RND Scanner 2

January 23, 2006


last 1, some stretches here, not banal enough… still time is present.


i have some camera stuff, even less common and fucked up we can use with lidless scanner beds.

hope its ok that i send a flow of mail tonight.
i think we can start man! trees, scanner lake, upsidewhichway suspended cocky and hotglue and silicon.
we plug in the scanner with a usb later. and need to fire it or get it to fire its laser and scan using the usb in and software on the pc.



RND Scanner 1 + Hackergotchi Script

January 23, 2006

if you want we can build the scanner camera from stuff i have around here, large format camera optics / scanner and worry about usb bluetooth so it sends pictures. homemade. we talked about a rubber band that expands in the model. maybe i mentioned the anoto bluetooth pen, the visual glocal handwriting tagging gizmo, a database of hand gestures for us taking the pen and turning it into a ring, like a hells angels ring or something. and we thought if we could find elastic led bracelet material for the rubberband it could have messages posted orbiting on the rubber band.

another visual idea i imagined listening to a seminar. its the hackergotchie cut-out song, rhythm. i am told in gnu theres a GNU IMG LIB for auto cut-outs open source. i have the name in zkm. and if we get that to just cut the main, the foreground, the dominating form in a picture for a start, and that IMG LIB cuts out the form and we have the CHARPATH vector data of the outline that we store, and that geometry searches flickr lickr and kuickr for matches, cousins and that similar cut-out gets pasted into the first cut-out. the sequence goes from there and then sometimes a clean slate or a cut to another scene, another event.

maybe we start that with the search made for ‘rotating rubber rand’ now on http://del.icio.us under 0rb1t. if our taxonomy is limited to 3 terms space-seperated and for sub-related images, then the same 3 and 3 more terms, and sometimes if a complex image we use and or plus… a few simple scripting rules we could make the experience of the google movie mail much more intriguing and less flickr dependent. more open and more autobiographical or narrative or phenomenal…

good night gentlemen, p


# fetch.gotchi.pl

#!/usr/bin/env perl

# ./fetch.gotchi.pl some-url
# …will generate a HTML page (for now ;)

use LWP::Simple;

my $start = shift || ‘http://rdfweb.org/people/danbri/rdfweb/danbri-foaf.rdf’;
my %seen, %seealso, $out, %seenpic;
my $debug=1;
my $outfile=”planet.html”;

while (1) {
my @left=();
foreach my $k (sort keys %seealso) {
push(@left, $k) if (!$seen{$k})
if (scalar @left==0) {
print “GOTCHA!…\n” if $debug;
exit 0;

print “Unseen todo list: “. join(‘; ‘,@left) .”\n\n” if $debug;
my $todo = pop @left;
print “Fetching uri: $todo … \n” if $debug;
$page = get $todo;

while($page =~ s!rdfs:seeAlso\srdf:resource=”([^”]+)”\s*/>!gotlink($1,$todo)!e) {};

sub gotlink {
my $more=shift; my $p=shift;
print “Seealso: $more FROM $p\n” if $debug;
if (!$seen{$more}) {
return ”;

while($page =~ s!depiction\s+rdf:resource=”([^”]+)”\s*/>!gotpic($1,$todo)!e) {};
while($page =~ s!img\s+rdf:resource=”([^”]+)”\s*/>!gotpic($1,$todo)!e) {};

sub gotpic{
my $pic = shift;
my $u = shift;

return ” if $pic =~ m/mpg/i;
return ” if $pic =~ m/svg/i;

if (!$seenpic{$pic}) {
$out .= “ \n\n ” ;
$out .= “\n\n”;
return ”;

open (OUT, “>$outfile” ) || die “Can’t write outfile: $outfile “;
print OUT “\n\n”;
print OUT $out;
print OUT “\n\n”;

print “(re)writing output: $outfile\n\n” if $debug;
close OUT;


Hello world!

January 23, 2006

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

James Downey

October 9, 2005

Paint the Moon 2001

Paint the Moon 2001.

What if you could get millions of people to point their little laser
pointers to the Moon all at the same time. Would it be possible to
“Paint the Moon”? We’ll find out this fall because that’s exactly what
PaintTheMoon.org is all about. Created by artist James Downey,
PaintTheMoon.org’s mission is:

To unite millions of people in an effort to ‘paint’ a red spot on the
dark portion of a first-quarter moon using common laser pointers during
a five-minute period this autumn.

Will it work? Many “experts” in physics say no but that’s no reason not
to at least try. After all, many people thought landing on the Moon was

Source: HEREontheWEB – 21.08.2001


Thu, 9 Aug 2001 08:04:00 -0700

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This is from a well-respected physicist who will go unnamed. It’s a
shame, though. Paintthemoon is, in theory, a great idea:

>There’s a movement afoot to get enough people to shine laser
>pointers at the moon all at once to make a visible spot.
> http://www.paintthemoon.org/

You would need many billions, moreover with very steady hands on the part of all concerned. The Moon is about 8 milliradians wide, and laser-pointer spots are ~0.3 milliradians in width. They output at most 5 milliwatts

and most are 2 or less, and you would need to overwhelm Earthshine from the Moon, which is roughly 0.1 W/sq.meter. Your common spot on the Moon would be about 1/30 of a lunar diameter, or ~130 km in width, or ~10,000 sq.km or 10 billion sq.meter in area. Thus, you would need a billion watts of total laser-pointer illumination to overwhelm Earthshine, or the output of 500 billion laser-pointers. Of course, if you were to look at the Moon with spectral filter glasses which just matched the ~2 nm spectral-width of the laser-pointers, you would cut this illumination requirement by ~500-fold, so that only one-sixth of the human race — one-third of those who could point at the Moon at any given moment — would have to point to the same spot on the non-Sunlighted portion of the Moon in order to see a doubling of the apparent illumination there — which is not greatly in excess of human visual-intensity threshold at low light levels.

