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Lonely Speck, Cosmic Dark

  • Our Roles
  • Concept Ideation
  • Prototyping
  • Fabrication
  • Software Development
  • On-Site Installation
  • Event Supervision
  • Categories
  • Interactive Installations
  • Immersive Theatre

Lonely Speck, Cosmic Dark is a series of explorations into visualising data as sensory forms.

The data, captured by the NASA Voyager and Cassini deep space probes and acquired with help from the University of Iowa Physics Department, came to us in the form of short, low quality audio conversions of radio and plasma wave radiation. These sounds were then synthesised into a series of epic compositions originating from sources including Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus and their moons.

Alongside the soundscapes we converted the same waveforms into physical form, embedding electronics inside to create a series of enigmatic, abstract personal musical devices. Extremely weird iPods, if you like.


A second piece in the series, commissioned by the Tate Britain, used as its base a high resolution three-dimensional scan of the Gale Crater on Mars, the landing site of the Curiosity rover in 2012. The 3.6 billion year old crater measures 154km in diameter, with the central peak, Aeolus Mons, rising 5.5km from its centre.

Taking the shape of a huge monolith situated in a pitch black room, a single moving line of light slowly traced the topology of the crater’s surface, cresting its peaks and sinking into its troughs, with the resulting waveform translated into an ethereal microtonal composition.

The compositions can be heard here and here.

Made in collaboration with Cassini Sound and with thanks to NASA.

Listen to Tim talk about the project at Electromagnetic Field 2016 here.

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Gale Crater Slices 3 D