Monday, 11 November 2013

Images from the first Trajectory Installation


IMAGE: Lucy Stevens

IMAGE: Lucy Stevens

IMAGE: Lucy Stevens

IMAGE: Lucy Stevens

Sunday, 3 November 2013

The Sound for Trajectory


Sound for this installation originates from space. It has been collected/recorded as data for space research and Earth observational science and transformed into a multi channel audio composition for Trajectory. There are two main sources: Chorus & the Sun

Chorus [playing on 4-6 speakers - depending on installation space] originates from data collected by the Cluster II satellite on the 9th of July 2001 (see diagram above) using a Long Wave Radio receiver. Through a process of transposition and filtering the signals (which fall outside the range of human hearing), the data becomes audible.

Chorus consists of brief, rising-frequency tones that sound like the chorus of birds singing at sunrise, hence the name "chorus" or "dawn chorus". Chorus at Earth is generated by electrons in Earth's Van Allen radiation belts. Once generated, the chorus waves affect the motions of the electrons through a process called a wave-particle interaction. Wave-particle interactions disturb the trajectories of the radiation belt electrons and cause the electrons to hit the upper atmosphere.

Chorus has been composed by shaping, filtering (removing unwanted frequencies to reveal the detail and texture of others) and spatially placing each sound within a multi speaker diffusion system to recreate the spatial qualities of the Earth Chorus within the gallery space. Although it has been composed and therefore treated within a musical structure, Chorus remains a true record of the original data.

Sun [playing on 2 of the 6 speakers – depending on installation space] comprises a mix of low frequency pulsing drones created with recordings of bubbles forming within the Sun (see details below). Sounds have been looped and filtered to create an underlying deep texture providing contrast with the higher frequency Chorus. The audio has been synchronized with the images playing on the sun projection screen which features a audio spectrum of the sound of solar flares – where this appears recordings of the solar flares have been used to support the image, providing both audio and visual information.

Sound from the Sun
Deep within the sun, in the swirling cauldron of hot plasma called the convection zone there are bubbles rather like the ones in boiling water. These, like the ones in water, create a noise. As they reach the surface these bubbles of sound squeeze the plasma so it gets brighter in places whilst at the same time moving upwards. By measuring this upward and downward movement the instruments onboard the Soho Space Craft have been able to record this as sound. Naturally the sound creates a very low frequency as movements occur once every five minutes but by recording this and accelerating it 42,000 times 40 days of recording can be compressed to create a few seconds of audio. (Source: ESA)

Trajectory of Cluster II

Friday, 11 October 2013

Trajectory at Embrace Arts - Information

8th & 9th of November, 2013

Embrace Arts – Richard Attenborough Centre, Leicester University.

A new installation by multi media composer, Andrew Williams developed as a part of his role as Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the University’s Space Research Centre.

IMAGE: Dawn Chorus

Trajectory uses multi screen video projections and still images within a unique multi speaker audio installation composed using sound/data from space recorded by space craft, satellites and long wave radio. Continuously developing over two days it will present an artists perspective of our Earth, space, current research and future challenges for humanity.  

"The earth is the cradle of humankind, but one cannot live in the cradle forever."
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, 1895

Trajectory also includes interactive talks, debate & discussion, demonstrations and informal lectures exploring aspects of the work undertaken by the University’s Space Research Centre.

Trajectory includes an opportunity to experience and explore City Scan developed by Dr Roland Leigh: A pollution radar showing levels of air pollution across a City viewed in 3D using a gaming headset.

Events during Trajectory

3.00pm to 4.00pm on Friday 8th of November.

An informal lecture presentation by Dr Nigel Bannister:

A History of Space Craft Trajectory.

An entertaining lecture exploring the journey of understanding: from the apple falling on Isaac Newtons’ head to a space craft arriving at Jupiter. Featuring a live simulation of the European Space Agency mission to Jupiter (JUICE -Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer) starting from Earth and arriving at Jupiter within the space of the presentation.

6.00pm – 8.00pm on Friday the 8th of November.

The Future of Space Research?

A chance to explore current space research, opportunities for artists and a potential future for humanity (what has space research ever done for us?) through discussion, installation art and informal presentations featuring (amongst others) Andrew Williams, Dr John Lees, Professor Alan Perkins, and Professor George Fraser (Space Research Director).