Dan Kohn

Artist Wants to Paint Moon, But Physics May Foil Plan
By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer
posted: 07:00 am ET
10 August 2001

An artist hoping to recruit millions of laser-pointer owners to “paint the Moon” may instead be disappointed by physics.

James T. Downey, the artist behind the project, is intent on creating a “collaborative work of celestial art” by illuminating a fleeting red spot on our only natural satellite.

The event, an effort to help people “find the excitement of space,” is scheduled for two nights, one in October and another in November. Downey has chosen a target location for the beams on the dark portion of the Moon while it’s in its first-quarter. Each attempt would last five minutes. A web site, called “Paint the Moon,” has been set up with instructions for where and how to point your laser and why you should participate.

“Inexpensive yet surprisingly powerful laser-pointing devices have become ubiquitous in America,” said Downey. “Millions of people own such a device. Laser light stays coherent over vast distances, the beams spreading very little.”

Lasers are powerful devices, concentrated bursts of energy that can damage the eye, cut through metal or, theoretically, shoot down enemy missiles. And all at the speed of light. Astronomers use lasers to measure distances between telescopes and even to enhance observations in order to improve resolution of light coming from distant stars. Experiments planted by Apollo astronauts allow scientists to use lasers to more accurately gauge the distance from Earth to the Moon, and even detect moonquakes.

But all technology has its limits. It seems there are not enough people in North America to make Downey’s idea work.

“As I suspected, the number required is not millions of people, but more than millions of millions of millions of people,” said Donald Umstadter, a laser expert at the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

The science behind the art

Umstadter became curious about the project when SPACE.com asked him if it was feasible to illuminate the Moon in this way. He asked one of his graduate students, Chad Vandenbosch, to look into the possibility as a mathematical exercise.

To calculate how many people it would take to successfully make a temporary red spot on the Moon visible from Earth, Vandenbosch estimated several factors. He considered a typical handheld laser pointer’s power and how much of the light would be absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, as well as how much of the laser light would be reflected by the Moon vs. how much would be absorbed.

As a premise, he based the calculations on what would be needed to make the spot visible to people in cities, where bright lights would obscure a faint spot that might otherwise be visible in rural locations.
What do you think?
A reader says there’s another reason why this won’t work. Uplink your views

Vandenbosch said there is a little wiggle room in his calculations due to the estimate of background light.

“The main thing to glean from the calculation is that the divergence of these pointers, due to their small aperture and a basic law of optics governing the diffraction of light, results in a huge diameter beam, and thus very dim beam, by the time it arrives at the Moon,” Umstadter said.

On with the show

Downey, the artist, was intrigued and a bit dismayed when he learned of Vandenbosch’s science, but plans to proceed with the artistic attempt nonetheless.

“I knew that it would be a long shot from the start,” Downey said. “But success is something that can be measured in a lot of ways. We may not be able to accomplish actually painting the Moon, but still the act of participating in something such as this has value.”

In what way?

“If I can get people thinking about the Moon as something they might be able to touch, if I can get science teachers to talk about the physics involved, Moon phases, etc., if I can just help people find the excitement of space as part of the human drama again, then the project will have been a grand success.”

Downey also doesn’t want to spoil a good party.

“In emails, I hear from people who are planning parties around the event, who become enraptured with the whole notion and tell all their friends,” he said. “Of course, I also hear from people who think the entire idea is just plain lunacy, and tell me I should be locked up for spreading such tripe. But hey, art is like that.”

Downey came up with the idea as part of a novel he’s writing, set 50 years into the future. “A couple of characters are discussing oddball things back at the beginning of the millenium, and this comes up. I thought that it would be fun if someone read my book (assuming I can get it published, of course) and actually tried to organize such an event, thereby having life imitate art.”

Downey estimates 25,000 people have visited his web site, http://www.paintthemoon.org.

Source: space.com


We can touch the moon
Torsten Kleinz 26.10.2001

James Downey will mit Laserpointern einen Punkt auf den Mond malen
Ein Gemeinschaftserlebnis der besonderen Art hat James Downey aus Columbia, Missouri erdacht. Am Samstag will er mit Millionen Laserpointern für fünf Minuten einen roten Punkt auf den Mond malen. Die Idee ist so gut, dass nicht einmal die Physik ihr ernstlich schaden kann.

Laserpointer sind billig, weit verbreitet und praktisch nutzlos. Man findet sie an Schlüsselanhängern, in Kugelschreibergehäusen und in kleinen Taschenlampen. Bei Vorträgen werden sie gerne benutzt, um den Zuschauer punktgenau auf die wichtigen Stellen hinzuweisen. Schüler greifen zum Laserpointe, um ihre Lehrer zu ärgern oder ihren Mitschülern Augenschäden zuzufügen. Nun hat James Downey endlich eine praktische Verwendung für die kleinen Strahler gefunden: Millionen Menschen sollen zusammen mit ihm am Wochenende auf das dunkle Viertel des Mondes zielen und einen roten Punkt auf die Mondscheibe bannen.

