“Cassini’s Dreams” at the 2019 Venice Biennale

The exhibition “Cassini’s Dreams” consists of an interactive installation, painting and a virtual reality app. The installation features an inflatable of Saturn being “read” in real time by a Cassini laser-to-audio system to produce a rich audio experience, built from raw data and artistic interpretation of the two decades of Cassini’s tour. There Cassini was our virtual eyes and ears on Saturn. As the probe swept past the gas giant, traveling above and below her rings, swooping down on moons to fly through icy plumes, above methane oceans, past shepherd moons guiding ring particles in their orbits and spying  on propeller moons as they create delicate internal structures and waves.

The discovery of the sounds of Saturn’s rings was created for NASA by China Blue and Dr. Seth Horowitz. This audio was the bases of the CD, Cassini’s Dreams created with Lance Massey. To listen to the work go to: http://store.cdbaby.com/cd/chinablue5

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

The final element, the Virtual Reality app is a wayfinder that can be used in Venice to find the exhibition as well as by those who are not able to attend. Likened to Cassini’s search for the Saturn, the app enables everyone to participate in their own exploration of Saturn and her rings through the app. 

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

Accolades

Lilly Wei, Art Critic says: “Cassini’s Dreams…is 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.”

 

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