artworks

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.
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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).

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.

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.

 

Double Adaptor – 200 Nanowebbers

2005
02:49
SD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

For ‘200 Nanowebbers’, Semiconductor have created a molecular web that is generated by Double Adaptor’s live soundtrack. Using custom-made scripting, the melodies and rhythms spawn a nano scale environment that shifts and contorts to the audio resonance. Layers of energetic hand drawn animations, play over the simplest of vector shapes that form atomic scale associations. As the landscape flickers into existence by the light of trapped electron particles, substructures begin to take shape and resemble crystalline substances.

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

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

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.

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.