Monday, October 31, 2005


Halloween spent with SunnO))) , plenty of vibrating longwaves as promised. Our Sun Earth connection is now complete.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Exporatorium Part 2

revisited the Exploratorium as there's more fun to be had and this time we booked into The Tactile Dome, where we all crawled around in the dark through tunnels, down slides and along corridors.
Next best was the 'dry ice comet trails':

Saturday, October 29, 2005

'Modelling Space Weather'

Back at SSL specifically for Janet Luhmans talk on 'Modelling Space Weather'
Very fitting to one line of investigation were following. Opened up lots of problems that scientists have in visualising data. We've arranged to discuss this further with her in a week or so.
Meanwhile we're in the process of documenting our ideas throughly, and revisiting scientists with more specific questioning.

Friday, October 28, 2005


Continuing with the American literal way we saw '26 Mile Road' on the way to Yosemite National Park. The colossal scale of the glacial formations here is overwhelming. It emphasises the scale the scientists at SSL are working at, microphysics on a macro scale. As when I asked Ilan what advice he would give Laurie who has just started Astronomy at school, he said "it's very far away". Yosemite is very humbling.

a few classic images of Yosemite to whet your appetite:

Came back from hiking to experience Negativelands epic show supported by Sagan.

Monday, October 24, 2005

San Fran touring

A selection of images from our touring San Francisco day; sightseeing, exploring, City Lights bookshop, and The Prelinger Library again. Can't stay away from there.

view from Coit tower

Bay Bridge


perfect books for our work at the Prelinger Library.... Visualization Techniques in Space and Atmospheric Sciences....

Off to Yosemite National Park tomorrow so will be 'away' for a few to follow.

Friday, October 21, 2005

guests to tour about

did some waiting about at San Francisco Airport for Paul and Laurie to arrive:

then took them to watch some other things waiting about:

this pictures for Freda!

took Paul and Laurie the long way home for some sightseeing

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Stuart Bale intrerivew / chat.....

Another inspiring interview today with Stuart Bale.

Lots of interesting areas explored that we have been thinking about already.

Really looking forward to recording it in to the computer tomorrow and seeing which direction we can go with talking to him more.

Some artistic activities going on in our 'booth'. Experimenting with some scientific data model making for animating.

Ilan gave us some more low downs on the science community. The picture gets alittle clearer and alittle more complicated every day.
We did some exploring and filming of the backstage area of the Lab. Some great mess.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Interview stills

some stills from recent interviews: Stephen Mende

John Bonnell

David Brain describes his visualisations

Forrest Mozer explaining a radial boom

Jim Mc Fadden and the vacum chamber

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Bike expedition

Took our bikes on an expedition today. Over the bay, across the Golden Gate Bridge, through Marin headland, over hills, along cycle paths and eneded up somewhere near San Rafael. We nearly made a full circle, but you can't cycle across the Richmond bridge. Luckily there are bike racks on buses here, so we took them back to San Francisco on a bus journey and then on the Bart back to Berkeley; achey limbs!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Burning Star Core

Had good intentions today to capture some stills from the interview footage we've got so far, but got carried away with going over it and editing out some dialogue for trying out some ideas. By the time it came to getting the bus down the hill, I was in full flow.
Also, been putting ideas to paper to make sure we get all the footage we need while we are here.
Trying to plan a visit to a Sun observatory to get some first hand footage.

Thanks to Mr Wobbly again, we went to a great evening; 'Night Noise Pancakes' of sound performance at ART SF an art studio/gallery in San Francisco. Appropriately 'Burning Star Core' played. Some photos at this point would show you the great view across to downtown from the wall to wall windows but it wouldn't capture the essence of the night. Saw some familiar faces and met some new ones too. Walked back from the BART in the first rain since we've been here.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Mars' magnetic field

Were going on an unexpected trip to NASA Ames in November. A vip tour! Can't wait.

We interviewed David Brain today who studies Mars' magnetic fields. He produces amazing imagery as a result of the data and his own visualisation programming. We had a great interview with him and got some really inspiring footage.

