Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Keen to see how things went with THEMIS this week at SSL.
We missed a big day on Monday with the arrival of important hardware to bring the instruments together on the satellite.
Our journey back from Goddard was really delayed and we didnt get to the Lab today.
Wanting to get in and do some more documenting.
There's an important meeting next week in San Francisco, American Geophysical Union, many of the scientists we've been meeting from all around will be there. We may go, and have given ourselves a project to do there.
Meanwhile we're enjoying processing our ideas and are looking forward to getting back to working with the interviews we have been conducting with the scientists.

pictures from Goddard

some work on the STEREO mission

a visit to the National Data Archive

Lincoln not at his best - having a hoover

leaving our connection in Las Vegas

Monday, November 28, 2005

we're in Washington....

What an exceptionally inspiring day. Thanks to Jim Thieman for hosting us and giving us a comprehensive tour of Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre. Also thanks to Steel Hill for introducing us to working with SOHO visualisations and to Alex Young for demystifying the challenge which is the SOHO image archive. Vivek Divivendi gave us the lowdown on what it takes to be a space science visualiser and took us to the science visualisation studio where Tom Bridgman and Greg Shirah gave us a talk through their new and truly impressive 'A Tour of the Cryosphere' animation, which uses actual satellite data to create stop frame animations of various ice formations in transformation, on our planet. We called by Mona Kesoul who works on sonifying magnetic field data as an addition to visualising, to help increase our knowledge. We will get the programme X-Sonify working yet!
We have acquired plenty of amazing images which document our day, and have many inspirations that will inform our work for a long while to come.
images to follow....

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Clear skies over Arizona and New Mexico. Took some spectacular window seat views.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Wet Gate

Just going to San Francisco for a friends All-Projector Orchestra performance at Other Cinema.
Off to Goddard very early tomorrow morning, back late Tuesday.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving continued

Still thanks giving holiday. We are in work mode but have been forced to stay away from the Lab today, so it became a catching up day. DVD's to be sent to people books to be read. Also, our work The Mini Epoch Series is going to be in a MIT book called Programming Media, so questions need to be answered.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Thanks to Megan and Rick for our tours of Comla, between and our Turkey and Cranberries.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Cosmic grains

All day editing and sifting.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Charles Townes

Improtu interview with Charles Townes today, who invented the Laser. We went to a symposium in October in his honour, where scientists battled it out. See our 'Amazing Light' entry.

Trip to Goddard planned

Thanksgiving is looming and people are being absorbed into the holiday fevor. We on the other hand are enjoying our working processes at the moment so we must go with the flow. We are however having an early Thanksgiving meal with our Berkeley neighbours this evening, and will spend Thanksgiving day with Rick and Megan Prelinger.
On Sunday we head of towards Wasington for a visit to Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre. We are booked in to have a tour, meet people from SOHO mission and also from the Visualisation team.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Andrew Westphal, editing and Sun archives

Editing our footage down. Enjoying bringing different ideas together to see how they exist side by side. It's a playful process. Still deciding on how to formulate this research to present at our Leonardo Salon on the 8th December.
We had an interesting interview with Andrew Westphal today, he runs the Star Dust Mission, and we got the low down on the project:

Thanks to Iain Hannah for some pointers on using IDL[Interactive Data Language] software we're using to access and interpret Sun archives.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Urban Ore

Cycled south. Plenty of curlews, cormorants and pelicans basking in the afternoon sunshine. Nature reserves, freeways, bay views and industry side by side. Explored the industrial area that runs along the rail track, lots of stunning modernist warehouses and came across a great structure containing organised piles of detritus, called Urban Ore.

Picked up some 1950's documents on the Sun, and other great physics books, one of them 'Concepts of Motion'.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Thanks to Steven Christie for directions with IDL today, a science imaging tool used here.
It's enabling us to get some amazing quality images for our Sun documentary.
We have been also running back through the interviews we've been conducting, taking notes and bringing together ideas to do some editing next week. It's a interesting process. There's so much amazing material we have to work with. Some of the initial interviews seemed like a foreign language at the time, but now, looking back we are realising how much we have learnt since our arrival. It's all coming together and making sense.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wilcox Solar Observatory / Silicon Valley

We've done three days activities in one today.Begin at the beginning.....
Sunny clear skies meant we could follow through our trip to the Wilcox Solar Observatory at Stanford. Todd Hoeksema gave us a tour, and we documented the process involved in observing the sun, the fantastic architecture, and the mix of mechanical, analogue and digital technology used. Many photo opportunities. We're growing more and more interested in the histroy of observing the Sun and Todd said he can put us on touch with other Solar Observatories and people archiving Sun Documentation. More time is needed for that.

