artworks

Morphogenic Movements

Morphogenic Movements, Novartis Pavillon, 2022. Photo credit: iart

Morphogenic Movements, is a series of three real-time generative animations which transform the Novartis Pavillon media façade into a self-organising system. Through the generation of cell-like forms which emerge from visual noise, the artwork explores self-organisation as a contemporary scientific method for understanding complex systems as coherent wholes. 

Self-organisation refers to the emergence of an overall order in time and space of a given system, that results from the collective interactions of its individual components. This concept has been widely recognized as a core principle in pattern formation for multi-component systems of the physical, chemical and biological world, from galaxies to living cells. Historically much of the success of the sciences has relied on a reductionist approach, in which complex systems are taken apart to examine the individual components and how they interact.

By employing algorithms which generate noise and feedback loops, the real-time animations simulate conditions associated with naturally occurring self-organising systems. Within this ‘environment’ we have encouraged the manifestation of properties observed in the dynamic evolution of these systems, such as spontaneous formation of patterns, unpredictability, waves and oscillations, so that the way the forms move, evolve and interact, feels organic, constantly shifting and mutating. Through the correlations and fluctuations of these processes order emerges from chaos, in the form of cell-like patterns, which are observed in many underlying structures of the natural physical world, particularly in biological life-forms.

Morphogenic Movements was commissioned for the Novartis Pavillon zero energy media façade. The façade is made from a network of 30,000 LED cores, powered by 10,000 energy-generating solar panels that light up at night.

The Novartis Pavillon is a learning, event and exhibition space in Basel on the Novartis campus, and is the first building on the site that is open to the public.

Commissioned by Novartis. Curated by Sabine Himmelsbach, HEK Basel.

Media Façade designed by iart with AMDL Circle.

Morphogenic Movements, Novartis Pavillon, 2022. Photo credit: iart

Morphogenic Movements, Novartis Pavillon, 2022. Photo credit: iart

Morphogenic Movements, Novartis Pavillon, 2022. Photo credit: iart

Spectral Constellations

Spectral Constellations (video documentation excerpt), 2021

2021
variable dimensions / generative animations on LED mosaics
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

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 mosaics provide partial windows from which the spectral data shifts and shimmers to create a raw visual experience.

Spectral Constellations was commissioned through a residency with the Planet Disk Connection group and DJCAD at the University of Dundee, Scotland. It has received funding from STFC (Science and Technology Facilities Council), “The planet-disk connection”, (grant number ST/S000399/1) and “Reading between the lines”, grant number (ST/V002058/1).

Thanks to the European Space Observatory archive (http://archive.eso.org/) whose spectral data was used in this artwork.

Special thanks to:
Aurora Sicilia Aguilar, University of Dundee
Justyn Campbell White, University of Dundee
Adam Lockhart, University of Dundee

HALO

HALO video documentation, Art Basel, 2018

2018
installation / various
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

HALO is a large scale immersive artwork which embodies Semiconductor’s ongoing fascination with how we experience the materiality of nature through the lens of science and technology.

Taking the form of a large cylinder, the structure houses a 360-degree projection of scientific data while an array of 384 vertical wires are played by the same data, to produce the sound. The work draws the viewer into its centre in order to inhabit the results of particle-collisions, produced by experiments taking place at CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland.

The physics performed at the ATLAS detector probes and enhances our current understanding of the building blocks of matter and their interactions, contributing to new theories that better describe our universe. Semiconductor are the first to have received permission to work directly with raw data generated by the experiment. By using this data, the artists seek to convey the signature of the technology, the mark of the architecture of the experiment, or the presence of the scientist’s voice. They confront the viewer with the data before it has been processed for scientific consumption.

For many years the notion of engaging with scientific data as an artistic material has been central to the practice of Semiconductor, with a particular interest in how such information represents physical phenomena that exist beyond the limits of our daily experiences. Their projects stand as scientific and technological mediations of nature, giving data a physical form that transcends the matter it represents. The artists highlight the ways in which our experience of nature is influenced by technology and media, and ultimately question our place within it.

HALO has been conceived as an experiential reworking of the ATLAS detector, its experiments, and its data sets. The rotated cylindrical form and multiple cables are reminiscent of the architecture of the apparatus. The assemblage is suggestive of the technology and craftsmanship associated with scientific endeavour. Each collision in ATLAS occurs at close to the speed of light. Semiconductor have re-animated 60 of these, slowing time down immeasurably to reveal time in the ordinarily static data. Through doing this we are given space as viewers to analyse the mass of data. We naturally start to look for and see patterns in the data, and are given a sense of the immense task at hand for the scientists, in capturing, reading and processing the data.

Scientists often describe the particle collisions occurring at the LHC as recreating conditions thought to have existed in our universe shortly after the big bang; here Semiconductor have made an immersive experience of matter formation in the early universe that’s framed through the technological and scientific devices that are developed to study it. We are invited to consider the philosophical problems of our mediated understandings of science and of nature, while submitting ourselves completely to their technological sublime.

HALO was commissioned by Audemars Piguet for Art Basel 2018
Curated by Mónica Bello
In collaboration with CERN

HALO was fabricated by millimetre and Polyspace in collaboration with the artists.

Special thanks to:
Mónica Bello
Ash Brosnan
Dave Charlton
Matthew Ridsdale
Mark Sutton

Thanks:
Winka Angelrath, ATLAS collaboration, Frédérick Bordry, Julian Calo, Anita Hollier, Antonella De Santo, Steve Goldfarb, Peter Jenni, Rolf Landua, Stefano Maddelena, Andrew McPherson, millimetre, Sally Jane Norman, Matthew Ridsdale, Halldor Ulfarsson, Julian Weaver, Pippa Wells.

 

Film by Semiconductor documenting the making of HALO

 

HALO 0.1 / 0.2 / 0.3

HALO 0.1 / 0.2 / 0.3, 2021

2018
x3 CG animations on square screens, silent
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Three animations made with raw data from the ATLAS detector at CERN particle physics laboratory, Geneva, Switzerland. Removed from its scientific framework, the data becomes a physical form in its own right, something to explore as an artistic medium. Each animation offers a different perspective of the data, presented on custom made square screens.

As the World Turns

As the World Turns (still), 2018

2018
13.29
single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

As the World Turns is a moving image science fiction, which explores humankind’s place in time and space, through the science of radio astronomy.

Filmed at Goonhilly Earth Station, a satellite communications site in Cornwall, England, As the World Turns visually explores the location through hand-held camera footage, creating an intimate experience and suggesting the presence of a human observer. We are given an impression of the sites history, the achievements once gained, future endeavours and of technology and nature co-existing. The film provides a sense of the human firmly grounded in the landscape, yet looking out into space, framed by our view from the Earth and the technology developed and employed to create an understanding of it.

The narrator endeavours to find her place in the physical universe. Weaving together the personal, technical, philosophical, and profound: scientific descriptions, observational diary-like entries, existential reflections, natural philosophies and rambling declarations. Whilst switching between objective and subjective viewpoints, she explores the different voices the human race employ to interpret the natural physical world.

Working with radio astronomers from CUGA (Consortium of Universities for Goonhilly Astronomy) Semiconductor have accessed and visualised raw radio astronomy data, which extracts information about the formations of stars and can be used to learn about the origins of the universe. The data reveals the human signature in the capturing process through visual artefacts, noise and interference in the radio signal, and is used to raise philosophical questions about how we experience nature through the languages of science and technology.

