Deep Space 8K: Orbits

Thu 8 September 2016, 12:30PM-1PM
Fri 9 September 2016, 11:30AM-12 noon
Sat 10 September 2016, 3:30PM-4PM
Sun 11 September 2016, 3PM-3:30PM
Mon 12 September 2016, 1:30PM-2PM
Ars Electronica Center
OrbitsCredit: Martin Hieslmair

The aesthetics of man-made objects in space, their appearance and especially their orbits are transformed into a minimal audiovisual performance, showing the poetic dance satellites and their trash perform while revolving around us. Seemingly chaotic paths mutate to amazing patterns of an almost organic nature—all of it due to pure physical necessity.

To calculate the positions of an artifact one needs the current time and the corresponding two-line element (TLE) set.

When Quadrature (DE) started working with global satellite data, their information was based on a website maintained by the US Air Force. Yet after some time, based on information from the Union of Concerned Scientists, we discovered that some objects were missing. Fortunately the data on classified satellites is generated by enthusiastic amateur astronomers observing the night skies.

Merging the two sources, balancing between artistic autonomy and the necessary scientific rigorosity, the performance is an aesthetic and intuitive experiment, revealing this new layer of human infrastructure.

Credits: the Quadrature collective are Sebastian Neitsch, Juliane Götz, Jan Bernstein