Meta.Morf - Trondheim biennale for art and technology was held this year for the fourth time. Organized by TEKS - Trondheim Electronic Arts Centre the festival’s program included exhibitions, conferences, performances and concerts. This year’s main theme was: “Nice to be in Orbit!“, questioning how the interstellar travels and space exploration is and will continue to redefine our relationship with the stars and, consequently, ourselves. The festival was showcasing some very well known works such as ‘The Moon Goose Analogue’ by Agnes Meyer-Brandis, ‘Soft Revolvers’ performance by Byriam Bleau and Martin Messier’s work ‘Field’, as well as a newly commissioned project ‘Adrift’ by Cath Le Couteur & Nick Ryan’s. For the first time in an arts related conference the Co-founder and CEO of the Mars One gave an insight in the worldwide known ‘Mars One Mission’.
Many believe that science will always make the world better. I remember what my father once told me. It was long time ago, we were talking about ecological problems, and he said: “Don’t worry, science and technology will fix it.” If you look at the technology as modernism, you can ask what did it bring to us? Are the technologies for progress? We can questioning science here as well. We also have to understand that science is just one way of looking at the relation to the world.
Alex Adriaansens (NL)
Director of V2_, curator of the exhibition “Nice to be in Orbit!”
Haines & Hinterding (AU)
The overall effect of Earth Star emphasizes the sun’s elemental and mythical qualities. Exploring arcane energies and hidden frequencies, the installation is an assemblage of three elements; a space is established between the singular and spectacular footage of the solar chromo-sphere captured by the artists using a Hydrogen-Alpha telescope and a camera. There are two aroma compositions of synthesized molecules that represent states of ozone. Building a bridge between these two elements is a resonating and receiving system of VLF antennae tuned to the radio bursts emitted by the sun and fed through an amplifier to provide a real time soundtrack.
Martin Messier (CA)
In his performance Field, Martin Messier creates sound using electromagnetic fields of our environment. These imperceptible electrical signals are picked up by electromagnetic transducer microphones to drive the performance. His instruments are two big connection patch panels that offer many possibilities for connecting outputs to a variety of inputs.
AfterShock & Seismik
Herman Kolgen (CA)
Herman Kolgen performed his two works AfterShock and Seismik, a dazzling, tension-charged performance that taps into the Earth’s magnetic fields, seismic activity and frictional resistance in real-time, generating abstracted sound and dramatic visual motifs.
Cath Le Couteur & Nick Ryan (UK)
ADRIFT - Exploring the hidden world of space junk.Adrift (@projectadrift) is an arts project and experience that seeks to reveal the intangible world of space junk by making it personal, visible and audible. Adrift is funded by The Space (@thespacearts) and the project will launch in the summer of 2016. Adrift is a digital arts project about space debris in the form of a documentary film, sound installation and interactive database. More than 500.000 pieces of debris, or “space junk,” between 1 – 10 cm in size, and more than 20.000 bigger than 10 cm, are until now tracked orbiting the Earth. At Meta.Morf, the artists transformed existing space debris into a live holographic experience. Using a 16th Century optical illusion technique ‘Pepper’s Ghost’Working with creative technologist Daniel Jones, the artists have elevated this apparition into the 21st Century by integrating 13,000 pieces of live, tracked space junk as it circles the earth.
Deep Data Prototype 3
& Drosophila Titanus
Andy Gracie (UK)
The Deep Data project is an arc of developmental work, prototypes and research connecting deep space exploration with terrestrial extremophiles, model organisms and the science of astrobiology. The project uses sensor data gathered from deep space probes and planetary explorers such as Pioneer 10 + 11, Voyager 1 + 2, Cassini/Huygens, New Horizons and the various Martian rovers.
Drosophila Titanus is an ongoing project which through a process of experimentation and artificial selection aims to develop a species of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster that would be theoretically capable of living on Saturn’s largest moon Titan. While being a virtually impossible project to ‘successfully’ complete in pure scientific terms, ‘Drosophila titanus’ sites itself as a process within the ongoing discourse surrounding the complex relationships between art and science.
Tomás Saraceno (AR)
From the Anthropocene to Aerocene.
The project Aerocene manifests itself in a series of sculptures that esteem to float around the world, bearing the message of simplicity, creativity and cooperation. They will achieve the longest emission-free journey: becoming buoyant only by the heat of the Sun and infrared radiation from the surface of Earth. The sculptures float without burning fossil fuels, without using solar panels and batteries; and without helium, hydrogen and other rare gases. Aerocene questions and seeks answers to our current and troublesome dependency on fossil and hydrocarbon fuels and pollution.
Bas Lansdorp (NL)
Mars One aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. It is a global initiative whose goal is to make this everyone’s mission to Mars
"For me it is somehow surprising to hear the question about the “one way” notion: is it ethical? Because people forget that we came from the west of Africa. And they decided to never return. So why is that OK, but the next step for us is not ok? And once we are on Mars, and I think it is the next logical step, maybe the Moon of Jupiter, will seem like the logical next place to go. And after that, who knows where. But I am convinced that the humanity will keep taking steps. Contradicting that is really hard, because all the evidence points in that direction."
Co-founder and CEO of Mars One
Myriam Bleau (CA)
Soft Revolvers is a performance where the artist as instruments uses 4 acrylic spinning tops equipped with gyroscopes and accelerometers that communicate wirelessly with a computer to control musical algorithms based on motion data collected from the tops. LED lights inside the tops are positioned to create visually stunning halos and illuminate the body of the objects in precise counterpoint to the music, while real-time video of the tops is subtly manipulated and projected on the screen behind the artist, making the projections an integral part of the performance.