Wilcox Solar Observatory

following the light

the Sun being tracked by light sensors

We made our pilgrimage to National Semiconductor on Semiconductor Drive in Silicon Valley. We also gave ourselves a tour of all things virtual, Google,Intel,Yahoo,Apple at One Infinite Loop..........our busmans holiday.

Google Tour

San Francisco this evening for Blectum from Blechdom's return performance. Insane night.
It ended with some pie throwing...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Other Cinema

Thanks to Craig Baldwin for his energy and creating such a great film/art community at Other Cinema, which in turn provided us with a stimulated appreciative audience last night. It was a collaborative effort, thanks to Wobbly we had sound and thanks to Matmos we had sharp vision.
Feeling inspired to keep developing our live performance software Sonic Inc. and I think we'll actually get round to collaborating while we're here, maybe with Wobbly, using it as an improvisational visual tool.

We're off to give our guests, Vicki and Peter a drive round tour of Berkeley and environs today, which is the only way to 'see' in the U.S.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Shows + Goddard

A week of pulling things together.
We have a presentation of our time here on the 8th of December, feeding back on our experiences and research; a Leonardo Salon.
So, we're taking a stand back from where we have got to and what interviews we still need to do, in order to collate our ideas into a series of 'short documentaries'. Prioritising, getting the footage and dialogue we need for making work we have in mind, for when we get back. We have a series of animation experiments we'd like to run but I think these will have to wait.

We have booked in for a trip to Goddard Space Flight Centre at the end of the month, and are organising meeting up with some of the Visualisation team. Have been following up research focused on this field looking at developments in the use of visualisation and the technological implications. We will hopefully run some interviews there.

We have also now organised going to the Solar Observatory next week. We have to play along with the weather and be ready to visit it on a sunny day.

We had a good show at UC Davis last night. Will post some pictures here soon.
Got to go to San Francisco now for our show at Other Cinema.

Also, we have been curated into an exhibition here showing video works, through December/January. More to follow on that.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Janet Luhmann

Had an impromptu interview with Janet Luhmann, well more of a conversation that we filmed. Came away feeling like it was a very rich experience, meeting some one who is clearly devoted to their field and is willing to spare time to share it with us. On Janets recommendation we will try and visit a Solar Observatory at Stanford to continue our explorations into the Sun.

This weekend we have two screenings and performances of our work;

UC Davis, California, USA
11th November 2005,
Double bill: Semiconductor and People Like Us
both performing and screening films.
Invited by TechnoCultural Studies

Other Cinema, San Francisco,USA
12th November 2005,
Double bill: Semiconductor and People Like Us
both performing and screening films.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Greenhouses, David Lynch and spruced up website

Saturday evening was spent on a Wobbly adventure at a greenhouse. Not any old green house but a beautiful arts and crafts style greenhouse in Berkeley that had people playing music in it, under shooting stars.
Sunday evening was spent with David Lynch and several scientists talking about creativity, counciousness and the brain, of sorts.
In 'our 'spare time' we have managed to re-vamp our website into a more information based user friendly one. New films online, and some still to add. Goodbye Flash and the conveyor belt menu, for those who know.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Nasa Ames visit

need we say more! : wind tunnel

some bloke

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

drawing + planning

preparing to make some animation experiments:

and delving deeper into Sun archives
with the help of scientists at SSL in the know:

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Film on film

Thanks to Peters home cinema and great film acquisitions, we watched a collection of inspiring works; got to see Toccata for Toy Trains by Charles and Ray Eames again. Peter has a lovely film print of this, beautiful colours from the 1950's. It has inspired me to revisit their film works. A month or so ago we picked up a Powers of Ten book, which explored the references in their film further.
John introduced us to Toshio Matsumoto's experimental video works on from the early seventies. A great discovery.