What if we could hear into outer space from here on earth? Sonic Planetarium is an audio model of the stuff in earth’s orbit, in real time. Sound files representing individual satellites are played across a surround-sound speaker arrangement as the actual objects pass far overhead, as if we can hear up through the atmosphere and into earth’s orbit.
Reception: Friday June 16th 7 – 9 pm
Open to the public Saturday and Sunday 4 – 7 pm
Harvestworks 596 Broadway #602 New York NY 10012
Subway: F/M/D/B Broadway/Lafayette, R to Prince, #6 to Bleecker
There are many, many spacecraft and pieces of debris in earth’s orbit, but because they are so far away and move so fast it is really hard or impossible for us to see them from our vantage point on the ground. What if we could hear them instead—what if all of the stuff in earth’s orbit were making a sound which we could hear from earth? (That is, what if we could hear radio signals from satellites directly—of course sound itself doesn’t travel in the vacuum of space.) By crowdsourcing audio files recorded from satellite radio transmissions and from other sounds representing satellites, and associating these files with individual tracked orbiting objects, we can play these satellite sounds on a surround-sound speaker installation as the actual satellites pass by our location. Visitors walk within the speaker arrangement to experience slowly shifting sounds representing satellites in space, and are welcome to contribute their satellite audio, real or imagined, to the model. Sonic Planetarium strives to convey to visitors, as sound, what is relatively close in outer space, right now
Sonic Planetarium is led by Heidi Neilson, KD2ESI, an interdisciplinary artist interested in the connections between people on the ground and off-planet conditions and infrastructure, see heidineilson.com.
Kim Fisher is a GIS programmer, web developer, and mapping enthusiast, and handles database programming for Sonic Planetarium.
Tommy Martinez is an artist and technologist specializing in multichannel sound, video, code, and improvisations with guitar and custom software, including Max/MSP for Sonic Planetarium, thomasjohnmartinez.com