artworks

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

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.

 

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.

lottery__black wideSupported by Arts Council England.

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

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