Light from stars takes millions of years to reach our eyes on earth. What we see through the telescope is already history. Down a microscope we can look inside the here and now, at cells that are measured in millionths of millimetres and events that happened milliseconds ago. And yet our inner and outer worlds can look uncannily similar…
A joint project between Royal Albert Hall Learning & Participation, the Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre and Durham University gave schools in both London and County Durham the chance to engage with these concepts and to illustrate their own interpretations through art and sound pieces. Choosing from a range of images, from stem cells to supernovas, students selected one that captured their imagination. They then created a partner for it: a drawing, painting or piece of 3D art. In response to images from outer space they created pictures showing the microscopic world. Other students depicted outer space in response to a microscope image in accordance with the Scopic theme.
Almost 300 pupils from 11 schools entered the Scopic competition. A selection of the most impressive artwork forms the basis of the final exhibition. Their work was assessed by a panel of judges including Baroness Greenfield, Dr Brian May, Lord Robert Winston and Sir Patrick Moore.
Students from 3 of the schools then worked with Duncan Chapman, a sound artist and composer to produce sound pieces representing each of the pieces of artwork in the exhibition. Each panel in the exhibition had an individually created soundtrack.
The Scopic exhibition ran at the Hall from 9th – 29th May 2009 before moving to a permanent location at Durham University.
Much of the sound installation was created using the Coagula open source Sonification Software which enables you to create sound from drawn images or BMP files . (http://hem.passagen.se/rasmuse/Coagula.htm)
Some of the soundtrack pieces
Cell from the brain of catwoman
more on the project here
and at the Albert Hall Website