Monthly Archives: February 2015

Landing on a Comet
(Or the power of long term thinking)

A talk for Webstock

Wellington, New Zealand


Credits and References

Sincere thanks to Florian Cornu and Ariel Muller, plus all the scientists & artists cited.
They inspired this talk.

Shout-outs to Saad Chinoy, Andreas Schiffler and Shayne Carter for the gravity assists.

Artworks/projects referenced in Introduction:

– ArtScience Museum, Singapore:
From One to Many by Yvette Mattern (2010), shown at transmediale.10, Berlin
data.tron by Ryoji Ikeda (2010) exhibited at transmediale.10, Berlin
Swell by Anthony McCall (2006), exhibited at the Reg Vardy Gallery in Sunderland, as part of AV Festival 2006
Projections of a Perfect Third by Conrad Shawcross, ArtScience Museum, Singapore, 2015: Mesopotamian Dramatugies (Su & Mayhem) by Kutlug Ataman (2011), exhibited at Brighton Festival 2011:
– Nat Buckley photographed during her Happenstance residency for creative technologists (2012):
Frequency & Volume by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, as seen at Invisible Fields (2011):
levelHead by Julian Oliver (2008) shown at Suspending Disbelief, Lighthouse, 2010:
Laboratory Life produced at Lighthouse, 2011:
– r a d i o q u a l i a:
– Particle Decelerator:

Projects referenced in Part 1:

– The Rosetta mission:
– Rosetta’s trajectory into space:
– Philae:
– Philae’s nail-biting landing monitored by Stephan Ulamec, Fred Jansen, Andrea Accomazzo, Elsa Montagnon and Paolo Ferri:
– The “singing comet” – the science behind the signal:
– Soundcloud audio clip of the comet “sound” – sonification by Manuel Senfft:
– Karl-Heinz Glaßmeier quote:
– Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede, recorded by the Plasma Wave Receiver on board the NASA spacecraft, Galileo, and turned into sound by the University of Iowa:
– Radio and Plasma Wave Group at The University of Iowa:
– Cassini-Huygens passing through Saturn’s rings:
– Huygens microphone (ESA Huygens):
– The Sound of Space, BBC Radio 4, broadcast 30 January 2015:

Projects referenced in Part 2:

Riding Light by Alphonse Swinehart (2015). Soundtrack: Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich:
Ancient Darkness TV (2009) by Katie Paterson:
– Quotation by Katie Paterson from “Interview with Katie Paterson on Rhizome” (2010):
– Images of simulations of the Higgs boson, ATLAS group, CERN: – Images of the Large Hadron Collider, from CERN:
– The LHC Sound Project:
– Quotation by Lily Asquith from “Particle Pings: Sounds Of The Large Hadron Collider” by Andrew Prince, NPR (2011):
– LHC Sound Project interpretation of how an emerging and decaying Higgs Boson may sound:
Broken Symmetries and the Masses of Gauge Bosons (1964) by Peter Higgs:
– Photographs of the 4 July 2012 seminar at CERN where the discovery of the Higgs boson was announced:

Projects referenced in Outro

– Images of Titan, Jupiter, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and Voyager 1
Pale Blue Dot:
– Voyager 1’s vintage technology:
– NASA’s planned Orion spacecraft:
– Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02):
– MAVEN Mars Orbiter:
– Alan Kay quote (1971):