The monologue has been informed either by elements associated with the science and history of radio astronomy, ideas of measurement and human interpretation, or quoted directly from scientific writings. For example; References to the ‘first dish popping and banging’ were drawn from a publication by the Radio Society of Great Britain, titled Amateur Radio Astronomy. Giving a history of the science, it describes Grote Reber building one of the earliest radio astronomy parabolic reflectors in his back yard near Chicago, U.S.A. Reber described how great volumes of water pouring through the central hole during a rainstorm caused rumours among the neighbours that the machine was for collecting water and controlling the weather; descriptions of “observational studies of young circumstellar discs” were quoted directly from the science paper ‘Planet Earth Building-Blocks – a Legacy e-MERLIN Survey’; and lists of fauna found at the Goonhilly site form part of the Cornwall Council report on Goonhilly Downs as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The more discursive elements such as “How do we know when it makes sense?…”  are reminiscent of Buckminster Fuller’s voice, as he looks to the future and asserts his own world view.

Goonhilly Earth Station is in the process of transforming its original 26 metre antenna into a radio astronomy receiver. It will form part of the UK e-MERLIN network of radio dishes making it one of the most powerful radio telescopes in the World.

e-MERLIN data courtesy of Professor Melvin Hoare and Dr Katharine G. Johnston (University of Leeds). e-MERLIN is a National Facility operated by the University of Manchester at Jodrell Bank Observatory on behalf of STFC

Filming and sound: Semiconductor
Editor: Lucy Harris
Writer: Rowena Easton
Narrator: Rena Valeh
Music: Sarah-Jane Summers

Producer: Teresa Gleadowe
Assistant producer: Vickie Fear
Production assistants: Elsa Collinson and Josie Cockram
Accommodation: Kestle Barton

As the World Turns was commissioned by CAST for Groundwork in Cornwall in 2018
Produced by CAST

Groundwork was organised by CAST (Cornubian Arts & Science Trust) in partnership with Tate St Ives, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and Kestle Barton and was funded by an award from Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence scheme, with support from Freelands Foundation, Ampersand Foundation, Quercus Trust, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Cornwall Council and Kestle Barton Trust.

As the World Turns was supported by funding for Groundwork from Arts Council England.

With assistance from:
Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd
Consortium of Universities for Goonhilly Astronomy (CUGA)

Special thanks to Teresa Gleadowe, Professor Melvin Hoare, Shaun Richardson
Thanks to: Dr Robert Beswick, Paula Bolton, Paul Dobbs, Dr Mark Gallaway, Goonhilly Heritage Society, Dr James Geach, Ian Jones, Dr Rob La Frenais, Des Prouse, Dr Mark Thompson, Piran Trezise

The script for As the World Turns contains extracts from the following:
Planet Earth Building-Blocks – a Legacy e-MERLIN Survey (PEBBLES)

Cornwall Council report on Goonhilly Downs as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) notified under Section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, as amended, 1993

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The View from Nowhere

The View from Nowhere (still), 2018

2018
13:11
HD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

The View from Nowhere is a single-channel moving image work which explores man’s place in nature through the science and technology of CERN, the particle physics laboratory in Geneva.

Driven by an interest in the material nature of our physical world and how we experience it through the lens of science and technology, Semiconductor go looking for the techniques that are developed at CERN which ask fundamental questions about nature, and the languages which ensue to make sense of it.

Through juxtaposing discussions around the application and processes of theoretical physics with filmed footage in CERN’s hi-tech workshops, Semiconductor explore the dichotomy that is revealed between the surprisingly creative pursuit of theoretically modelling our physical universe and the fixed/hard classical nature of producing instrumentation to test these notions. It reveals a sense of the scientific frameworks developed by man to explore matter beyond the limits of human experience, whilst raising questions about our place in the larger nature of reality.

The title The View from Nowhere refers to the philosophical concept that science should remain an objective analysis of the natural world, if it is to be seen as having value.

The View from Nowhere was co-commissioned by Arts at CERN/ FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool)/Le Lieu Unique, Nantes, France.

Special thanks to:

Luis Álvarez-Gaumé 
Arts at CERN
Mónica Bello
René Brun
Engineers and technicians of the Large Magnet Facility CERN and ERN workshop
Panos Charitos
Michael Doser
John Ellis
Gian Giudice
Lucy Harris Editor
Anita Hollier
Rolf Landua
Sebastien Luzieux
Michelangelo Mangano
Matthew McCullough
Pierre Moyret
Jeremi Niedziela
Brian Powell
Frédéric Savary
Matteo Solfaroli
Davide Tommasini
James Wells

Through the AEgIS

Through the Aegis (still), 2017

2017
16:34
HD single channel installation / silent
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Through the AEgIS* is a space-time-lapse which explores how we make sense of nature through the language of science.

Captured by the AEgIS experiment at CERN, which looks at how antimatter responds to gravity, you see pions, protons and nuclear fragments flying out from ‘annihilation sites’; these particles ionize a photographic plate which when developed reveals their trajectories as varying sized tracks.

Using a special microscope with a very shallow depth of field, the photographic image is re-captured in several stages; by shifting the focal plane in 2 micron steps, and by scanning across each layer in 1000’s of sections, this reveals a depth to the emulsion of forty layers and details that would otherwise remain unseen to the naked eye.

Working with around 100,000 scans, Semiconductor have re-constructed the photographic image to produce an animation which re-introduces time back into the data, revealing the rhythms and artefacts of the capturing process. It gradually zooms out from one scan, whilst moving through the layers, to reveal all of the data.

A large print version of Through the AEgIS shows all of the data, visible at once, with time removed.

* Antihydrogen Experiment: Gravity, Interferometry, Spectroscopy (AEgIS)

Produced through Collide, an Arts at CERN International Artist Residency. Special thanks to Dr. Michael Doser, research physicist at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research in Geneva.

 

Posted in Art

Parting the Waves

Parting the Waves, excerpt

2017
15:00
two channel HD moving image / three channel sound
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Parting the Waves takes the visual language and method of quantum simulations, as a framework for exploring how science describes and attempts to harness the quantum realm.

Semiconductor have taken as a starting point simulated ‘surface plots’: realised as three co-ordinate graphs, they present mathematical computations of particle interactions, in a quantum system. The plots appear as varying degrees of undulating waveforms, created by the intensity of particles interactions being affected by distance, over time. A pair of square screens installed at 90 degrees expands upon two moving image projections, becoming a graph-like object in the space, mimicking the system employed by scientists to present the simulations.

Sound drives the CGI work, generating and animating visual waveforms. Starting with Hertz: the standard unit for measuring frequency in cycles per second, specific tones have been selected which create harmonies and dissonances, to play with notions of phasing, shifting and interactions in a quantum system. As the tones shift, disturbing the system, so it responds visually, producing varying degrees of amplitude, wavelength and frequency which result in complex interference patterns. The colours are representative of the coding system scientists use, to identify specific parameters or patterns when model making.

Visual and audible noise is used to introduce the concept of coherence and de-coherence in a quantum system: the point at which a systems behaviour changes from that which can be explained by quantum mechanics to classical mechanics. Other details hint at mathematical tools and terms associated with the phenomena of quantum systems such as; superposition, entanglement and wave functions.

Quantum simulations are approximations of nature that are modelled and then compared to other models, to gradually build up a picture of the phenomena being studied. The layers of modelling are a language by which scientists can communicate their findings and get closer to nature. Semiconductor are interested in the extent to which these tools and scientific products bear the signature of a human hand. By making a work where you experience nature through the language that is made to study it, they want to question how our experiences of nature are mediated through science.

Parting the Waves was created through a FEAT (Future Emerging Art and Technology) Residency. FEAT is an initiative of eutema GmbH (AT), Stichting Waag Society (NL), and youris.com (BE). It has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 686527 (H2020-FETOPEN-2015-CSA).

