Black (W)hole uses data visualization of an extreme mass ratio inspiral (EMRI) with the aural data of gravitational wave frequencies in an experiential work of artscience. It engages mind and body in both historical and current gravitational wave astronomy, encompassing our current, 21st century level of understanding of the universe.
This installation is made up of the following two components:
Black Hole Animation (created by Christopher O’Leary, projected onto the floor): The viewer enters a laser field of stars and stands on the edge of a black hole accretion disk, which swirls into a supermassive black hole in Newtonian trajectories. The point of view zooms in to the edge of the black hole as a much smaller one is captured and begins to spin around the larger one. The sounds that gravitational waves produce in such an encounter surround the viewer. (https://vimeo.com/64747163)
Transmutations (experimental film created by Cindy Stillwell, using Mast paintings): This film of morphing images plays in a continuous loop and surrounds the viewer, furthering the immersive experience. The morphing equations move from star fields to chalk dust, referencing Einstein equations scrawled in chalk on the blackboard behind his desk at Princeton, the solutions of which predicted the existence of black holes almost one hundred years ago. Einstein published the Theory of Relativity in 1916. (https://vimeo.com/9122099)
Through somatic engagement that involves the ‘whole person’, The Einstein Collective’s aim is to create a space in which the viewer can imagine and ponder his/her origin in the cosmos.
The Einstein Collective is made up of artists and scientists that include: Sara Mast, lead visual artist; Jessica Jellison, architect; Christopher O’Leary, animator and visual artist; Cindy Stillwell, filmmaker; Jason Bolte, composer/sound artist; Charles Kankelborg, solar physicist; Nico Yunes, astrophysicist; Joey Shapiro Key, astrophysicist.