We also interviewed John Bonnell who was testing the Electric Field Instrument that will be going on the THEMIS satellite. He gave us a good logistical lowdown on everything THEMIS.

John Bonnell doing things the technical way!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

millions of tiny particles

We pinned down two elusive scientists today; We asked Ilan some probing questions about plasma physics and found out more of what Forrest is working on. There is more to be had from these two though.
We also did some camera roaming to see whats going on about the labs. People are a little more used to who we are now and are more open for us to have a look and ask what they're up to. We dropped in on Jim McFadden who was doing some callibrations in a vacuum chamber on one of the THEMIS mission instruments, he gave us a great description of how it all works. We were hoping we may tie our trip to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory with THEMIS being tested there, but it looks like the project may run over schedule, we'll see.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Electron fluxes

Trying to pin Ilan Roth down for an interview today. We have so many questions to ask him and soon the list will become too long!
He took us to a presentation on electron motion in the upper atmosphere. It's actually very interesting and involves creative phrases such as 'plasmopheric hiss waves' to jazz it up!
Becoming more interested in the electromagnet field that surrounds the earth and the various interactions that effect it.
We have more interviews this week with scientists working in this field.

....Just put the finishing touches to some questions for an interview with Forrest Mozer tommorrow morning. He descibes his area of interest as microphysics, so we will pobe the quantum.
Ilans been too popular today...the list is growing longer.

Monday, October 10, 2005

'state of the art'

Lots of interesting topics had been discussed by the end of the symposium, with varying styles of presentation and varying amounts of contention between the scientists, especially on Saturday when people talked about unification theories, bringing theology into it and postulating on technology and civilisation, generations from now. There was some strong opinions aired.

We're learning alot about the science explored here at SSL. We seem to be absorbing it as if it were a new language, and we are starting to comprehend ideas, problems, approaches, and techniques as they come about again and again. We're processing and putting into practice science ideas, in addition to our intial interest in the analysis of scientists and their representation, to using actual science in the development of installations.

At this stage in the creative process we would normally be starting to submerge ourselves in making the work. Our processes are normally quite time consuming and it's difficult to combine them with anything else. But time permitting, here we have the opportunity to take our ideas futher and can document proposals for future artwork as we research. What a luxury.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Amazing Light Symposium

Back in time for the Amazing Light Symposium, mentioned a while back. Even more well aged scientists packed in a room listening to and questioning the lastest advances in astrophysics. Hearing aid whistles and powerpoint problems ensuing. Taking away from this summaries and scientific gestures. A great talk on the 'history of light' sent ideas reeling for a series of drawings on 'science laws', and a reminder of a string of phenomena related installations.
More science tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Donner Lake Trip

We've just got back from Donner Lake, near lake Taho in the Sierra Nevada mountains. We stayed in a log cabin with the CSE group from SSL, exploring the surrounding peaks, and looking at the night sky with Igors telescope extravaganza.

Lake Donner

on the trail...

most of the group; missing Laura Aurora and Bryan.

the summits wind swept landscape

Monday, October 03, 2005

Lake Tahoe

Today we go to Lake Tahoe with people from SSL so there won't be any posts for a few days, but I'm sure they'll be enough pictures to make up for it when we get back.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

earthquake simulations

We've been meeting lots of interesting artists and musicians and met more today. This afternoon Joe McKay took us out to his studio and showed us some of his current projects. He works with computers in a really tactile way, you can see some of his interestingwork here. His studio is on the edge of berkeley on this ex-military land where they still test 'things', like this building which houses a huge earthquake simulator to test earthquakes:

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Yard sales

Cycled about finding lots of weekend yard sales, picking up some great bits and spotting more of the great homes of Berkeley.
Saw the film Mirrormask which was released here on Friday and was filmed on location in Brighton in a great modernist building we used to live in, Embassy Court; I heard someone behind me say that it looked like a really depressing building to live in - this opinion is understandable - but on the contrary, it inspired us for years.