Special thanks to:
Sabrina Maniscalco, University of Turku
Anton Buyskikh, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford University, UK
Computational Nonlinear and Quantum Optics Group, Strathclyde University, Scotland
Turku Centre for Quantum Physics, University of Turku, Finland

Parting the Waves, solo Exhibition at Le Lieu Unique, Nantes, 2018. Photo: (c) Martin Argyroglo.

Where Shapes Come From

Where Shapes Come From (still), 2016

2016
9:00 / 9:50
two channel HD + single channel HD
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Where Shapes Comes From is a moving image work which considers how science translates nature, on an atomic scale.

Filmed in the mineral sciences laboratory at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, a scientist goes about his daily work in rock and mineral preparatory labs; cutting up large meteorites and preparing mineral samples for scientific study. Accompanying this, mineralogist Jeff Post describes the coming together of atoms to form matter. He details formations of organised structures and patterns as if they are happening in real-time, in front of our eyes, transcending time and space.

Raw seismic data, collected from the land forming Mariana deep sea trench, has been converted directly into sound and controls computer generated animations, which are composited into the labs. They depict interpretations of visual scientific forms associated with atomic structures, and the technologies which capture them. Sitting alongside these animated formations are hand-made assemblages of discarded materials and other curiosities, which now bear human signatures. They unite in bringing a sense of playfulness and personal touch to the ordinarily rigorous framework of science.By combining these scientific processes, languages and products associated with matter formation in the context of the everyday, they become fantastical and strange encouraging us to consider how science translates nature and question our experiences of the physical world.

Filmed at the Mineral Sciences Laboratory, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C. during its 100th year.
Audio made from Mariana Trench seismic data courtesy of the IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology) Network.
Dialogue: Jeffrey E. Post, Geologist, Curator in Charge, Mineral Collection, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
Scientist: Jonathon Cooper

Supported by Arts Council England.
Co-commissioned by EDP Foundation and Phoenix Leicester.
lottery_Logo_Black RGB 3cm wide

 

Earthworks

Earthworks, SónarPLANTA, Barcelona, 2016

2016
5 channel computer generated animation with 4 channel surround sound
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Watch a film where Semiconductor discuss the ideas and processes behind Earthworks here (made by Tom Thistlethwaite/Fabrica Brighton): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkg38zms44Q&t=255s

Earthworks is a five channel computer generated animation, which creates an immersive experience of the phenomena of landscape formation through the scientific and technological devices that are used to study it.  Masses of colourful layers are animated by the sound-scapes of earthquake, volcanic, glacial and human activity, recorded as seismic waves, which form spectacular fluctuating marbled waveforms.

Semiconductor have employed the scientific technique of Analogue Modelling, which uses layers of real world multi-coloured particles and application of pressure and motion to simulate tectonic and seismic forces. As the layers become deformed they reproduce the generation and evolution of landscapes in nature over thousands of years, revealing them to be in a constant state of flux.

Semiconductor have acquired seismic data captured as a result of land shifting and forming, from all over the world. There are four distinct sections to the work, each using a different set of seismic data. This includes; glacial, earthquake, volcano and human-made seismic activity captured at La Planta quarry, Spain, to represent the Anthropocene, a new geological era influenced by humans. The data has been translated to audio to form the soundtrack of the work, and simultaneously control the animation of the layers. The data as sound directly sculpts the image, re-animates the landscape, and reflects the symbiotic relationship between landscape formation and seismic vibrations. The seismic audio is rich and full of the intricacies of the dynamics of our planet in motion.

By using seismic data to control the masses of layers Semiconductor are not only playing with the idea that it is these forces that have shaped landscapes, but also that being an event that occurs beyond a human-time frame, landscape formation can only be experienced through scientific technological mediation of nature. It produces information about time, space and phenomena that no human consciousness could possibly have witnessed. It is as if we are watching hundreds of thousands of years played out in front of our eyes, enabling us to bear witness to events which ordinarily occur on geological time-frames.

By adopting the analogue modelling techniques, the work celebrates the revelatory capacities of modern science and technologies to create a kind of technological sublime, whilst simultaneously inviting viewers to consider the philosophical problems posed by such technologically mediated observations of imperceptible phenomena.

Earthworks is commissioned by SónarPLANTA
Produced by Advanced Music

Thanks to:
Fundació Sorigué
Sónar Festival/Advanced Music
Nigel Bax

University of Barcelona:
Dr Albert Casas Ponsati
Raul Lovera Carrasco
Mahjoub Himi Benomar
Dr. Josep Anton Muñoz
Oriol Ferrer

Cai Matthews
Jose Luis de Vicente
Salvador Rey Nagel

Seismic data courtesy of the Iris (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology) Consortium

Film by Semiconductor documenting the making of Earthworks

Band 9

Band 9, Pump House Gallery, London, 2015. Photo: Pump House Gallery/Photo Eoin Carey

2015
installation of 9 light boxes / various sizes
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Images Courtesy Pump House Gallery/Photo Eoin Carey

Band 9 is an installation that considers nature within the framework of science. Nine light boxes show scientific cloud data, which have been captured from space by a remote sensing satellite, orbiting the Earth. Using optical sensors it collects reflected light in various wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. By focusing on very thin slices of these, scientists can pinpoint individual phenomena such as the band we see here, which is designed to reveal high-altitude clouds called Cirrus.

In this instance, scientists are not interested in the clouds themselves, but in removing their shadows and wispy texture from their data: whose presence obscures the real information they are trying to collect. Semiconductor have embraced these redundant images for their power to offer new ways of seeing a familiar place. Re-contextualised in this way and bearing the signatures of science, the images have become a kind of technological sublime.

What we see in the images is dictated by the capturing technology; the satellite scans in 115 mile wide swathes orbiting the earth from north to south and anything beyond the dedicated wavelengths is swallowed into a black void. The angle the light boxes are installed reflects the incline the data has been captured and archived at. By presenting the raw satellite data using techniques informed by the capturing technology Semiconductor are, exploring how technologies that are made to study nature, mediate our experiences and understanding of it.

Band 9 is commissioned by Pump House Gallery, London.
Data available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Catching the Light

Catching the Light, video documentation, ArtScience Museum, Singapore, 2014

2014
multi-channel HD moving image with 6 metre wide Alucore screens
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Catching the Light is a moving image installation which explores how science and technology frame our experiences of the natural world.

Created using visual data collected by space telescopes, the six metre wide projection is made up of thousands of images which have been assembled to create time-lapse sequences. By collaging these images of space together, Semiconductor have disrupted their original spatial relationships, to create new patterns and points of reference. They have, in effect, remapped the sky.

By collecting the data in its rawest form Semiconductor are able to present it as the telescope captured it. Ordinarily scientists would remove any noise, anomalies or signatures of the technology associated with the capturing process, but Semiconductor have embraced these artefacts, using them to remind us of how our perception of deep space is framed by the tools and processes of science.

The shape of the screens reflect the space observatories’ image capturing process: as they photograph chosen parts of the sky, the trail of images produce assorted shaped arrays, which are then used as points of reference in the data archives. Semiconductor have combined three of these arrays in their native format to make the screen composition. Used in this way they become portholes or windows into the universe, they also suggest that what we are seeing is only a part of a much larger picture.

The screens are installed away from the wall to create floating objects. The aluminium composite material used to fabricate them is commonly used in the production of scientific objects sent into space; as well as being light weight and strong it typically bears its honeycomb innards revealing its workings.  The matt black surface of the screen resonates with how scientists and engineers use the mattest of blacks in the production of space optics to absorb unwanted light.

The four channel sound runs along the width of the screen, shifting as events appear and disappear. Using the luminescence of the image to create and control sound, the visual events carve a sonic space out of a field of noise, producing a singing universe of harmonic tones, reminiscent of radio telescope data translated into audible frequencies.

