The Secret Lives Of Invisible Magnetic Fields

NASA's Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley hosted Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt of Semiconductor as artists-in-residence last year.

They've made some sort of a movie, a video excerpt of which I make available below. It's a shame that there appears to be no usable, accurate description of how it was made. Movie first, nonsensical explanation later.


(Magnetic movie video)

Here's the "explanation" from the Semiconductor Films website.

In Magnetic Movie, Semiconductor have taken the magnificent scientific visualisations of the sun and solar winds conducted at the Space Sciences Laboratory and Semiconducted them. Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt of Semiconductor were artists-in-residence at SSL. Combining their in-house lab culture experience with formidable artistic instincts in sound, animation and programming, they have created a magnetic magnum opus in nuce, a tour de force of a massive invisible force brought down to human scale, and a "very most beautiful thing."

With Magnetic Movie, Semiconductor have tapped into a new and ancient aesthetic of turbulence. We can hear it in the sounds of natural radio-naturally-occurring electromagnetic signals from the earth's ionosphere and magnetosphere-that course through Magnetic Movie, at times animating the animation, a quick nervous response condensed into static. The sound itself is the product of the combined turbulences of the earth's molten core, weather systems and electrical storms, ephemeral ionization in the upper atmosphere, and the solar winds. What we hear is underscored with complex and supple orders, in fact, too complex and supple to be ordered. We already have experience of them in the tangible turbulence of water and the crazy convection of fluids combining, tongues of fire and the thermal afterthought of smoke, the ribbons of clouds stiffly blown twisted up a hill. The flux championed by Hericlitus that has awed audiences since antiquity.

I invite reader explanations. Via Semiconductor Films.

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