Es begann im letzten Frühjahr. Downey, Buchbinder und freischaffender Künstler, knobelte an einem Science-Fiction-Roman. In einem Kapitel ging es um einen verrückten Künstler, der mit Lasern einen roten Punkt auf den Mond werfen wollte. Downey mochte die Idee. Schließlich fragte er sich, warum das eigentlich Science Fiction wäre. Im Mai diesen Jahres ging er mit seiner Seite paintthemoon.org (1) online, um Millionen Mitstreiter für sein Unterfangen zu finden.

Dabei geht er mit erfrischender Offenheit zu Werke. Unter der Überschrift “Wird es funktionieren?” schreibt er: “Ich weiß es ehrlich nicht. Ich bin Schriftsteller und Künstler, kein Wissenschaftler. Aber ich glaube, es könnte theoretisch funktionieren. Wenn wir einige Millionen Leute bewegen könnten, es zu versuchen, könnte es klappen. Es ist gut möglich, dass wir es nicht schaffen. Aber wäre es nicht großartig, wenn wir es trotzdem täten?”

Mit seinem Aufruf stieß Downes bei Hobbyastronomen und Wissenschaftlern auf offene Ohren. Mit besonderem Enthusiasmus untersuchten sie, warum Downeys Experiment nicht funktionieren wird. Sie schätzten die Leistungsfähigkeit der üblichen Handlaser ab, berechneten die Absorption der Erdatmosphäre und die Reflektionsfähigkeit des Mondes. Sie beschäftigten sich mit Winkelmaßen und vermaßen (2) sogar die Grafiken auf der Webseite.

Laser-Experte Donald Umstadter von der Universität von Michigan hat das Experiment durchgerechnet: “Man braucht nicht Millionen, sondern Millionen von Millionen von Millionen von Leuten.” Aber dann wäre es prinzipiell machbar. Er war nur einer von vielen, die sich bei Downey gemeldet haben.

“Mittlerweile habe ich von der Hälfte der Amateurwissenschaftlern der Welt gehört, und von einem Drittel der professionellen Forscher, die irgendwelche Kenntnisse haben über Physik, Optik, Laser, Astronomie, die Atmosphäre oder irgendwas, was mit Mathe zu tun hat. Und fast jeder erzählt mir, dass diese verrückte Idee nicht funktionieren wird.”

Den Künstler ficht das nicht an. Er beruft sich darauf, dass die Menschen Träume brauchen. Träume, die größer sind als sie selbst. Und er gibt den Menschen die Chance, an diesem großen Traum mitzuwirken. Paintthemoon ist echtes Peer-to-Peer. Jeder kann mitmachen, bei Erfolg hat jeder den gleichen Anteil. Und jeder lernt etwas über Astronomie dazu – selbst, wenn das Projekt scheitert.

Ursprünglich hatte Downey das Projekt auf Nordamerika beschränkt, jetzt hat er auch Europa und Asien in seine Pläne einbezogen. Auf der Website gibt er Tipps, wie man am besten auf den Mond zielt. Fortgeschrittene Mondmaler sollen ein Teleskop verwenden, Amateure können sich behelfen, indem sie ihren Laserpointer an einen Stock binden und mit bloßem Auge zielen. Dabei sollte man aber darauf achten, dass man keine Flugzeuge trifft und die Piloten blendet.

Sollte das Experiment wegen zu starker Bewölkung oder sonstigen Widrigkeiten beim ersten mal scheitern, hat Downey gleich einen Ausweichtermin verkündet. In dem Fall sollen die Laser einen Monat später auf den Erdtrabanten feuern.

Und sollte doch kein roter Punkt erscheinen, weiß Downey eins auf alle Fälle: selbst die Zweifler werden am 27. Oktober hoch zum Himmel spähen. Und nicht wenige werden Laserpointer dabeihaben.

(1) http://www.paintthemoon.org/

Telepolis Artikel-URL: http://www.telepolis.de/r4/artikel/9/9915/1.html

Copyright © Heise Zeitschriften Verlag.

Joan Fontcuberta

October 9, 2005

Sputnik, 1997.

Cosmonaut Ivan Istochnikov, portrait.

Ivan and space dog Kloka.

Ivan as boy.

Top: original photograph sold at Sotheby’s, New York, Dec. 11th, 1993. It is dated, Nov. 7th, 1967 and is signed by, from left to right, Leonov, Nikolayev, Istochnikov, Rozhdestvensky, Beregovoi and Shatalov.
Bottom: The same image, manipulated, as it was published in the book “Bound for the Stars” by Boris Romanenko.

Ivan in module.

Soyuz, orbiting 200km. above Earth.

Sputnik installation, David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, 2001.

Sputnik: The Odyssey of the Soyuz II, 1997.

The Telefonica Art and Technology Foundation in collaboration with the Sputnik Foundation of Moscow is pleased to present an exhibition that brings together newly discovered material on the almost unknown history of Soviet space exploration: photographs, videos, voice transcriptions, original annotations, navigation instruments, personal effects and even a replica of the Soyuz 2 spaceship… That the pieces that compose the exhibition are of an important documentary and scientific value does not exempt them from the poetic dimension that the exploration of the cosmos invokes.

For the theme of this exhibition, the Sputnik Foundation wanted to focus on one of the most shocking events of cosmonautics. On October 25, 1968 the Soyuz 2 was launched from the Baikonur aeronautics center with the cosmonaut-pilot Colonel Ivan Istochnikov on board. The spacecraft was to be the target of a space manoeuvre carried out by the Soyuz 3 which, piloted by the Lieutenant Colonel Giorgi Beregovoi, was going to attempt an orbital docking of the two capsules. In those days, the United States and the USSR were racing against the clock to be the first to reach the Moon. Political pressure prevailed over technical considerations and the space race had already claimed some victims. For example, the flight of the Soyuz 1. Starting off badly, it eventually ended in tragedy when the cosmonaut Komarov crashed on his return due to a malfunction of the parachute.