Semiconductor are interested in how technology, made to study nature, mediates our experiences and understanding of it. Here, by employing the products of science they have created an interpretation of deep space framed by the technology that is made to capture it, leading us to question what we are experiencing.

Catching the Light is commissioned by ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore for Da Vinci: Shaping the Future exhibition, 2014-2015.
Data obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) 
Programmer Julian Weaver

Currently fundraising for production of single channel version. If you’re interested in supporting this please get in in touch.

Cosmos

Cosmos, 2014, Alice Holt Forest, UK

2014
sculpture
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Cosmos is a two metre spherical wooden sculpture that has been formed from scientific data made tangible. Interested in the divide between how science represents the physical world and how we experience it, Semiconductor have taken scientific data as being a representation of nature and are exploring how we can physically relate to it.

Located in the Forestry Commissions Alice Holt Forest, U.K., the sculpture is made from one year’s worth of measurements of the take up and loss of carbon dioxide from the forest trees, collected from the top of a 28m high flux tower located nearby in Alice Holt Research Forest.

To reveal the visual patterns and shapes inherent in the data Semiconductor developed custom digital techniques to translate the data from strings of numbers into three-dimensional forms. The result is complex interference patterns produced by the waveforms and patterns in the data.

Through this process of re-contextualising the data it has becomes abstract in form and meaning, taking on sculptural properties. These sculptural forms become unreadable within the context of science, yet become a physical form we can see, touch, experience and readable in a new way. Here, humanising the data offers a new perspective of the natural world it is documenting.

The definition of cosmos is a complete, orderly, harmonious system and here refers to the sources of the combined data which work in harmony to make the forest what it is. 

Cosmos is commissioned through Jerwood Open Forest, a partnership between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England.

Semiconductor would like to thank:
Matt Wilkinson, Forest Research, Forestry Commission England for the data.
Julian Williams, Alice Holt Forest
Richard Barrass, Civil Engineer
Matt Risdale and Karn Sandilands, Millimetre, fabricators of Cosmos
Penny Harris, Parker Harris, Project managers
Hayley Skipper, Forestry Commission England
WUP Doodle, CNC machining

Play of Light

Play of Light, 2014, video documentation

2014
site specific two-channel moving image work
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Play of Light is a site specific, two channel moving image installation commissioned for the newly renovated brutalist Chichester Festival Theatre. Incidental in nature, this art work explores Moya and Powell’s architectural vision through animated sequences of projected light and shadows.

The shadow sequences move slowly but perceptibly as if cast by time-lapse animations of the sun or passing vehicles. As the light source moves, layers of the architecture interact and shift across each other, producing animated shadows. Caused by the phenomena of motion parallax they abstract the architecture, to create new forms and shifting patterns. The slow motion of the shadows allow for contemplation of these choreographies, as they morph and merge to reveal the natural rhythms of the architecture.

Working with a digital architectural model of Chichester Festival Theatre, Semiconductor created an artificial sun, which they animated to cast time-lapse shadows through the building. By physically deconstructing the model into many scenes, they have created multiple time-lapse sequences, which offer new and familiar viewpoints through the building, encouraging a reconsideration of the architectures formal aspects.

Motion introduces a new dimension to the architectural stage, literally bringing the building to life. By transforming the enclosed static condition of architecture to one which is open and dynamic, Semiconductor have made a kinetic sculpture on an architectural scale, which alters our experience of the building.

Optical nuances of light have been mimicked to create an authentic play of shadow and light; subtle phenomena such as blurring, bleeding and visual noise have been employed to play to the eyes sensitivities. Colours within the fabric of the building have been mirrored in the work and expanded on as a play on theatrical stage lighting: the building has become performer.

The digitally animated shadows are projected onto two interior rough concrete walls, which mirror each other. Each wall has its own distinct projection which explores each scene from a differing angle. The shadows appear as if they are being cast in situ: echoing elements of the surrounding environment, they fall incidentally on the walls.

Play of Light was commissioned by Chichester Festival Theatre, UK.

365 days of data

365 Days of Data, Jerwood Gallery, 2013

2013
Carbon Drawings
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

365 Days of Data is a series of four carbon drawings made using data collected by four instruments installed on an experimental Flux Tower at the Alice Holt Research Forest, UK. Each drawing represents a year of data for each instrument; CO2, 3-d wind, temperature and water vapour. The drawings have been produced using custom techniques to translate the scientific data into tangible forms. The drawing process has been realised by scratching into carbon paper using a computational plotter. Semiconductor hand-made the carbon paper employing techniques used by volcanologists they met in Ecuador to record seismic events.

The hand-made quality of the carbon paper is employed to suggest the presence of the human observer trying to make sense of the world. Yet, there’s also a precision which comes with the data, bringing structure and rhythm and creating a sense of complexity to what we see. This conversation between analogue and digital plays with the divide between how science represents nature and how we experience it.

These carbon drawings form part of Semiconductors installation Data Projector.
Data Projector was made during a research and development period for Jerwood Open Forest and exhibited at Jerwood Space, London, January and February 2014.
Data courtesy of Matthew Wilkinson, Forest Research scientist.

 

Posted in Art

Data Projector

Jerwood Open Forest, Jerwood Gallery, London, 2014.

2013
various lengths
multi-channel SD
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Data Projector is an installation which considers scientific data as a representation of nature. A wooden observation tower which once collected data in the heart of a forest, now projects it onto the gallery walls and into the space, serving as a symbol for human endeavour.

Through the course of capturing and processing the data, nature has taken on new forms now bearing the signature of human intervention; canopy and forest floor videos become snapshots of a forest’s yearly cycle through time-lapse capturing and appear as curious circular forms, we hear data which has been transformed into waveforms and brought into our audible range, and a series of sculptural drawings which image the same data. Through humanising the data in this way new perspectives are offered of the physical world.

There’s a sense of the hand made at work; the clunky tower and the hand-made carbon paper, suggesting the presence of the human observer trying to make sense of the world. Yet, there’s also a precision which comes with the data, bringing structure and rhythm and creating a sense of complexity to what we see and hear. This conversation between analogue and digital plays with the divide between how science represents nature and how we experience it.

Data courtesy of ‘Phenological Eyes Network’ (PEN), UK-Japan Collaborative Project. Many thanks to Matthew Wilkinson, Forestry Commission Scientist at Alice Holt Research Station.

Data Projector was made during a research and development period for Jerwood Open Forest and exhibited at Jerwood Space, London, January and February 2014.

Posted in Art

Some Part of Us Will Have Become

Some Part of Us Will Have Become (still), 2012

2012
03.00 minute TV edit + 05:45 minutes
HD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Some Part of Us Will Have Become is the lament of a lone robot bearing witness to a human-made disaster. Made using internet streams captured during the Deepwater Horizon disaster Semiconductor have created a science fiction, narrated by the voice of a remotely operated vehicle. Whilst declaring hopelessness and despair it attempts in vain to quell the disaster, systematically arranging human-made debris. Overwhelming in enormity, the endeavour ends……without success…

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Some Part of Us Will Have Become is commissioned by Channel 4 and Arts Council England. Curated by Jacqui Davies and Mike Stubbs for Random Acts.
Text by Rowena Easton
Music by Hildur Gudnadottir. Published by Touch Music (MCPS).

