Richard Clar «COLLISION I and II» 1992-2003.


Richard Clar, COLLISION I, 1992
COLLISION I: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Orbital Debris, 1992
with Mark Mantel

Richard Clar, COLLISION II, 2003
COLLISION II: An Orbital Debris Constellation Sculpture, 2003

COLLISION I: In this collaboration, a site-specific interdisciplinary artwork and performance will be created by using known data from orbiting space debris around Earth to generate musical and visual information through a shared computer program.

COLLISION II, an orbital debris constellation sculpture in low-Earth orbit, is represented in a multimedia video installation featuring music by the French composer, Marc Battier. Attention is focused on the serious problem of orbital debris, particularly in low-Earth orbit.

COLLISION I: In this collaboration, a site-specific interdisciplinary artwork and performance will be created by using known data from orbiting space debris around Earth to generate musical and visual information through a shared computer program.
We will then create aural and visual models-including a constellation sculpture-of this transformed data.
Description of the Project: Orbital debris or 'space junk' presents an opportunity to create an interdisciplinary artwork of found objects from the over 7,900 pieces of tracked orbital debris now surrounding our planet. NASA Satellite Situation Reports are used to track orbital debris on a daily basis. Using the complex data on this debris, an exciting large-scale work that encompasses music and visuals will be created. Since this information provided by NASA is calculated to project the future position of the debris on a day-to-day basis, one can create a work which, in an aural/visual sense, recreates the position of this orbital debris on a specific date/time; hence the notion of a site-specific work. Only a short time ago-before the existence of massively parallel computing capabilities-it was not possible to do a visual simulation of a concept such as COLLISION. Due to the amount of calculations involved, the concept would remain only in the mind of the artist. Advances in super-computing leading to computers like the massively parallel Connection Machine CM5-E, running a program called CM-COMBO9 - Calculation Of Miss Distance Between Objects - makes an artwork like COLLISION possible. By utilizing the same data through a shared computer program at a critical construction phase in the work, a sense of unity and coherence is established while still allowing for a wide range of artistic transformation idiosyncratic to each discipline. For the performance of COLLISION, items such as the number of objects; the country to which they belong; catalog number; period; inclination; apogee; and perigee, will be used to determine specific parameters. These parameters include instrumental groups/choices, timbre, color field, tempo, pitch/frequency, and spatial placement of visual images. The work is envisioned for a live instrumental group, real-time digital processing, and live interactive video walls. While the instrumental group remains essentially an acoustic group of musicians, all of the players will be amplified. Their signals are sent to digital enhancers, delays, and processors which extend the acoustical realities of each instrument. Visual images used for the COLLISION performance will span the scale from micro, such as the LDEF10 micrographs of hypervelocity impacts, to macro, including a kinetic visual model of the orbital debris constellation sculpture encompassing the entire Earth. Designating certain orbital debris objects with specific values, a massively parallel high-performance computer will convert the two-line element sets from the NASA Satellite Situation Reports to create a visual model of a site-specific artwork on a previously unheard-of scale. ~ Richard Clar and Mark Mantel Ph.D., Art Technologies, Beverly Hills, California.


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COLLISION II: An Orbital Debris Constellation Sculpture.
A Colossal Sculpture in Space, 3D Video installation, The Naval Research Laboratory, 2003.
Music: Marc Battier

COLLISION II, an orbital debris constellation sculpture in low-Earth orbit, is represented in a multimedia video installation featuring music by the French composer, Marc Battier. Attention is focused on the serious problem of orbital debris, particularly in low-Earth orbit. Selected for COLLISION II, 192 orbital debris objects, color-coded by country of origin, are shown in the installation video along with the remainder of the 10,000 objects, small white dots, currently in the U.S. Space Command's catalog of tracked orbital debris objects. Surrounding our planet Earth, the trajectories of all of these debris, which at first might appear to be chaotic, are in fact known and listed in the U.S. Space Command's catalog of orbital debris objects in space. Using data from this catalog, and a super-computer, the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., created the simulations seen in the COLLISION II presentation. The 3D screening device equipment used for the installation of COLLISION II belongs to the Image et Concept entreprise.

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sources: arttechnologies.com/collision, arttechnologies.com/collision2