For the next mission, precautions were carried out to the extreme and all signs pointed to a satisfactory result. But it was not to be. After a failed attempt at space docking, the Soyuz 2 and the Soyuz 3 drifted apart and lost contact with each other. When they found each other the next day, Istochnikov had disappeared and his module showed signs of having been hit by a meteorite. In truth, what had really happened was never known for certain and the enigma inspired a series of conjectures. However, the Soviet authorities were determined not to admit to an another failure. They came up with a solution appropriate to their style by declaring that the Soyuz 2 had been an unmanned flight. Officially, Ivan Istochnikov had never existed and to prevent anyone from contradicting this version, they confined his family, blackmailed his colleagues, manipulated files and retouched photographs. Reality had surpassed the most fantastic science fiction plot.

However when fear ended, so did the pact of silence. With Perestroika, the secret documents were declassified and investigators could reconstruct the course of events. With the information currently available, the Sputnik Foundation asked the academic Piotr Muraveinik to curate a touring exhibition which would tell the story of this thrilling and tragic episode in the history of cosmonautics.

Source: esputnik [more…]

Joan Foncuberta’s Sputnik catalogue essays [more..]

from the Brown University Press Release:
Joan Fontcuberta is represented by Sputnik. Sponsored by the Sputnik Foundation, the extensively researched installation details the life of Ivan Istochnikov, a Russian cosmonaut who, we are told, disappeared during the flight of Soyuz 2 in 1968 and was then removed from history by the Soviet bureaucracy. Photographs of Istochnikov were retouched to remove his likeness, his family was moved to Siberia, and his friends and colleagues were threatened. Fontcuberta researched the topic for ten years, visiting space museums in the US and the Soviet Union and interviewing former cosmonauts. The exhibition materials–family photos of Istochnikov, as well as publicity shots, newspaper articles, archival and documentary material concerning the US-Soviet space race, technical photographs transmitted from space, documentary videos, a fragment of a meteorite, a space capsule, and uniforms worn by Istochnikov—seem real. They are, instead, a combination of archival materials, manipulated photographs, and wholly false images.

Istochnikov is, in fact, Fontcuberta (the artist used his own likeness because of ease of availability, but by doing so he has also inserted himself into history). The name Ivan Istochnikov is an approximate translation of his own, Joan Fontcuberta.

When first shown at the Foundation of Art and Technology, Madrid, in 1997, the exhibition drew an alarmed response and protests from the Russian ambassador; the hoax of Sputnik was complete and the premise was well supported by knowledge of the secrecy that surrounded the Soviet space program and Stalin’s practice of removing disenfranchised persons from history. With Sputnik, Fontcuberta created an illusion that meshes seamlessly with our experience. [False Witness, David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA. more…].

From the record:
Only five minutes before the launch, all the controls in the craft activated and cut his dreams. In the command module of the launch bunker, Mishin’s first assistant inserted the launch key in position. Everything was ready. Two and a half minutes before the final moment, the booster propellant tank pressurization started. When only one minute was left, one of the two umbilical towers separated. Forty-five seconds later, the second one did the same. The countdown was continuing. Ten seconds: engine turbopumps are at flight speed. Five seconds: first-stage engines at maximum thrust. Zero: fueling tower se-parates. Lift-off. A minute later booster velocity is 500 meters per second. Two minutes after, it is 1.500 meters per second. The four strap-on boosters are jettisoned. In three minutes the rocket leaves the atmosphere; the escape tower and launch shroud are jettisoned. The three modules of Soyuz remain in the open on the top of the spacecraft. Five minutes later the core booster separates, after having placed Istochnikov at 170 km of altitude. Ignition of the third stage. In seven minutes velocity is 6.000 meters per second. In nine minutes, the third stage is cut-off. Soyuz separates and is in orbit. Antennas and solar panels deploy.

Istichnikov maneuvered an ellipse whose perigee was 180 km and its apogee 215 km; orbital period was 88,5 minutes. A short time before flying over Baykonur, in the twelfth orbit, at 12:33 p.m. (7:33 G.T.M.), Soyuz 3 was launched and flew directly into orbit. Beregovoi approached Istochnikov during his first orbit, using an automatic system to maneuver within 180 meters. Both ships closed to a few meters and flew in maintenance formation. During the capture phase , they established radar contact; onboard computers detectected distance, relative velocity, angular velocity, and relative angle of the spacecraft, and informed about the exact positions, which was essential considering they were moving at nearly 8 km per second.

In the mooring phase , preceeding the final docking, Beregovoi acted as the active spacecraft and Istochnikov as the passive one. Although Beregovoi had the responsability of maneuvering, Istochnikov had to use attitude control rockets to slightly orientate the vehicle and align it to the Soyuz 3 axis. Something failed. The wrong processing of some radar information or the contamination of the computer by some interference activated one of the rockets of Soyuz 2, which ascended rapidly towards a higher orbit. When Stochnikov managed to stabilise the spaceship again, he had lost touch with Beregovoi and had to rekon the necessary orbit corrections for a new rendezvous.

Nobody could exactly know what happened after that moment. The double bidirectional system failed and Istochnikov eventually remained cut off. After a few hours, Soyuz 3 could perform a Hohmann transfer in order to enter a new landing orbit for Soyuz 2. The two ships met again on October 27, but Istochnikov and Kloka had completely disappeared.