Subterranean (Seismic Blues)

Columbia Glacier Passive Seismic Experiment station map

2012
40.00 minutes
sound work / multi channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.
performance / installation

Subterranean (Seismic Blues) is a sound work of seismic data made audible. It is composed of several types of seismic data; earthquake, volcanic and glacial, each which forms one of three sections of the work. Each section has distinct characteristics which can be associated with processes involved in the seismic propagation; the earthquake data evokes images of rocks crunching and splintering under huge amounts of pressure, the volcanic data gives the impression of lava resonating underground whilst the glacial data crackles and snaps bringing to mind melting ice.

By translating the seismic data into audible sound we are able to perceive subterranean movements which normally lie beyond our realm of experience. What we hear gives a sense of the Earth in motion; what ordinarily appears static is in a constant state of flux, encouraging us to imagine the mechanisms producing these epic sounds.

Through appropriating scientific data in this way, we are playing with the role science plays in our experiences of the natural world and questioning how it mediates them.

Premiered at Not For Human Consumption, Cafe Oto, November 2012.
Thanks to Julian Weaver and CRiSAP
On-line exhibition by Julian Weaver Not for Human Consumption.
Seismic data courtesy of the Iris (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology) Consortium

Subterranean (Seismic Blues) (excerpt), 2012

Posted in Art

The Shaping Grows

The Shaping Grows by Semiconductor for Swarovski, image David Levene. Installation view at the Design Museum, London, 2012

2012
03.00 minute loop
4 channel HD + 4 channel audio
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

The Shaping Grows is a computer generated animation of a subterranean cavern, brought to life through seismic data. Fantastical mineral crystals chaotically emerge and evolve according to the natural resonance of our shifting planet. These manifestations reveal atomic structures in their rawest form providing a window into the make-up of the physical world, where simple shapes come together to create intricate and complex formations. Here, Semiconductor draw a parallel between these basic molecular structures and the building blocks of the digital world, a world which has become the prism through which we increasingly experience reality.

The animation spans multiple time frames condensing geological events and processes through time-lapse techniques, allowing us to bear witness to mineral crystal growth patterns and the traces they leave behind. Mineral crystals can become consumed by larger formations or play host to wildly different structures, as physical conditions change over time and favour certain elemental and chemical reactions. Matter can also become trapped inside formations as they grow, creating ‘inclusions’. The resulting objects store the memory of their making and can be read to learn the story of their evolution and the conditions in which they grew.

Semiconductor have collected seismic data of recent earthquake activity from around the world and converted it into sound. This directly animates and controls the formations and provides a sound-scape of the Earth in a state of flux.

Commissioned by Swarovski for the exhibition Digital Crystal at the Design Museum, London.

20Hz

20Hz (excerpt), 2011

2011
05.00 minutes
HD + HD 3D single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

20Hz observes a geo-magnetic storm occurring in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Working with data collected from the CARISMA radio array and interpreted as audio, we hear tweeting and rumbles caused by incoming solar wind, captured at the frequency of 20 Hertz. Generated directly by the sound, tangible and sculptural forms emerge suggestive of scientific visualisations. As different frequencies interact both visually and aurally, complex patterns emerge to create interference phenomena that probe the limits of our perception.

Audio Data courtesy of CARISMA, operated by the University of Alberta, funded by the Canadian Space Agency. Special thanks to Andy Kale.

20Hz is co-commissioned by Arts Santa Monica + Lighthouse. Supported by the British Council. Commissioned for the Invisible Fields Exhibition at Arts Santa Monica, Barcelona. 2011-2012.

Awarded the ‘Golden Gate Award for New Visions’ at San Francisco International Film Festival, 2012.
Awarded the ‘Art and Science Award’ at Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2012.
Awarded first prize at Quantum Shorts 2014, Centre for Quantum Technologies, University of Singapore.

Worlds in the Making

Worlds in the Making, FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Liverpool, UK, 2011. Photo: Brian Slater

2011
23.00 minutes
3 channel HD
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Worlds in the Making is an epic three channel moving image work that explores how we observe, experience and create an understanding of the physical origins of the world around us. By appropriating the tools and processes of volcanology to re-interpret the primordial landscapes of our volcanic planet, Semiconductor create a world slightly removed from the one we think we know, disrupting our every day assumptions of reality and questioning how science affects our experience of the natural world.

In the work the use of audio investigates our relationship with the physical, scientific and ephemeral nature of sound. Seismic data collected from beneath volcanoes and translated into audio evokes images of rocks crunching and grinding below the Earth and is used as a sculptural tool to generate elaborate CG animations of matter forming as mineral crystals. A scientist’s dialogue appears to guide us through extraordinary landscapes while Oren Ambarchi’s composition overwhelms as it brings an emotional connection to place.

The viewer is transported through dystopian landscapes, strangely exquisite animations, fantastical vistas, and natural phenomena to a world between science fiction and science fact.

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Commissioned by Jacqui Davies and FACT, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology.Supported by Arts Council England. Gulbenkian Galapagos Artists Fellowship. Smithsonian Artists Research Fellowship.

Credits:

Music by Oren Ambarchi – Published by Touch Music (MCPS)
Richard S. Fiske – Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Mineral Sciences Department: for his oratory skills, field notes and methodical tephra sorting.
Ellen Thurneau – Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Mineral Sciences Department.
William G. Melson – Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Mineral Sciences Department: for his audio recordings of Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica erupting.
Jonathan M. Lees, Professor of Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. For his seismic data collected at Tungurahua volcano, Ecuador which features in the work..
Gregory P. Waite, Assistant Professor of Geophysics, Michigan Technological University, USA. For his seismic data from Fuego Volcano, Guatemala and Mount St. Helens, Washington, USA.
Jorge Ordonez at Instituto Geofisico, Quito Ecuador
Adam and Miriam at Instituto Geofisico, Quito Ecuador
Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Dennis Geist, Professor of Geology at the University of Idaho, USA
Gorki Ruiz at Instituto Geofisico, Quito Ecuador
Instituto Geofisico Volcano Observatory, Tungurahua, Ecuador
Scientific paper: Liquid Sulfur at Volcan Azufre, Galapagos Islands by W.E. Colony and Bert E. Nordle, 1973. Charles Darwin Research Station Library, Santa Cruz, Galapagos, Ecuador.
Produced by Jacqui Davies.

preview of Worlds in the Making installation – to watch HD full screen double-click the image

 

Inferno Observatory

Inferno Observatory (preview), 2011

2011
various lengths
multi-channel SD
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Inferno Observatory is a multi-channel moving image work that explores humankind’s complex relationship with natural phenomena. During a fellowship at the Mineral Sciences Laboratory in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC, Semiconductor unearthed a 16mm volcano film archive shot by volcanologists in the field, it reveals spectacular occurrences and curious, obsessive and sometimes absurd processes of observing and studying volcanoes.
In the work, these films have been re-contextualised to emphasise and examine three distinct relationships; the erupting volcano as all-powerful and humbling, the spectacle as people gather to watch in collective amazement, photograph and be photographed and the taming of the volcano through scientific probing, measurement and human endeavour.

Archive footage courtesy of Mineral Sciences Department, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC. Commissioned by Jacqui Davies and FACT, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology. Supported by Arts Council England. Smithsonian Artists Research Fellowship.

Credits

Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Scientists films, film archive.
Music by Peeesseye.
Andreas Bick, sound recording of Mt. Yassur Volcano, Tanna Island, Vanuatu.
Professor Willy Aspinall, Earth Sciences, Bristol University, UK. For his audio recording ‘St Vincent 1979’.
Jonathan M. Lees, Professor of Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. For his seismic data collected at Tungurahua volcano.
Gregory P. Waite, Assistant Professor of Geophysics, Michigan Technological University, USA. For his seismic data from Fuego Volcano, Guatemala and Mount St. Helens, Washington, USA.
Produced by Jacqui Davies.

