Delhi:Sage Publications

Clothier, I. (2003). Hybrid cultures: what, where and how about us? Nga Waka, Aotearoa NZ Association of Art Educators Conference published in Nga Waka, ANZAAE refereed conference proceedings, Vol. One (1),2003

Clothier, I. (2001). From chaos and cosmology: a new space for the visual arts in Digital Creativity Volume 12 no. 1, p 31-44.

Oceans of Air

From the Bottom of an Ocean of Air – Tega Brain, Kirsty Boyle, Ramon Guardans

From the Bottom of an Ocean of Air, 2011 from Tega Brain on Vimeo.

Artist and scientist Ramon Guardans traces pollutants and their effect on local and global populations, health and environments and examines the relevance of different ways of life in understanding exposure. He has been involved for 20 years in international action on atmospheric and marine pollution including the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP). Ramon was joined by roboticist Kirsty Boyle and environmental engineer and media artist Tega Brain in conducting experiments within the atmospheric environments of New Plymouth, Taranaki during the SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens creative residency.

The intrepid team is currently undergoing further investigations in Noosa on Australia’s Sunshine coast, as part of the Floating Land event.

Where was the Wind? – Ramon Guardans

Where was the Wind? Installation view.

During the SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens creative residency, Artist and Scientist Ramon Guardans took an air sample at the same time each day of the two week residency, sealing and placing it within a growing installation for the project.

These captured air samples were traced in time using the NOAA HYSPLIT model to reveal their surprisingly variable and global recent travels. An indicator of the great oceans of air that we live beneath – and the tiny viewing window we have on these vast and ever-changing forces – what we call weather. The visualisation of these phenomena which know no national boundaries, speaks to an essentially inescapable condition of interconnectedness between the biospheres of the earth and between ourselves. It equally brings to mind the folly of expecting that the impacts of global conditions such as climate change can be successfully mitigated via nationalistic or even continental mechanisms.

In Ramon’s own words, he asks:

Where was the air we breath now yesterday and the day before… ?

Air masses move over long distances in the atmosphere, and change their properties (temperature, humidity, pollutant load etc) along the way.

A given air mass can be followed over several days as it travels and mixes with other air masses.

Using the global meteorological information obtained from weather stations and satellites it is possible to calculate the “backward trajectory” of an air mass, and see where the air we breathe today was some hours, or days ago.

In a sense what we are doing here is “playing the film backwards” and seeing where the recent story of the air in our lungs started some days ago.

A map is calculated and drawn for each day and paired with an air sample for that day.

The calculations are made using the HYSPLIT model from NOAA (The US weather service) each small triangle on the trajectory represents a 6 hour interval and the larger triangles represent 24 hour intervals, the distance between the marks indicates the speed at which the air mass travels.

 

How-to – Tracing Wind Trajectories

1. Find the GPS coordinates for your location.
(http://itouchmap.com/latlong.html)

2. Run the NOAA HYSPLIT trajectory model
(http://ready.arl.noaa.gov/hysplit-bin/trajtype.pl?runtype=archive)
Use default settings…

3. Next: Location
Location: Enter Latitude and Longitude

4. Model Run Details Page
Trajectory direction: backward
Start a new trajectory every: [increasing this will increase the number of lines showing]

 

 

Ramon Guardans – Artist and scientist Ramon Guardans traces pollutants and their effect on local and global populations, health and environments and examines the relevance of different ways of life in understanding exposure. He has been involved for 20 years in international action on atmospheric and marine pollution including the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP).

 

Postformat Gallery: Multiple images with different sizes

Nullam dictum felis eu pede mollis pretium. Integer tincidunt. Cras dapibus. Vivamus elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae, eleifend ac, enim. Aliquam lor

Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem.

Read more

Another title for our pretty cool blog

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.

Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem.

Read more

light, sweet, cold, dark, crude_Aotearoa (2011)

Fernery Tunnel 1, Pukekura Park, New Plymouth

light, sweet, cold, dark, crude_Aotearoa (2011)
Audiovisual microevent
Ælab
Fernery House 1, Thursday Jan 27th, 21h-22h.
Pukekura Park

Due to space constraints in the Fernery House 1, only 5 people can
circulate at a time.

light, sweet, cold, dark, crude (LSCDC) (2006-ongoing) is a study of
wastewater management systems, of water in various states of
composition, decomposition and recomposition. This work draws from Dr.
John Todd’s Eco-Machines which work with plants, fish and algae,
without the addition of human-made chemicals to create regenerative
processes.

For this New Zealand version, the microevent consists of live video
and audio based on underground water movement in Pukekura Park. The
artists have been exploring its water flows and this understanding
will impact the video and audio they perform.

Special thanks to Chris Connelly and Donna Christiansen from the Park,
SCANZ Eco sapiens and SCANZ organizers Trudy Lane, Ian Clothier, Nina
Czegledy, Thilani Nissanga, Waitara marae and the water beings,
Cameron McKechnie, Kylie Hignett, Neil Penno (TSH audio), Megan Smith.

The artists acknowledge support from the Canada Council for the Arts,
the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and PAFARC-UQAM for the
production of LSCDC.

www.aelab.com
www.toddecological.com

Ælab is an artistic research unit from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Founded in 1996 by Stéphane Claude and Gisèle Trudel, Ælab is a
research collective that works other collaborators on a regular basis.
Ælab designates production projects in a more anonymous context,
clearly reflecting their focus on an ecological and technological
conscience rooted in the arts and sciences. Stéphane Claude is an
electronic musician and sound engineer. Gisèle Trudel is a media
artist and professor at the École des arts visuels et médiatiques at
the Université du Québec à Montréal. Their work is shown
internationally.

Remnant Breath – Keith Armstrong and Leah Barclay

Leah Barclay (AU) and Keith Armstrong (AU) (as part of Remnant/Emergency Artlab/SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens) invite you to an immersive sound walk on the Te Henui Walkway this Wednesday 26th January.

The work invites an acute sensitisation to this place solely through the often ignored senses of sound. The 20 minute experience reveals remnant sonic layers of this environment and explores stories of water, breath, place and environmental action.

‘Remnant Breath’ is the first showing of a work in progress. The project will evolve into an interactive garden of ephemeral sound growing and conversing with the natural environment.

Walks start at either 9pm or 10pm and last around 20 minutes  – please arrive on time as it will not be possible to join the walk late.

Enter the Te Henui Walkway from the Lemon Street Entrance (close to Watson Street)  – right next to the entrance to the Te Henui Graveyard on Lemon Street.

Presented as part of the SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens events which have brought over 20 local national and international artists to Taranaki.

MAPS

View Remnant Breath in a larger map