Source: Michael Arena, Journey to Never Never Land, The Empire Strikes Back, Sputnik catalogue,

Jan Dibbets

October 9, 2005

Jan Dibbet Arago Markers, 1994.

Imaginary Meridian Arago Line

1995, the Netherlands artist Jean Dibbets marked the imaginary Meridian line across Paris with 135 bronze plaques of 12 cm in diameter set in the ground, marked North and South, and bearing the name of François Arago (1786-1853), a prominent astronomer and political figure.
Source: factbites

Speaking of Arago, an inventive memorial to this astronomer, statesman, slavery abolitionist and early photography enthusiast marks the Paris meridian. His statue once stood where the meridian intersects the boulevard Arago in the 14th arrondissement south of the Observatory, where he lived until his death in 1853. It was melted down during World War II, however, and in 1994 the Arago Association, the Ministry of Culture and the city of Paris commissioned a Dutch conceptual artist, Jan Dibbets, to create a new memorial.

Dibbets’ project practically defines conceptual art: you have to know to look for it, and you have to know what it means, and then it becomes wonderful, one of the most touching of Paris monuments.

It consists of 135 small bronze plaques set into the ground or floors all along the meridian between the northern and southern city limits. Each is 12cm in diameter, marked with the name ARAGO plus N and S pointers. This line of medallions runs through gardens, streets, buildings, courtyards and quais, and the search for them can quickly become addictive.

Paris Voice story [more…]

Looking Around for Arago’s Markers [more…]

Jan Dibbets est associé à l’aventure de l’art conceptuel de la fin des années 1960, collaborant avec ses principaux protagonistes. Pour Paris, il a réalisé entre 1989 et 1994, la commande publique Hommage à Arago.”
Source: Musée Zadkin, Mois de la Photo, 2004. [more…]

Arago, Dominique François Jean (1786—1853).
A French scientist and statesman. Arago became director of the PARIS OBSERVATORY, where he invited Urbain LEVERRIER to determine why Uranus was deviating from its predicted orbit, a study which led to the discovery of Neptune. Arago defined the MERIDIAN of Paris, used by French sailors until it was supplanted by the ‘prime’ meridian of Greenwich in 1884.
He made measurements along the Paris meridian of the circumference of the Earth. A ‘virtual monument’ to Arago by the Dutch sculptor Jan Dibbets runs through Paris, in the form of 135 brass circles engraved with his name and located along the meridian line.

David Fried

October 9, 2005

Self-Organizing Still Life (SOS)

SOS with Cello, 1999.

Clone 1, SOS on Kronos Quartet, 1998.

Futura Film, Venice, SOS on Kronos Quartet.

Heavy Population, SOS on Philip Glass.

SOS on the Sounds of New York City.

Self-Organizing Still Life (SOS) stills.
Private collection, Italy.

Museum Wurzburg.


Galerie Andrea Brenner, Düsseldorf.

Kunst Köln.

Galerie Martin Kudlek, Cologne.

SOS in motion.

Self Organizing Still-Life (SOS)

Acoustically stimulated Interactive Sculptures

The Acronym S.O.S implies communication within the trust of an interdependent social system. Fried has chosen SOS – Self Organizing Still Life, as the working title for his ongoing series of sound-stimulated interactive sculptures, which premiered at Art Berlin in 1998. Since then, his SOS sculptures have been in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including a touring museum show including works from Rebecca Horn, Robert Rauschenberg, Leo Erb, Günter Uecker.

Whatever the scale or materials used for the SOS, all of these works consist of solid spheres, which are stirred into motion by ambient sound on a predetermined level object. Audible sound is transformed live into waves that silently stimulate each of the spheres into motion. The resulting action of the individual spheres and their interactions with one another are undetermined. They rearrange themselves in continually new patterns of elegantly fluid choreography. Some kiss, some spin off alone, while others race head-on only to meet with a soft embrace, or swerve around one another, often changing the path and destiny of each other without physical contact, as each sphere is able to feel one another.

Fried is able to give an individual character to each of the solid hand-made spheres, allowing them to respond and behave differently to live sound, though the artist is able to give each entire SOS a particular overall tendency of choreographic response. Like two people would dance differently to the same music, the spheres interact in a unique and live choreography directly initiated by its environment. When an acoustic signal is no longer detected, the spheres come to rest in ever-different constellations. (Still-Life)

As we simultaneously influence and trace the movements of the spheres, our attention becomes increasingly focused on the non-linear dynamic relationships that unfold between them, effectively shifting the emphasis away from the individual objects themselves towards a highly subjective glimpse of a bigger picture.

Creating a complex live visual experience, Fried‘s interactive sculptures are compelling by their symbolically provocative simplicity, as the viewer is moved to forge perspectives on relationships, life and the universe of thought.

C.C.: Ihre SOS Objekte laden auch dazu ein, mit ihnen zu „kommunizieren“. Warum haben Sie sich dazu entschlossen, Klang als Stimulus zu untersuchen?