Inferno Observatory video documentation, FACT, Liverpool, UK, solo show, 2011

Crystallised

Crystallised (still), 2011

2011
various lengths
HD
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Crystallised is a series of digital mineral crystal animations generated and animated by sound recordings of ice crystals. Each structure takes on a different form, growing and evolving in exquisite detail. Mineral crystals reveal atomic structures in their rawest form and provide a window into the make-up of the physical world, where simple shapes come together to create intricate and complex formations. With this series of works, Semiconductor draw a parallel between these basic molecular structures and the building blocks of the digital world, which has become the prism through which we increasingly experience reality. The animations suggest pre-ordained patterns and order that appear to underlie everything and lead us to question our experiences of the very fabric of our world.

Indefatigable

Indefatigable (still), 2010

2010
07.08 minutes
HD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

A team is at work dissecting what appears to be a simple bush. The examination is carried out with such conviction and reverence, towards something which is seemingly so mundane, that the whole process appears quite absurd.
The focus becomes the actions and techniques employed; through observation and simple measuring devices they document their findings, communicating with subtle gestures, with only a few numbers and mumbles exchanged.
Sitting somewhere between science documentary and fiction, this work reflects on how we as humans construct methods to learn about the physical world around us.

Filmed during a Gulbenkian Galapagos Artists Residency. Thanks to Charles Darwin Foundation, Jorges Luis Renteria, Claudio Crespo, Eliana Boontti and Veronica Toval.
Premiered at Venice Film Festival 1-11 September 2010

Heliocentric

Heliocentric (excerpt), 2010

2010
15:00 minutes
HD single + multi-channel versions
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Heliocentric uses time-lapse photography and astronomical tracking to plot the sun’s trajectory across a series of landscapes. The entire environment feels to pan past the camera whilst the sun stays in the centre of each frame, enabling us to gauge the earth’s rotation and orbit around the sun. As the Suns light becomes disrupted by passing weather conditions and the environment through which we encounter it, it audibly plays them as if it were a stylus.

It is usually all but impossible to visualize how the earth moves around the sun, even though we know it to be true. Instead we ‘see’ the sun move around us. The ‘heliocentric’ view of the universe was debated from the third century BC onwards and remained contentious into modern times.

Shooting into the sun creates many intriguing artifacts; lens flares and glare spill over the landscape, white outs burn the image, and colours bleed into one, creating aureoles. The power of the sun still exceeds what both the human eye and the artificial eye of the camera can bear. And whilst our knowledge of the universe is ever-growing, we can only encounter and know it from our own humble vantage point.

Heliocentric is co-commissioned by AV Festival + Northern Lights Film Festival, UK.

 

 

Black Rain

Black Rain (excerpt), 2009

2009
03:00 minutes / 17:00 minute loop
Single channel + installation
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Black Rain is sourced from images collected by the twin satellite, solar mission, STEREO. Here we see the HI (Heliospheric Imager) visual data as it tracks interplanetary space for solar wind and CME’s (coronal mass ejections) heading towards Earth.

Working with STEREO scientists, Semiconductor collected all the HI image data to date, revealing the journey of the satellites from their initial orientation, to their current tracing of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Solar wind, CME’s, passing planets and comets orbiting the sun can be seen as background stars and the milky way pass by.

As in Semiconductor’s previous work ‘Brilliant Noise’ which looked into the sun, they work with raw scientific satellite data which has not yet been cleaned and processed for public consumption. By embracing the artefacts  calibration and phenomena of the capturing process we are reminded of the presence of the human observer who endeavours to extend our perceptions and knowledge through technological innovation.

Many thanks to: Chris Davis and Steve Crothers at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK + Stuart Bale and Steven Christe at Space Sciences Lab UC Berkeley, USA

Documentation of Black Rain at Earth: Art of a changing World, Royal Academy, London 2010

Out of the Light

Out of the Light (video excerpt), 2008

2008
10:00 minutes
HD single channel floor projection + expanded version
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Over time, celestial patterns can reveal themselves through the play of light and shadow on the world around us. Out of the Light is a CGI time based sculpture, which recreates these shadow phenomena to explore how we can make sense of the world through observation; we experience a solar eclipse as observed through the branches of a tree, the rhythm of a city as its shadows phase from days to months to years and the transit of Venus observed through the construction of simple human made tools. Viewing these events with the unaided eye allows for anomalies in the quality and nature of light which are played upon here, to explore our perceptual sensitivities.

Commissioned by Arcadi, Paris
Solar audio courtesy of Alexander G.Kosovichev at Stanford University.
Installation photograph; Wild Sky at Edith Russ House For Media Art, Germany. Courtesy Franz Wamhof

Matter in Motion

Matter in Motion (still), 2008

2008
05:36 minutes
HD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

The Universe is at once in a constant state of integration and disintegration. In searching for an understanding of the material world around us, Semiconductor have restructured the city of Milan. Displaying attributes more familiar to the molecular world its cityscapes have started to take on natural properties that reveal a city in pieces and generative forms that are in perpetual transformation.
Matter in Motion is a series of vignettes which originated as photographic panoramas taken around Milan. In each setting field recordings have been made and used to directly reconstruct the fabric of the city, introducing a temporal and spatial allusion. Give me matter and motion and I will construct the universe – Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

Commissioned by Careof Gallery Milan for Incontemporanea at La Triennale, Milan, Italy 2008.

Magnetic Movie

Magnetic Movie (excerpt), 2007

2007
04:47 minutes
HD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

The secret lives of invisible magnetic fields are revealed as chaotic ever-changing geometries . All action takes place around NASA’s Space Sciences Laboratories, UC Berkeley, to recordings of space scientists describing their discoveries. Actual VLF audio recordings control the evolution of the fields as they delve into our inaudible surroundings, revealing recurrent ‘whistlers’ produced by fleeting electrons . Are we observing a series of scientific experiments, the universe in flux, or a documentary of a fictional world?

An Animate Projects commission for Channel 4 in association with Arts Council England.
Shot at the NASA Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley, California, USA.

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Many thanks to the following people:
Bill Abbett, David Brain, Bob Lin, Janet Luhmann, Stephen Mende, Forrest Mozer, Ilan Roth and Paul Thompson.
Also big thanks to the CSE team at the Silver Space Sciences Lab. UC Berkeley, USA.
VLF Recordings: Stephen P.McGreevy

Awarded the Nature ‘Scientific Merit Award’ by Imagine Science Film Festival, New York, 2009.
Purchased by the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington for the permanent collection, 2008.
Awarded ‘Best Film at Cutting Edge’ at the British Animation Awards, 2008.
Special Mention, ‘Best International Experimental Short’ at Leeds International Film Festival, 2008. Awarded ‘Best Experimental Film’ at Tirana International Film Festival, 2007.

Time Out of Place

Time Out of Place (still), 2007

2007
9:30 minutes
HD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

The linear nature of time means we have a very fixed experience of it; constantly stuck in the present. To break free from these constraints Semiconductor have devised a process whereby we see the past present and future simultaneously. This act of seeing time reveals a different visual landscape than we are custom to, as multiple patterns of motion emerge to reveal a new rhythm to the city. Bearing witness to these events we perceive expanded moments within human history that lie beyond our everyday experiences.

Commissioned by The Big Chill with curator Alice Sharp to celebrate the opening of the Eurostar in the Arrivals programme, 2007: including a specially composed soundtrack by Red Snapper for the opening exhibition at the Big Chill House.

Acousticity

Acousticity (still), 2006

2006
02:40
HD single channel / surround sound
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Acousticity is a site specific animation commissioned by Prague Contemporary Art Festival, June 2006 as part of the show In a Silent Way: Susan Philipsz, Mark Bain, Carl Michael Von Hausswolff, Semiconductor, Martin Janicek, Yuji Oshima and Paolo Piscitelli. Curated By Daniele Balit.

