at Sojourner Gallery
446 West 34th Street NYC
Dates: February 6 – March 16, 2023
Opening: February 9, 6-9pm
One element of “Saturn’s Siren” will be on display for this exhibition.
Sound is a sojourn that bridges the past and the present while paving the path to a future. It makes audible the progression of time as we experience it. And, by simply listening we discover the evolving new truths that time presents to us. “Saturn’s Song” is an installation that will enable us to listen into the sounds in Saturn’s rings that China Blue discovered for NASA. Like the Perseverance rover that had the first embedded microphone for us to listen into the winds on Mars “Saturn’s Siren” will enable people to experience the sonic events occurring in her rings ranging from the ice particles that are constantly impacting each other to her moons’ interactions.
Listen to Timothy Myer’s interview of China Blue in his podcast Listening on Purpose with Timothy Myers. Mr. Myers is the Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor at Austin Opera.
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.
“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
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.
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.”