Converting solar radiation into sound, light and electric discharges

Remember as a kid being warned by your parents not to look directly at the sun? A perfect combination of caution and curiosity, Dmitry Morozov — more commonly known as ::vtol:: — recently unveiled his latest interactive installation called undlarman at the Polytech Museum in Moscow. The project, which was a collaboration with Julia Borovaya and Edward Rakhmanov, utilizes 64 ultra-bright LEDs, 12-channel sound system and eight-electrical nerve stimulation electrodes controlled by Arduino Mega (ATmega2560).


The exhibit features an 8 x 8 LED grid that flashes and flickers according to information from a satellite observing the sun.


“Data on power of X-radiation flux from the sun is received in real-time from the satellite GOES15 which is tracking solar activity. It is being converted into streams of sound, light and electric discharges, thus allowing a spectator to experience in more intensive and evident way the influence of the main luminary of the solar system,” Morozov writes.


“The data, which is measured in watts per square meter, come with a frequency of once per minute. A special computer algorithm transforms it in sound waves, distributed by 12 channels in the space. The radiation power directly controls the height of tones and spectral changes in the sound. The speed of sound displacement in the space is also dependent on these parameters. Light is generated by algorithmic transformation of X-ray emission into physical modeling of light particles, which also affect the muscle stimulators in the chair to produce weak electric discharges.”

Those intrigued by Morozov’s latest installation will surely enjoy several of his earlier ATmega328 powered pieces, including a wearable machine that turns tattoos into tunesa Russian folk bot electronic-acoustic orchestra, or even air pollution-inspired art.

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