Of the Spheres

Of the Spheres is an art project in homage to NASA’s Voyager 1 probe and explores the relationship between the human and the cosmos through a series of outdoor immersive performances www.ofthespheres.com

On the 12th September 2013 NASA announced that the Voyager 1 probe had crossed the heliosphere, the bubble-like boundary of charged particles marking the outer limits of the solar system. It became the first manmade object in interstellar space. Whilst this historic transition was taking place far away from earth, Of the Spheres looks at the reach of technological communication and the perspectives on the earth that the Voyager probes give us.

>> The week the Voyager 1’s crossing into interstellar space was announced, BBC Click aired an episode about Of the Spheres that can be listened to on BBC Sounds 

Heliosphere, 2013
Conjunction, 2015
Trust, 2016-2017
The Call, 2017


Heliosphere, the first phase of the Of The Spheres project, is a 360º Sound & Vision performance for a projection dome that was staged as part of Brighton Fringe.

To create the show we used data from Voyager's camera, electromagnetic and plasma wave instrumentation, and re-mixed this data with the contents of the Golden record from earth that is strapped to the craft.

An art trailer for the interactive, 360° audio-visual experience.

Video made by Mike Ramsey / Sheep Films for chroma.space

All info & credits: 


Through looking beyond our bubbles of personal experience and listening beyond our own spheres of existence can immersive media put us in contact with the multiplicity of ways that the earth is experienced by beings? 

An Oculus Rift project made for the UK’s partial solar eclipse of March 2015.

Intrigued by the spectacle of the black sun that can not be looked at with the naked eye, we built a virtual reality performance as a way of witnessing the event in digital ceremony. Conjunction continues the Of the Spheres project and takes the audience outside to relate to the real rythms of the earth and skies.

Research into how ancient cultures understood this specific cosmological conjunction inspired us to create a virtual experience that explored the moon and the eclipse symbolically and mathematically. Made for outside viewing, we incorporated a live web cam into the virtual experience so that the viewer can see the “actual” eclipse occur in the sky above them.

The Earth; The Starting Point,
New Cosmologies

Collecting panoramas from around the world that record places people identify as “home” > http://ofthespheres.com/share-your-sphere/

This phase explored panoramic spheres as a way of recording life on the planet “in the round”. Drawing on the growing field of Acoustic Ecology, we investigated the 360º Photo Spheres and immersive sound recording to explore Media Ecology that looked to the relationship between living beings and their whole environment.
“Using techniques of re-mixing the the micro and the macro - life on earth and the sounds and visions NASA is collecting of the cosmos - I’m interested in making alternative perspectives of this earth more visible, audible and knowable.”

Trust // Technology Not Netural Tour
2016 - 2017

Installation for the touring exhibition Technology Not Neutral in London and Brighton 2016.

AV installation experienced through hacked headphones, structures and screens as listening posts for life on earth and beyond.

At this stage of the communication attempt, visitors to the installation are invited to receive and record signals in the galleries.

Fresh additions to Of the Spheres with a blog of project development at ofthespheres.wordpress.com.

Trust // Nimes

Collaborator Sandy Sur explores Toby GIfford’s set up in the Nimes conference in Austrailia

Sept 01, 2016, 16:44:27 (sidereal time)

A recording of the exhibition opening: a speculative ceremony to open a portal for extra terrestrial communication in the Phoenix Brighton via a burst of three 3 second whistles.
Trust : Receiving Phase

May 15, 2015, 18:01:15.65 (sidereal time)
Strong signal received by the RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, in the Karachay–Cherkess Republic of Russia . Signal potentially from the direction of HD 164595 in the constellation Hercules, a distance of roughly 95 light years from earth.

The Call

Experimental Contact LARP

On the 15th September 2017 we marked a cosmic date and the end of a mission. The Cassini probe ended her exploration of Saturn by dramatically burning up in Saturn’s atmosphere.

The story of Cassini is a testament to collaborative creative endeavour and the intelligent application of technology to open up our knowledge and perspective on the Universe we live within. We can think of space missions – their launches and completions – as the secular rituals of our technological age. They can mark the cyclical renewal of human creative activity: the information collected by Cassini directs the design of the next missions to Saturn and the ending becomes a fresh beginning.

photo credit: Michelle Proksell

On a site visit to the Crawick Multiverse in Dumfries and Galloway we marked the moment with an improvised ceremony: inviting collaborators to meet across space & time for a moment of contact across distance.

Many cultures know the power of intentional ritual and sounding to create relationship between the earth and the heavens. Animals are guided by the many streams of this planet: whale and dolphins echo-locate underwater, bats use sound for aerial navigation, and human electric senses flow with the information from the earth’s systems and the stars. Flexible copper can be both antennae and grounding device and on the 15th September we started to explore combining copper and the electromagnetic human body towards creating communication experiences that connect with the presence of others across the waves.

A fresh analogue and digital ceremony bringing together the unfolding story of space exploration, myth, art, science and song, holding creative space for playful futures in which science, art, culture and ecology meet.

Sounding Contact
Improvisation at the Multiverse 
The site of The Multiverse too is a celebration of the possibilities of working together for creative renewal and cosmic vision: located on the watershed of the River Nith, Dumfries & Galloway, land art stretches across acres, transforming the site of this former open cast coal mine into maps of the cosmos.  To explore the site is like stepping into experiential science fiction. 

In Scotland the improvised ceremony was held by Katharine Vega and Tracey M Berntsen.

After meeting at Balance Unbalance in August and SCANZ Canberra, a network of people brought together by Trans Art Alliance connected wherever they were on the planet for this call.

Photo credit:
Michelle Proksell

Role call of those who linked in from across the earth:

Quandamooka (Moreton Bay) – Australia

Sandy Sur performed ceremony at the bay.

Byron Bay –  Australia

Liz Barker made creek prints


Tommy Dick led a cava ceremony

Buskerud – Norway

Hege Braathen and Tyr Neilson cast the runes.

Lenapehoking (Delaware)  – USA

Dåkot-ta Alcantara-camacho and Jack Gray from I-Moving Lab held ceremony

Alice Springs – Australia

Dian Booth improvised on the violin

California – USA

Paul Miller
In remembrance of Charles Jencks the architect and visionary who transformed this abandoned coal mine into a playful representation of the wilder reaches of modern physics.

© Kate Genevieve, chroma.space. All Rights Reserved.