During many excursions around the Czech capital, Semiconductor photographed and recorded the sights and sounds of the city; reaching from the suburbs and its factories to the city’s famous medieval centre. Each section of the film is controlled and animated by the sound that was recorded in situ at time of the photography, creating a physical connection between the images and the audio. The animated photos bring to life the fabric of the city using resonance to open a window onto the physicality of the structures themselves. The buildings appear to be exploding with energetic particles leaving it unclear whether we are looking at time speeded up, or an unseen moment in time.

Earthmoves

Earthmoves (still), 2006

2006
05:02 minutes
HD single channel + 3 channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Earth Moves is an exploration into how unseen forces affect the fabric of our world. By collecting field recordings and using them to directly animate photographs of the landscapes from which they came, the limits of human perception are exposed, revealing a world which is unstable and in a constant state of animation. As the forces of acoustic waves come into play on our surroundings, we bear witness to vast undulating terrains, which challenge our everyday experiences of the world around us.
The South-East of England is explored through a series of five audio controlled photographic panoramas.

Earth Moves is an Arts Council England commission and is permanently installed at the South East offices, Brighton.
Earth Moves was developed from an idea initiated during participation in Greg Daville’s City Running, Brighton March 2006.
Three screen version of Earthmoves commissioned by Lovebytes.

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Do You Think Science…

Do You Think Science…(short edit), 2006

2006
12:15 minutes + 06:16 minutes
SD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

By asking a group of space physicists the unanswerable Semiconductor reveal the hidden motivations driving scientists to the outer limits of human knowledge. In an attempt to find meaning within the question, they open a Pandora’s Box of limitations within science itself, revealing their own philosophical confines. Issues of faith, medicine and the laws of matter are raised to illustrate the infinitely complex universe we live in.

Made during an Arts Council England International Artists Fellowship Programme: Art and Space Science at the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Lab., University of California, U.S.A. In partnership with the Leonardo network and NASA.

Thanks to the following scientists at The Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley, California, USA:
Stuart Bale, David Brain, John Bonnell, Nahide Craig, Janet Luhmann, Bryan Mendez, Forrest Mozer, Stephen Mende, Ilan Roth, Chris Snead, Charles Townes and Andrew Westphal.

Brilliant Noise

Brilliant Noise (excerpt), 2006

2006
various lengths
SD / HD / single channel + multi-channel versions
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Brilliant Noise takes us into the data vaults of solar astronomy. After sifting through hundreds of thousands of computer files, made accessible via open access archives, Semiconductor have brought together some of the sun’s finest unseen moments. These images have been kept in their most raw form, revealing the energetic particles and solar wind as a rain of white noise. This grainy black and white quality is routinely cleaned up by NASA, hiding the processes and mechanics in action behind the capturing procedure. Most of the imagery has been collected as single snapshots  by ground based observatories and satellites, they are then reorganised into their spectral groups to create time-lapse sequences. The soundtrack highlights the hidden forces at play upon the solar surface, by directly translating areas of intensity within the image brightness into layers of audio manipulation and radio frequencies.

Thanks to the following solar observatories whose data archives were used in the making of this film: Mount Wilson Observatory UCLA, Lasco/SOHO Naval Research Laboratory, TRACE/LMSAL, Big Bear Solar Observatory/NJIT, SST/Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Gong/National Solar Observatory/AURA/NSF Thanks also to: Steven Christie, Iain Hannah, the CSE team and all at the space sciences Lab. UC Berkeley.

Brilliant Noise was made during an Arts Council England International Artists Fellowship at the NASA Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley, California, USA.

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Awarded second prize by the Science Film Festival, a Coruna Spain. 2008.
Awarded second prize at Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival 2006.
Awarded Best Video at Experimental Film and Video Festival, Seoul, Korea 2006.

 

All the Time in the World

All the Time in the World (still), 2005

2005
04:40
SD single channel / surround sound
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Presented as a fictional documentary, All the Time in The World sees the millions of years that have shaped and formed the land, played out at the speed of sound.
Semiconductor have reanimated Northumbria ‘s epic landscape using data recordings from the archives at the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh . This data of local and distant seismic disturbances has been converted to sound and used to sculpt and bring to life the constantly shifting geography around us.
We follow the motion of the sound as it travels from the coast at Cocklawburn to the hills of The Cheviots, transforming the land. We travel to Abb’s Head and witness Earth Lights, made visible by the seismic sounds. These phenomena are said to be the result of tectonic movement in the strata below us. Flashes of light and electricity are produced as movement squeezes mineral crystals together, displaying luminous objects whose motion coincides with the direction of ruptures within the earth.

Filmed and animated between October and March 2005 during a fellowship at Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, UK. Supported by English Heritage and Arts Council England North East

Sonic Inc.

Sonic Inc. performance, Mutek Festival, Montreal, Canada 2007. Photo: Caroline Hayeur

2004 – 2008
various lengths
live animation software
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Inspired by the challenge to create and manipulate an entire work of sonic animation in real-time, Semiconductor custom-made their own live performance software, Sonic Inc. The performance is a joint effort that sees Semiconductor creating forms and compositions on the fly through a process of drawing and manipulation, whilst the computer ‘listens’ to the audio, realising and animating the digital creations to its resonance.

The visual aesthetic of Sonic Inc. moves away from the high-tech world of computer graphics and towards the inherent visual language of the computer. Slick complexity is stripped back to reveal the basic building blocks of computational visual language. Using this Semiconductor explore artificial expression within the realm of computer animation.

The performance has six chapters of evolution; progressing from elementary forms to burgeoning worlds, and finally simple life forms, which learn to move autonomously, grow and build their own environments.

Every element is created and controlled in real-time; the forms, cameras, the viewpoint, the creation and application of image textures,the creature development, the landscape creation etc.

This is multi-purpose software which can also be used as an improvisational tool, using a direct audio feed with live musicians.

“Things are quite unpredictable with Sonic Inc., there’s a lot of risk taking involved as we make everything from scratch, controlling every element, things get pretty hectic. Unpredictable isn’t a quality you normally associate with a computer, but we have always liked the bringing together of analogue and digital, the human and the machine. We are the element that makes it erratic and are an uneven match for the computer. Performing with Sonic Inc is totally free-form, something which our pre-rendered works are certainly not – they are tight and time consuming.” Semiconductor

Semiconductor would like to thank Julian Weaver for his skills and patience, Niels Gorisse for CPS http://www.bonneville.nl/cps
and Andrew Duff for his midi-magic.

