‘C. (Celeste) - Multiple Interpretation of the Stellar Order', was one of the 6 awarded projects in the 2013-2014's Grants & Commissions program by the Cisnero-Fontanals Art Foundation.
Celeste is a multimedia project that strives to develop a system through which any positional array of stars can be interpreted as data variations on a scallar graph, and then effectively translate them into audio/musical compositions.
Starting on April the 1st and up until June 27th, I did a photographic registry of all of 2014’s spring night skies. I set side by side two tripod+DSLR camera systems, both aiming at the night sky in a 0° vertical position: the first camera set to bulb mode, the other one controlled by an intervalometer, to take one picture each 10 seconds.
Every third day, all through the spring’s ninety nights, this system allowed me to amass more than 85,000 time-lapsing images of the night sky, clearly allocated into 30 sessions – what much later would then become Celeste’s 30 Stellar Nocturnes-. These images were then condensed into 30 Radial Maps optically-compensated images that integrated thousands of photos into an emulation of polar graph akin to spherical navigational maps.
The next step was to meticulously transform all of the Radial Maps’ spherical data into planar data (i.e. polar coordinates conversion to scallar ones). This way, the polar position of each star was transformed into audio data when read as points in linear/scallar graphs: the final Linear Maps –essentially, notes over musical pentagrams-.
In a second level of musical complexity, the chemical composition, distance from Earth, color and mass of each star –as well as a myriad of other astronomical data- were all integrated into a musical algorithim so as to procedurally modify each note's –each star’s- specific amplitude, pitch, reverb and overall sound.
When exhibited, Celeste is comprised by three mixed media modules:
1) M.: a 4’ single channel video abstract, detailing the iner workings of its system, as well as its poetic statement.
2) The Stellar Nocturnes: a ten-channel monitor array, each one showing showing one of the ten three-nocturne sets, with video showcasing each night’s stellar movement through orbital animation, playing in loop along the Nocturnes (all 30 musical compositions). Each one 3’30” long, for a total running time of 33’.
3) The Multiple Interpretation of the Stellar Order: 30 6’*12’*3/8’ tungsten-coated aluminum slates, each one engraved with a different Linear Map. These pieces are made to resist up to 5,000 years’ worth of metal/material degradation, effectivelly eternal.
Between September and November 2014, Celeste was featured in the Grants & Commissions 2013-2014 collective exhibit, Fleeting Imaginaries, held at the CIFO Art Space, in Miami. It now forms part of the Cisnero Fontanals Art Foundation collection.
So there you have it, here resides Celeste, the multiple interpretation to all our stellar and their multiple orders. Please enjoy it and the symphony resulting.
For as brief as your passing through this universe may be.