Saturn Walk a Soundwalk

Saturn Walk a Soundwalk

This hexagonal soundwalk replicates the cloud pattern over Saturn’s North Pole in a labyrinth and includes a composition inspired by the sonics of Saturn’s rings that the artist discovered for NASA and composed with Lance Massey, creator of the T-Mobile ringtone.

Premiered May 31, 2022, in Pauline Oliveros‘ 90th Birthday, at the Deep Listening Plaza, Kingston, NY. Also presented at MAD Kingston 2022.

Pauline Oliveros is known for her enduring contributions to music and the practice of deep listening.

A Sound Art Work “The Calls” Sounds the 9/11 Fall.

The Calls” is in the 9/11 Memorial Museum collection.

This sound art piece is an ode to the 9/11 event and the World Trade Center.
Created in collaboration with Dr. Seth Horowitz.

“China Blue…turns the notion of technological advancement into a paradox. “The Calls,” is a sound art piece that centers around the World Trade Center attacks that took place on September 11, 2001. Voices of the control tower dispatchers with the pilots are mixed with dial tones that sound pleasant but eerie. The dial tones were derived from statistics about the World Trade Center. They were based on how tall it was how many people died etc. Voices from the airplanes and control tower can be heard faintly in the background. (These acoustic elements) preserve the fatal last minutes in a shroud of mystery.”

by  Jill Conner, Digiscape: Unexplored Terrain, Exhibition Catalog,

Exhibited in Digiscape: Unexplored Terrain at Pace University, NY, 2007

“Cassini’s Dreams” in the 2019 Venice Biennale

The exhibition “Cassini’s Dreams” was held at the Venice Biennale. It was an interactive installation that included painting and a virtual reality app. The installation featured an inflatable of Saturn being “read” in real time by a Cassini laser-to-audio system. This produced a rich audio experience, built from raw data and artistic interpretation of the two decades of Cassini’s tour. There she was our virtual eyes and ears on Saturn. As the probe swept past the gas giant it traveled above and below her rings. It swooped down on the moons and flew through the icy plumes to hover above methane oceans. It also zoomed past shepherd moons that guide ring particles in their orbits. Finally, as it it spied on the propeller moons it enables us to see their internal waves.

The Venice Biennale Painting

The paintings are also inspired by the rings of Saturn as they were seen by the Cassini. For this body of work China Blue utilizes the infrared color spectrum. We can not see in this color range but with China Blue’s usage of the palette she makes visible the invisible. She also cites this scientific application which helps researchers see photographic images in high detail. 

The Discovery of the Sounds

The discovery of the sounds of Saturn’s rings was created for NASA by China Blue and Dr. Seth Horowitz. This audio became the bases of the sound art album, Cassini’s Dreams created with Lance Massey the creator of the T-Mobile ring tone. Click here to listen to the work

The Venice Biennale Virtual Reality

The final element, the Virtual Reality app is a wayfinder that can be used in Venice to find the exhibition. It can also be enable those who are not able to attend to see it. Like Cassini’s search for the Saturn, the app enables everyone to personally explore Saturn and her rings with their phone. 

This work is supported in part by the NASA/RI Space Consortium and Canada Council of the Arts. It is also supported by The Engine Institute a non-profit organization. The institute is dedicated to promoting artists working at the intersection of art, science and technology.

Accolades

Lilly Wei, Art Critic says: “Cassini’s Dreams…a remarkable visual arts and sound project that is partly scientific and partly poetic”

Stephanie Jeanjean, Art Historian states: “as China Blue demonstrates…nothing is still nor silent. The void is filled with the sounds of in-commensurable invisible forces that can be heard by those who listen to them.”

Mat Kaplan of The Planetary Society says: The songs are both “beautiful and evocative.”

 

“Cassini’s Dreams” featured on Planetary Radio

Cassini's Dreams
The album “Cassini’s Dreams” was created from the view point of the space craft Cassini whose mission was to research Saturn.

The album “Cassini’s Dreams” was created from the viewpoint of the NASA‘s spacecraft Cassini. It’s mission was to research Saturn. A track from it was featured in Planetary Radio, Chasing New Horizons! Planetary Radio is a weekly 30-minute radio show that is devoted to space exploration and astronomy. It is hosted and produced by Mat Kaplan and The Planetary Society. In addition, the Planetary Society is the largest and most effective nonprofit organization that promotes the exploration of space.

