Black Rain (single-channelversie)
Semiconductor, 2009, 3'02''

Unable to play video - your browser does not support any of the available video types.

Semiconductor’s Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt create video works and installations in which systems in flux are revealed: motion in cities, shifts in landscapes, and visible and invisible processes researched in science. One of Semiconductor’s long-term fascinations is imagery of outer space; the artists have collaborated with NASA scientists on several occasions. Semiconductor's previous work 'Brilliant Noise' looked into the sun; 'Black Rain' is a continuation of their use of NASA images, this time with raw scientific satellite data that has not yet been cleaned and processed for public consumption.

'Black Rain' uses images from the STEREO mission by NASA (2006-2008). Twin satellites were launched in order to track interplanetary space for solar wind.
They also registered the 3D structure of so-called coronal mass ejections (CME's): violent eruptions of matter from the sun which can be so powerful that they disrupt satellites or power grids on earth.

Working with STEREO scientists, Semiconductor collected all images resulting from that mission, revealing the journey of the satellites from their initial orientation, to their current tracing of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The variety of images shows information crucial to the STEREO mission: solar wind and CME's, but also additional and perhaps unwanted elements that are interesting nonetheless: passing planets and comets orbiting the sun, individual stars and the milky way.

Usually, when scientific research is presented and promoted to peer scientists and the broad public, imagery and visualisations are carefully selected, cleaned up and edited. Semiconductor have chosen a different road - they deliberately embrace the artefacts, calibration and phenomena of the capturing process and select images that would otherwise not be considered useful for communication about research. 'Black Rain' reminds the viewer of the presence of the human observer who endeavours to extend our perceptions and knowledge through technological innovation.

  • Date: 2009
  • Length: 3'02''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Genre: poetry
  • Keywords: representation, light, image, future/science fiction, technology, science, nature