David Fried.: Klang und Kommunikation spielen eine wichtige Rolle in der Entwicklung vieler Spezies und ihrer sozialen Sphären. Die Abkürzung SOS selbst steht für mehr als Kommunikation im Ernstfall. Sie bedeutet, dass man zu einem ungeschriebenen sozialen Vertrag gehört, ganz einfach, weil man ein Mensch ist. Um das mit einfließen zu lassen, dachte ich, dass der Stimulus etwas sein sollte, von dem wir alle abhängig sind, das sich aber auch auf ganz unterschiedliche Weise interpretieren lässt. So wie Sie und ich ganz unterschiedlich zu der gleichen Musik tanzen würden, geschieht es auch bei den SOS Kugeln. Ich statte jede Kugel mit einem anderen individuellen Charakter aus. Sie beeinflussen gegenseitig ihren Weg durch ihre individuellen Handlungen und erzeugen sogar Feedback durch die Produktion ihres eigenen Klicksounds und so weiter. Die Klangsensoren gestatten dem SOS zum Stillleben zu werden, wenn alles ruhig ist, und zum beweglichen Objekt zu werden, wenn ein Dialog entsteht. Natürlich kann es auch durch andere Geräusche, die entstehen, wenn Menschen aktiv werden, stimuliert werden. Das SOS kann „getunt“ werden, so dass es nur die allerlautesten Geräusche hört oder aber sogar Geflüster versteht. Ein anderer Aspekt ist der Gebrauch von Klang als ein Stimulus, der das Kunstwerk sich über seine eigenen Grenzen hinaus ausdehnen lässt, indem es sich selbst in einen Dialog mit seiner Umgebung begibt.

by Christopher Chambers – an artist, critic, and curator based in New York City.

Alexander Zaitsev

October 9, 2005

A Teenage Message to the Stars, 2001.

TAM Graphics:

TAM graphic for “ONE”.

Teenage Message Image Glossary.

Sonogram of Theremin music – Gershwin’s Summertime – born by TAM into space to travel endlessly.

The Arecibo Message, 1974.

Evpatoria dish used to send message, Ukraine.

Expatoria Message, Interstellar Rosetta Stone, 2003.

A Teen-Age Message to the Stars
Alexander L. Zaitsev, IRE RAS, Russia.

In 2001, a group of Russian teens from Moscow, Kaluga, Voronezh, and Zheleznogorsk participated directly and via the Internet in composing a Teen-Age Message (TAM) to extraterrestrial intelligence, and in the selection of target stars. Their message was transmitted in the Autumn of that year, from the Evpatoria Deep Space Center. [more…]

Teen-Age Message (TAM) was transmitted at 18:00 UT on 29 August 2001 from 70-m dish of Evpatoria Deep Space Center to the Sun-like star HD 197076 in Dolphin Constellation. The total duration of TAM was 2 hours 12 minutes.

Complete schedule of the TAM sessions. [more…]

The message consists of three distinct parts:
1. Sounding Section — coherent signal with slow Doppler wavelength tuning to imitate the transmission from Sun’s center (10 min)
2. Analog Section — Theremin concert to Aliens (15 min)
3. Digital Section — Message: Logo of TAM, Greeting to Aliens both in Russian and English, Image Glossary (70 min).

The Coherent Sounding Signal was transmitted in order to help Aliens detect the message and to investigate some radio propagation effects in the interstellar medium.

The Analog Information represents music, performed on the Theremin.
This musical instrument produces quasi sinusoidal signal, which is easily detectable across interstellar distances
(see the Arecibo Proposal submitted on 4 July 2000 for details).

There were 7 musical compositions in the 1st Theremin Concert for Aliens:
1. Melody of Russian romance “Egress alone I to the ride”
2. Beethoven. Finale of the 9th Symphony.
3. Vivaldi. Seasons. March. Allegro.
4. Saen-Saens. Swan.
5. Rakhmaninov. Vokalise.
6. Gershwin. Summertime

7. Melody of Russian folk-song “Kalinka-Malinka”

TAM Text: Greetings from Teens to Aliens.

Dear friends from the Universe!

We are the children from the Earth planet, sending this Message to you. We want you to know, that you are not alone in the Universe. We offer to be your friends. The Galaxy, where you and we live, is our common Home. We named it the ‘Milky Way’.

The Earth planet is moving around the star named Sun. The planet itself is covered by ocean and land. There are many creatures living our planet; but only people have created a technological civilization.

We live in families: parents and children. Children like to play. We would like to show you our games, drawings, music. The duration of our life is about 80 years. While writing this Message, we are from 13 to 18 years old. So, we hope to receive your answer.

People have many cultures, languages and religions. People have reached the technical progress, but scientists have also invented horrible weapons, which may destroy the life on our Earth.

Our planet is very beautiful, but it is ill. Our problems are wars, ecology, exhaustion of natural resources. But we hope we shall overcome these problems and all people on Earth will be happy!

We would like about you! Please, reply. We would be very glad. We wish you peace and love.

The children from the Earth, August-September, 2001.

Source: evpatoria.asteroids.ru

METI – Sending scientific and artistic messages to the Stars [more…], 2005.
From: Abstract for the 9th Workshop and Symposium on Space and the Arts ‘Space: Planetary Consciousness and the Arts’, May 19-21, 2005, Château d’Yverdon Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland.

Send a Message into Space: SETI Interstellar Messaging. [more…]

In 1999, an interstellar message was broadcasted in direction of 4 stars. This transmission took place at the Evpatoria installations in Ukraine. With its 70 m. dish and a 150kW transmitter at 6cm, Evpatoria is one of the most powerful deep space radars. Four years later another broadcast was performed from Evpatoria in the direction of 5 others stars.

The concept of both messages was based on the work on two Canadian physicists: Stephane Dumas and Dr. Yvan Dutil. An American company called Team Encounter 2001 orchestrated the whole adventure under the name of Cosmic Call.

The message sent in 1999 is a series of small pictures of 127 by 127 pixels. Each page contains symbols conveying the information. The whole message starts by describing mathematical concepts and symbols. The following pages are a progressive introduction to basic notions of physics, chemistry and biology. The message is more than merely symbols put on a page. Some concepts and knowledge described in it can only be achieved by a great deal of understanding the nature surrounding us. For example, by displaying the periodic table of atoms we do more then just saying we know those atoms. It states that we understand the fundamental structure of matter. Knowledge of Science is like a tree. Knowledge of a small branch implies that the big one is well understood.