The Making of “Cassini’s Dreams”

The NASA spaceship Cassini was dedicated to researching Saturn during her flight. We decided to explore her data. It was there that we discovered the sounds that might have been heard from inside the spacecraft. That material became the inspiration for “Cassini’s Dreams.” This album enables us to experience what the spacecraft heard while traveling through Saturn’s rings.

 

“Theta for Pauline,” NY Armory

"Theta for Pauline"“Theta for Pauline” is a sculpture and musical score made for Pauline Oliveros. When Seth Horowitz and I met Pauline and her partner Ione we quickly grew to respect both of them for the depth of their work. Learning about Pauline’s interest and development of “Deep Listening” was the topic that made us quick friends.

About Pauline Oliveros

Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016) is known for her lifetime spent as an electronic musician. As early as the 1950’s she created improvisati”ons with Terry Riley and Loren Rush. She also worked with Ramon Sender and Morton Subotnick founders of the San Francisco Tape Music Center. As Pauline’s interest developed in listening attentively she developed the concept of “Deep Listening”. Later this became the Center for Deep Listening at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY. Deep Listening is an idea a philosophy as well as a creative practice. Her concept embraced everyone without reservation. As a result, she easily formed a loyal community of interested listeners. This is a group that extends around the world. It includes not only well known composers but also students, friends, dancers and artists. It is this community of listeners that are dedicated to her voice and continue her deep listening practice.

The Inspiration for “Theta for Pauline”

We were informed that there would be a big celebration for Pauline’s 85th birthday in May 2017. For this event we were asked to contribute a composition of 85 seconds long to present to her. Yet in November of 2016 we learned that the works collected would become a memorial event instead. The event became a concert, an exhibition at the New York Armory and a conference which ran from June 1-3rd at McGill University. In addition a website titled “Still Listening: New Works in Honour of Pauline Oliveros” was created to present the scores and the donated works. Credit for this overwhelming task goes to the organizers Eric Lewis and Ellen Waterman as well as the curators Katherine Horgan, Dancy Mason, and Landon Morrison who not only organized and curated the event but also commissioned Director Amy Harvey to direct the concert.

Our Contribution

Our contribution Theta for Pauline is a work that is based on the theta brain wave. This wave is one of the five waves produced by the brain. It appears during meditative, hypnotic or the sleeping state. When we look at brain waves we are seeing the brain’s activity and one of nature’s most complex patterns. Theta for Pauline is an ode to an enormously compassionate woman who touched many lives and through her meditation on sound brought us to a new understanding of it.

Audio: Theta for Pauline

Our contribution Theta for Pauline is a work that is based on the theta brain wave. This wave is one of the five waves produced by the brain. It appears during meditative, hypnotic or the sleeping state. When we look at brain waves we are seeing the brain’s activity and one of nature’s most complex patterns. Theta for Pauline is an ode to an enormously compassionate woman who touched many lives and through her meditation on sound brought us to a new understanding of it.

Exhibitions/Performances

Our Theta For Pauline score is a 3D printed ring based on the theta brain waves. The circular layout indicates the continuous nature of Deep Listening and its impact that has both span generations and continues to grow. We mourn her death but will continue her vision.

“Still Listening: New Works in Honor of Pauline Oliveros (1932-­2016)”
New York Armory, New York, NY
Marvin Duchow Music Library, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Also included in the Suoni Per il Popolo festival, 4871 St-Laurent, Montréal, Québec

The “Still Listening” Site
http://stilllisteningoliveros.com
Composers: http://stilllisteningoliveros.com/china-blue/
Scores: http://stilllisteningoliveros.com/theta-for-pauline/

NASA Grant for Sound Research and Art

NASA

NASA

A NASA grant for sound research from the NASA/RI Space Grant Consortium was awarded to China Blue and Dr. Seth Horowitz. The consortium is a NASA funded, Rhode Island state group for space based research. Therefore, the award was funded based to their their interest in exploring the sounds in space. As a result of this funding China Blue with Dr. Seth Horowitz researched and discovered the sounds hidden in Saturn’s rings.

The NASA Grant and Art

The artist and scientist developed an acoustic cosmic library based on events occurring in the rings of Saturn. It is this sound research material that became the inspiration for creating the album “Cassini’s Dreams.” Above all, this group of eleven musical tracks were composed with the help of Lance Massey the creator of the T-Mobile ring tone.

