2009 - 2012
15 gelatin silver prints (each 27.5 × 21 cm), stroboscopic lamps, DMX controller, sound performance

Radio signals from astronomical objects are translated, transformed and exhibited as a series of 15 images, a live sound performance, and a light sculpture. Initially rendered by astronomers as two-dimensional images, the form and properties of these vastly distant objects is only inferred through indirect processes of translation and interpretation using radio telescopes and computer algorithms.

Building on this ambiguity and offering a concrete demonstration of the variability made possible by the visual interpretation of scientific data, the artist pairs two different visual images generated by the same source information. In the three dimensional component, the two strobe lights flicker alternately at various but regular speeds and intervals (at times the strobes flicker at high frequency and consistently, creating a powerful tremor throughout the space, other times up to 20 minutes can elapse before the audience witnesses a short flash). In the audio accompaniment, the artist pushes these relationships still further. The musical composition is generated by the same highly abstracted scientific data and performed by electronic musician Stefan Nemeth and percussionist Bernhard Breuer.

Sources explores the fluidity of translating data across media and the performative, interpretive, and contextual aspects of science itself. Gaviria suggests that meaning, even in science, is generated through highly performative and subjective means.

– Edward Shanken


Produced with the support of Zsolt Paragi, Senior Scientist at the Joint Institute for VLBI, an European Research Infrastructure Consortium.