The Interstellar Rosetta Stone (ISR) is a message created by Canadian scientists Yvan Dutil and Stephane Dumás, authors of a similar Scientific Message in Cosmic Call 1999. The size of the ISR is 263906 bits with 127 symbols in each of 2078 lines. Unlike their message of 1999 which consisted of 23 ‘pages’ where each page was 127 X 127 binary elements, the ISR uses a slightly different approach: Different ‘pages’ have different numbers of ‘lines’. The contents of the ISR, representing an attempt to create an elementary encyclopedia of terrestrial knowledge, was not significantly changed from the Dutil-Dumás message of Cosmic Call 1999. [more…] Download pdf].

ARECIBO, 1974:
n 1974 this was the first message ever deliberately beamed into space. It was made from Puerto Rico as part of the ceremonies held to mark a major upgrade to the Arecibo Radio Telescope and was aimed at the star cluster M13, roughly 21,000 light-years away.

This type of message was first conceived of by Frank Drake and the idea was explored by The Order of the Dolphin as a good method of encoding and conveying information into space with Radio Telescopes.

The message was supposed to convey several pieces of information including:
* the Arecibo telescope
* a man
* a double helix meant to represent DNA
* the solar system

The transmission was made for only three minutes and was largely a symbolic effort. It is unlikely it will ever be received by another intelligent life form. However, mankind has been unintentionally transmitting signals for decades – mainly in the form of high-frequency television, radio, and radar signals that bleed off into space. The oldest of our TV signals have already reached several thousand other star systems. So who knows – while we are actively listening for signs of ET, we may be communicating our own existence by accident! [more…]

One-dimensional Radio Message for “Blind” Aliens
by Alexander L. Zaitsev
Both previous radiomessages for aliens, Arecibo 1974 and Evpatoria 1999 were the logical ones and represented the binary stream of FM information, which should be arranged into two-dimensional forms to perceive by eye-like sense-organ. And I guess the primary one-dimensional message is more understandable by unfamiliar aliens and the music is the most universal expression of intellectual activity by means of one-channel ear-like radiolink. Further, the Theremin instrument is the most preferable for interstellar transmission since Theremin produces quasi-sinusoidal narrowband signals with continuous phase under performance, which are more easy for extraction from noise. So, I suggest to implement the 1st Theremin Concert for Aliens from Arecibo or Evpatoria Radar facility. The Theremin virtuoso Lidia Kavina agrees to give such Concert with appropriate classic and cosmic repertoire either in on-line mode at observatory’s concert-hall or off-line Concert in audio studio. The Theremin’s signal lies at about (0-10) kHz, and it should be shifted by SSB mixer to radar band and transmitted into space toward any star cluster or Sun-like star.

Dr. Alexander Zaitsev of the Russian Academy of Sciences is also the Chief “Cosmic Call” scientist for Team Encounter. He supervised the transmission of the 1999 and 2003 Cosmic Calls from Ukraine. In addition, under his leadership, a youth group in Moscow composed and broadcast a very moving Teen Age Message to ETI, including a beautiful “Theremin Concert for Aliens.” Dr. Zaitsev is a Chief Scientist of the Radio Engineering and Electronics Institute, Russian Academy of Science. Even during difficult economic times in Russia, Professor Zaitsev has been able to successfully conduct international radar astronomy research projects with Europe, the United States and Japan. In 1992, he led a team of radar astronomers who successfully tracked the asteroid 4179 Tautatis to a distance of 3.6 million kilometers from Earth. This was the first non-U.S. asteroid radar experiment. His career has been marked by three major areas of interest. First, radar devices used in the study of Venus, Mars, and Mercury, particularly direct digital synthesizers of coherent radar signals (the subject of his M.S. thesis, 1981). Second, near-Earth asteroid radar research (the subject of his Ph.D. dissertation, 1997). Third – interstellar radio messaging (at preseent). In 1985 he received the Soviet Governmental Prize in Science. In 1980 he received the Koroliov Gold Medal of the Soviet Space Federation. In 1994 he received the Tsiolkovski Gold Medal of the Russian Space Federation. In 1995 the International Astronomical Union named the asteroid number 6075 as “Zajtsev.”

Source: ieti.org

Aleksandra Mir

October 9, 2005

Garden of Rockets, 2005.

Sarah Gavlak and Aleksandra Mir visiting the Garden of Rockets, John F. Kennedy Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, Florida, 2004.

First Women on the Moon, 1999.

Garden of Rockets

Rockets made out of household items: Storage cannisters, jewellery, makeup, food, cups and cans. Stacked like building blocks, nothing but gravity holds them together. A housewife’s simple distraction, her predicament and dream of breaking out.

Source: aleksandramir.info
Courtesy: Garden of Rocket images, ‘Bond of Love’, curated by Lisa Kirk at John Connelly Presents, NYC, 2005.

First Woman on the Moon.
In 1999 on a Dutch beach, Aleksandra Mir constructed a lunar landscape out of sand, erected an American flag on the highest peak, and declared herself ‘The First Woman on the Moon.’
Source: Aleksandra Mir in interview with Christopher Bollen.


Alexei Leonov

October 9, 2005

Over The Earth.

Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov’s Star City studio.

Space Dawn.

Lunar Station.

In a Martian Crater.

Lunar Lander.

Night on Earth.

Cyclone over Singapore.