“Negative Ellipse” CR10 NY

“Negative Ellipse” is a based on the acoustic environment created by a sculpture by Richard Serra.  The audio produced is the actual vibrations of the steel of one of his “Ellipse” sculptures combined with ambient acoustics making the resultant sound piece and the entire acoustic space of the room in which it is played the ‘negative space’ of the ellipse.

CR 10
Linlithgo, NY

Creativity of Consciousness

"Imagining Blue," Alpha

“Imagining Blue,” Alpha

“Creativity of Consciousness” is a solo exhibition at the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in Lancaster, PA is an exhibition of my recent brain based work.

March 17-April 29, 2017

China Blue’s work is inspired by how our world is built from our sensations and perceptions. Her art works enhance the audience’s perceived world through her experimentation into brain wave monitoring and bioacoustics.

“Creativity of Consciousness” is the first exhibition of the artist’s neuroscience-based art which integrates all of her works while exploring the brain, mind, and society. This is a pioneering exhibit that allows people to simultaneously explore both neuroscience concepts and human creativity.

Creativity of Consciousness pioneers new access to cognitive and emotional domains. By using novel technology to read participants’ brainwaves, China Blue’s immersive art installations explore how we can alter our external reality through our internal mental states. It features three distinct sections: two interactive art works and a series of brainwave inspired paintings.
• “Imagining Blue” is an interactive brainwave sculpture that responds to a participant’s mind by dynamically changing in light, motion and sound. With this sculpture, users are able to observe their own current brain in action. This mesmerizing art work gives the audience previously unexplored and intimate views into the workings of their own brain.
• MindDraw is a real-time, interactive work that enables participants to create beautiful brain based images. By accessing their mental states of relaxation, meditation, focus or simple thought, participants drive the shape and speed of the projected imagery.
• “Memory Network” is a series of paintings that reflect how we may connect and hold on to our life experiences. Our recollections occur in fragments that arrive as flashes detached from time. Because memory is transient, these paintings propose a network as a method to connect and save our experiences. Based on the voids created by Alzheimer’s, the artist fills the empty spaces with aluminum-based paint, designing shiny globules and connects them to make stunning examples of one way to hold onto our thoughts and experiences.

Curated by Marnie Benney, Gallery Curator

About Pennsylvania College of Art & Design
Pennsylvania College of Art & Design is central Pennsylvania’s only non-profit professional art college offering BFA degrees, certificates, credentials, and curricula that enable students of all ages to pursue art as their life’s work. The College’s educational philosophy of “Communication as Currency” develops artists able to create influence through the powerful combination of thinking, making, and communicating.

China Blue in exhibition EmBodied, SciArt Interview and Mention in Interalia magazine

China Blue’s work is featured in exhibition “EmBodied” with an interview by SciArt Magazine and a mention in Interalia magazine.

A review of China Blue’s paintings called “Memory Networks” is featured in Memory Networks, an article published in Interalia co-edited with Julia Buntaine, Director of the SciArt Center of New York and Editor-in-Chief of SciArt Magazine. The aim of this issue is to feature the work of artists and scientists that explore the brain, the nature of memory and networks. 

SciArt Magazine interviews China Blue on her work featured In SciArt’s “EmBodied” exhibit. Interview.

China Blue’s “MindDraw” in EmBodied, an exhibition curated by Marnie Benney.

As humans we have an instinctual desire to expand understanding of our existence. While this desire extends outwards into the natural world and its phenomena, it also focuses inwards, towards the landscapes and mysteries of the body. We conceptualize, pontificate, and dream about what our physical form means.
Wittgenstein said, “The human body is the best picture of the soul.” As artists reimagine the meaning, possibility, aesthetic, purpose, and role of the body, the visual expression of this ‘soul’ or ‘inner self’ continues to be expressed in novel ways. This discussion becomes especially complex as the biological sciences reveal the seemingly inextricable link between the body and the inner self through neuroscience, microbiology, and genomics. Increasingly, the inner self is embedded in our layered physical forms.
By exploring everything from our bones, gross anatomy, physiology, microbiology, neurobiology, evolution, genomes, and more, how do we begin to understand ourselves in new ways? What do our bodies tell us about who we are?

– Marnie Benney, SciArt Curator
August 11, 2016