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Performances using Sonic Inc:

Sightsonic Festival, York, UK – Early 2008
Mutek Festival, Montreal, Canada  Semiconductor solo performance and collaboration with Hauschka 2007
Aurora, Norwich Animation Festival- 9th November 2007
Lab30 Festival, Augsberg, Germany – 27th October – 2007
Almost Cinema, Vooruit, Ghen, 9th October 2007
Outsider Festival, La Maison Europeene de La Photography, Paris- 28/29 Sept. 2007
Volksbhune, Berlin, Germany – 23rd Sept. 2007
c/o Pop Festival, Cologne, Germany – 16th August 2007
Montevideo, Amsterdam- 4th July 2007
La Rochelle Film Festival, France – 7th July 2007
Sonic Arts Expo, Plymouth, UK- 23 June 2007
FutureSonic, Manchester, UK- 10/12 May 2007
Nemo Festival, Paris – 25 April 2007
Socetas Raffaello Sanzio,Cesena, Italy – 24/25th March 2007
A:Event, Melkveg, Amsterdam – 11th March 2007
Optronica, SouthBank BFI IMAX, London – 15th March 2007
The Cube, Bristol – collaboration with Antenna Farm – 9th March 2007
Short Circuit, Hasselt Belgium – collaboration with Antenna Farm – January 2007
Consortorium Gallery, Amsterdam – December 2006
Music Research Centre, York University, UK – Ocotber 2006
Bios, Athens, Greece – September 2006
San Francisco Electronic Music Festival at RML – August 2006 21 Grand, Oakland, USA -January 2006
UC Davis, USA – November 2005
Other Cinema, San Francisco, USA – November 2005
Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, USA – September 2005
Late at the Tate, Tate Britain, London – June 2005
Sintesi Festival of Electronic Art: Naples – April 2005
Festival Nemo: Paris, France – April 2005
Images Festival, Torronto, Canada – April 2005
Beaconsfield, London – April 2005
Side Cinema, Newcastle – March 2005
Transmediale, Berlin – February 2005
Computer Cinema festival, Rotterdam – November 2004
Cimatics, Brussels – October 2004

Sound of Microclimates

Sound of Microclimates (still), 2004

2004
08:20 minutes
SD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

The Sound of Microclimates reveals the sights and sounds of a series of unusual weather patterns in the Paris of today. Here, architecture has become interwoven with the natural processes of the geographical landscape. Set within the un-noticed moments in time, extreme microclimates are presented as the future in city accessories, revealing the unseen urban terrains of tomorrow.
Like the temporary staged events at an World Expo these weather patterns hi-light public spaces and architecture within the City or Paris. They exist as a series of weather observations that animate the evolution of the inanimate urban condition. Each microclimatic intervention has its own audible frequencies, where the sound from each environment animates the movement and reveals each sites unique narrative.

Filmed and animated between January and March 2004 during a residency at
Centre International D’accueil et D’echanges des Recollets(Paris/FRANCE).
Funded by The City of Paris and the Ministry Foreign Affairs, France.

Mini-Epoch Series

Mini-Epoch Series (still), 2003

2003
x5 01:00 minute works
SD installation
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

The Mini-Epoch Series is found animations of urban planning during the next 2000 years. Landscaping of cities yet to be conceived.

Site specific installation at Palazzo Zenobio, Venice Biennale 2003.
Each of the scenes were installed on 7″ widescreen LCD screens.
Semiconductor worked with Richard Wentworth in a protégé/mentor relationship and both installed art works for ‘Absolut Generations’ in room six of the Palazzo Zenobio.

Digital Anthrax

Digital Anthrax (still), 2002

2002
various lengths
live animation software
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

A live performance where Semiconductor control and animate creatures, cameras and landscapes in real time. The environment is an architectural stage for the creatures to explore. This is an early version of what would later become Sonic Inc.

Strata

Strata (still), 2002

2002
various lengths
live animation software
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Strata is a live performance tool that enables us to navigate our way through multiple layers of landscape in a 3-D real-time environment. Animated moments trigger sound. Additional live sound is performed on MAX/MSP.

Strata was performed between 2002 – 2004:

Association Bande Annonce, Montpellier,France, February 2004
Scratch, Lightcone,Paris, February 2004
International Festival of Contemporary Arts Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 2003
La Fête de la Musique, Fresnoy: France, June 2003
Fat Cat Showcase, Brighton Festival, May 2003
Fat Cat Showcase, Hasselt: Belgium, May 2003
The Lux Open, Royal College of Art : London April 2003
Beursschouwburg,Brussels; Belgium, February 2003
Netmage 03, Bologna, Italy, January 2003 Prizewinners!
Animac, Lleida International Animated Film Festival, Spain, February 2003
Avanto Festival, Helsinki, Finland, November 2002
Hospital, Brighton Digital Festival, November 2002
Sightsonic,York International Festival of Digital Art, October 2002
V2 + Paradiso, Rotterdam + Amsterdam June 2002

Linear

Linear (still), 2001

2001
05:35
SD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

A C.G.I. documentary about a Hi-Fi Rise somewhere in the 21st Century. Portraying the story of T.O.E. (Theory of Everything). String, a confused citizen within a quaking urban universe.

Selected screenings and installations:

Other Cinema, San Francisco,USA, November 2005
UC Davis, California, USA, November 2005
Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, USA , September 2005
Festival Nemo, Paris, France, April 2005
Museum of Contemporary Art Lyon, Pi Days, May 2005
Group show: The Cube; Esapce De Creation Numerique,Paris France
20 March – 20 July 2005
The British Council Jerusalem , Israel: 3rd June 2004
Sound Films 1999-2003, ICA Digital Suite, London, September 2003
The Lux Open, Royal College of Art : London April 2003
Sonar Festvial, Barcelona, June 2002
Ruido Digital, Belo Horizonte , Brazil, December 2002

Domestic E.M.I.

Domestic E.M.I (Screen grab), 2001

2001
Acoustic Web Diagram
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Domestic E.M.I. was an online interactive acoustic diagram. Exploring visually and aurally areas of domestic interference: including vibrations and atmospheric disturbances through the action of man and earthly phenomenon.

Domestic E.M.I. focuses on the potential effects of magnetic interference in our daily lives, we are becoming increasingly aware of these intrusions and the effects on our personal environments.

A domestic space is the focus of an interactive acoustic diagram which is put under the microscope.

The main navigational area is constructed in Flash , utilising action script for specific sound and visual interaction, where the objects respond to the actual waveform.

Domestic E.M.I. uses external links as a resource of information, which relates to the interactive journeys through sound and vibration. The external links become part of the fiction the landscape portrays.

Domestic E.M.I. was produced by Semiconductor during an Artists Residency at the exhibition, “The Origin of Painting” by Disinformation , which took place at Fabrica in Brighton during November and December 2001.

Launch Domestic E.M.I.

New Antics

New Antics, 2000

2000
04:22
SD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

New Antics was originally developed for Warp Records Nesh nights 2000.

The soundtrack was originally released on the Semiconductor Hot Air 7″ EP release Minimall 2000

Earthquake Films

Earthquake3
Earthquake Films (still), 2000

2000
09:35
SD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Songlines sung by an earthquake. This was an early live experiment performed at one of Semiconductors’ E.M.I. (Electro Magnetic Interference) events in Brighton, 2000. It also formed part of a DVD-Rom section in Hi-Fi Rise, Semiconductors’ first DVD release in 2001.

Inaudible Cities

Indaudible Cities, 2002

 

2002
06:42
SD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

The first in a series of short films where cities are made of and controlled by sound. In this episode, every detail of an urban landscape is built by the sonic pressures of an oncoming electrical storm. The very fabric of this isolated world is defined by the noises and frequencies that surround a space in another aural dimension. Semiconductor wrote a program which listens to the various parts of the soundtrack and constructs the animated environments.

Commissioned by Lighthouse.
Thanks to Evelyn Wilson, Matt Tizard and Andrew Duff.

A-Z of Noise

A-Z of Noise, 1999

A sound recording of the 20th Century played in 60 seconds

1999
01:20
SD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

A to Z of Noise was an early process based experiment. The initial starting point consisted of one second of pure white noise audio and one second of pure black video. Noise reduction was systematically applied to each media. As there was no noise to clean up in the black video it introduced artefacts and as there was nothing but noise in the sound it removed everything. This was repeated 60 times to make one minute. Finally the audio was reversed so that the silence of the removed white noise corresponded with the pure black video clip.

Retropolis

Retropolis, 1999

1999
04:40 minutes
SD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Retropolis is a city where the dust never settles and the last few light bulbs are fighting for survival. Transforming London into a modern Sci-Fi landscape collage,  a fast moving journey takes us through destruction and chaos fuelled by an electrically charged soundtrack.