Picture above depicts Soyuz TMA-5/ISS-10 cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov on board ISS March 18, 2005-Day of 30 years anniversary of First EVA performed by Alexei Leonov 18 March, 2005. Screen of notebook computer in ISS cosmonaut Sharipov`s hand shows Alexei Leonov artwork – OVER THE PLANET – of Leonov’s spacewalk, the first of all time. Original artwork and limited edition signed lithograph available at [ussr-airspace.com].

Alexei Leonov, 71, was the first man to “walk” in space on March 18, 1965. Though he was expected to become a professional artist, aviation beckoned and Leonov was soon flying jets and studying engineering. When the call came for Cosmonaut candidates in 1959, 25 year old Leonov was picked as one of the first 20 Cosmonauts.

He has cheated death several times, in an early parachute accident, then twice aboard his Voskhod 2 spacewalk mission. Leonov would have died in place of his backup crew had not Valery Kubasov fallen ill before their Salyut-1 flight. Leonov also survived when his car skidded and plunged into a deep ice-covered lake. Leonov heroically pulled his wife and driver to safety. He survived an assasination attempt on Premier Brezhnev when their car was showered in with bullets. The driver was killed, but Leonov managed to crouch behind the seat.

Leonov has always indulged in his love of art, painting everything from stoic Russian churches, Siberian snow scenes and of course, space art. As the first artist in space, Leonov often paints from actual color sketches done in space aboard his two flights. Although self-taught, his works show a polish and realism typical of a trained professional. After a joint exhibition with American space artists in Moscow, he led the Soviet space artists to the International Space Art Workshop held in Iceland the following year. Leonov’s works have been displayed all over the former Soviet Union, and at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC. He has been published in several books (in Russian) and in “In The Stream of Stars: The Soviet-American Space Art Book” by Dr. William K. Hartmann.

General Leonov is deputy director of Gagarin Cosmonaut Center, in charge of international and guest cosmonauts. He is also editor, designer, and cartoonist for APOGEE, the formerly supersecret cosmonaut newsletter. His wife Svetlana is a teacher, and they have two daughters, Viktoria and Oksana.

Source: Novaspace


First Space Walk (EVA), Alexei Leonov: Voskhod 2 (March 18, 1965).

An expandable airlock attached to the reentry module allowed Lietenant Colonel Leonov to exit the capsule without caussing a loss of air in the descent module. Leonov was in the open airlock for about ten minutes, and he dangled from the end of a 5.35m tether outside thevehicle for another ten minutes before terminating history’s first space walk.

The EVA was recorded by a TV camera mounted on the reserve retrorocket assembly and a film camera mounted on the airlock. The suit was very cumbersome, and Leonov experienced a disorienting euphoria while outside of the vehicle. The automatic reentry system failed and they were forced to make a manual descent. The capsule missed the scheduled landing zone by some hundred kilometers, creating a delay of 24 hours before the crew were reached.

Source: Guardian

In the Beginning.


Gabriel Orozco

October 8, 2005

Parachute in Iceland (East), 1996.

En El Ciel, Venice, 1993.

Balloon on Water, 1994.

Pelota en agua (Ball on Water), 1994.
Cibachrome print, 15 7/8 x 19 7/8 in.
Courtesy: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

One of Four Yoghurt Caps, 1994.
Orozco installed four clear yogurt-cup tops on the walls of this otherwise empty gallery.
Courtesy: Marion Goodman Gallery, New York.

Circle Mats, 1997.
Courtesy: Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London.

Home Run, 1993.
Courtesy: Museum of Modern Art, New York.
“And in 1993, Gabriel Orozco’s show included the installation of objects and images in the Garden Hall, the Garden, and across Fifty-fourth Street, where each day he placed fresh oranges in the windows of private apartments, forming bright irregular patterns that were plainly visible from the Museum.”
–Robert Storr.

Turista Maluco, 1993.

Extension of a Reflection, 1992.
Courtesy: Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.

Oval Billiard Table.

Five, 2002.
Cinq terres cuites. Environ 13,50 x 15 cm.
Courtesy: Galerie Chantal Crousel.

Piedra que cede (Yielding Stone), 1992.
Plasticine, debris, Walker Art Center.

Models of the Universe
(Not the Best of all Worlds)

The vision of the universe as an immutable system has been shattered in our time. In Orozco’s conception, it appears as an infinite series of games connected by non-dimensional lines of symmetry. It finds its correspondence in some of the most recent topological descriptions of the universe, which view it not as an infinitum of space and matter, but more as a succession of smaller “universes” reflected one upon the other, through symmetry, lines, into infinity. A recent article by Dennis OVerbye of the New York Times underlines that “The mirror game is not limited to cubes and doughnuts. Over the years mathematicians… have speculated about universes composed of various polyhedrons glued together in various ways while astronomers developed a method called ‘cosmis crystallography’ using galaxy statistics to detect and diagnose the repeating patterns that would be created in the sky by light going around and around in differently shaped universes.”

from Miguel González Virgen, Of Games, The Infinite and Worlds: The Work of Gabriel Orozco, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, 2003.


Michael Klant

October 8, 2005

Florida Sky Piece.

2000 – A picture of the sky above the German Schwarzwald was flown through the skies of Florida. (German Sky Piece). In 1999 the artist (Michael Klant) arranged that a banner with a picture of Florida skies was flown over the Schwarzwald. (Florida Sky Piece)

Noel Sickles

October 8, 2005

Rocket to the Moon, 1949.

rtwork by Noel Sickles for Rocket to the Moon, LIFE magazine, January 17, 1949. Note the built-in binoculars.