“Space is as infinite as we can imagine, and expanding this perspective is what adjusts humankind's focus on conquering our true enemies, the formidable foes: ignorance and limitation”.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Galinis-McNally Process

On the 16th of August (2013)  I was able to observe [and take photo's of] an extremely interesting experiment run by Michael McNally in the Physics Dept. at the University of Leicester. With the title of "Atomic Vapour Deposition on Liquid Jet" the process creates a solution containing nano particles using a relatively simple procedure. Information about this experiment and the work undertaken by Michael should be directed to the Physics Dept. as I am sure to provide incorrect information. However, I like some of the documentation images which are posted below:

IMAGE: Michael McNally preparing the experiment.
Liquid nitrogen being poured into the colling container.

IMAGE: Plasma forming above a silver disc.

IMAGE: The liquid Jet containing nano particles entering the colling vessel.
The Liquid Jet is key to the experiment, but it proved very difficult to obtain a clear,
in focus image as it is very small, very fast and in a dark space.

IMAGE: Another angle of the Jet. I have put a box around where I think the Jet is.

IMAGE: Sample bottles (clearly labelled MIKE) They have been arranged in colour order
indicating different strengths of solution which my shallow
depth of field does not show well - but looks nice.
Image: Valve from the liquid nitrogen container -
included here just because I like the image.

Image: Plasma ring with the Jet nossel in view.


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Representing Re-formation

A new video screen for Representing Re-formation has been created by Andrew Williams, Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the Space Research Centre, University of Leicester.

Video stills from the Installation at Thetford

Organisations involved in the Project

It employs the 3D laser scan of the monuments of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, and Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, both in St. Michael’s, Framlingham, Suffolk, as the basis of an artistic re-imaging.
Both monuments were originally designed to stand in the Cluniac Priory Church in Thetford.
The project Representing Re-formation is a three year project supported by the organisations shown above. Dr Philip Lindley is the lead researcher.
The film is showing at the Ancient House, Museum, Thetford, Norfolk until the end of March 2014 as a part of Thetford's Lost Tudor Sculptures' exhibition.

For more information please see:  (the official Blog for Andrew Williams)

Thursday, 18 April 2013


Events at Embrace Arts planned for the 8th and 9th of November 2013

Possible publicity Image for Trajectory
I have just confirmed with Embrace Arts to hold a series of events over a two day period in November. These will take place within a multi media installation using still images, video and sound. Trajectory (working title) will display some of the material developed during the residency and will also provide the opportunity to present current research to a wider audience. The programme is very much still under development and is open to suggestions and ideas.

Trajectory - is a research and development project which will lead to more events in the future at a regional and national level. As a result this event gives scope for experimentation and the opportunity to develop new ways to communicate or comment upon research and the work undertaken by the SRC. This could be in the form of interactive sessions, lectures, discussion or as a contributing artist. I am not expecting that people will present their research through the medium of interpretive dance but hope that all working in the Space Research Centre will  consider how they may be able to contribute.

The title Trajectory is also open to interpretation and can refer to the 'Trajectory of an Idea or Project' etc. It has been choosen to present the most flexibility.  

There is a seperate page for Trajectory as part of this site and details/ideas will be posted here as soon as they are developed.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Background to Artist in Residence

The residency is for a twelve month period (September 2012 and concluding in September/November 2013) to research and develop ideas and material which could form the basis of future projects, installations and events. It has been made possible by a fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust and follows a successful pilot project entitled ‘Looking in Looking Out’ held in 2011 working with Dr John Lees. There is an open brief to create new art work (in any media), projects and events based upon current (and future) research undertaken by Staff at the Space Research Centre [SRC], Leicester University. Work can cross departments, for example Humanities or Physics etc. and will hopefully result in a mix of East Midlands and National outputs developed over the next two to three years. The aim is to generate stimulating and exciting new multi media artistic work whilst also providing new opportunites for a wider dissemination of the research undertaken within the SRC. The residency was intiated by Dr John Lees who is the SRC sponsor for the project.

Video capture still image from Looking In Looking Out installation performance

Currently the work involves understanding all that the SRC is involved in (there appears to be a lot) and developing ideas based upon some aspects of this research together with identifying key members of staff/postgraduates with which to collaborate. Approaches have also been made to other arts organisations, venues and promoters to explore possible outcomes (installations/performances/events) for projects. This will help to define what is possible in the timeframe of the residency and what may be put in place to enable work to receive a regional and national profile after the 12 month research and development period.

Video Still from Looking in Looking Out