Image: Philip Carr



Brilliant Noise

1 December - 13 January 2008

Semiconductor (UK artists Ruth Jarman and Joseph Gerhardt) make sound-films that reveal our physical world in flux; cities in motion, shifting landscapes and systems in chaos. Since 1999, Semiconductor has produced several experimental films and live animations, exploring various digital and electronic processes. Central to these works is the role of sound, which becomes synonymous with the image as it creates, controls and deciphers it.

After sifting through the data vaults of solar astronomy during a fellowship at NASA’s Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley in 2006, Semiconductor brought together some of the sun’s finest unseen moments to create Brilliant Noise, an immersive, eleven metre wide moving image installation. The soundtrack of the piece revealed the hidden forces at play upon the solar surface and created a symphony of the sun by directly translating the brightness of the image into audio frequencies.

Semiconductor also exhibited two other films alongside Brilliant Noise. Magnetic Movie, an Animate Projects commission for Channel 4 in association with Arts Council England, illustrated the remarkable secret life of invisible interplanetary magnetic fields. Do You Think Science… was a short film that revealed the hidden motivations driving space physicists to the outer limits of human knowledge.

Semiconductor released a DVD catalogue, Worlds in Flux, to accompany the exhibition. Released by Fat Cat Records, it features work from the past five years before the exhibition and features specially commissioned re-mixed and alternative soundtracks for Brilliant Noise.