The Work of Richard Clar – Jennie Wong

I think the work that Richard Clar does on space and art is very innovative in its own way. He approaches two fields in a very unique manner and relates them with technological expertise and creativity. Particularly intriguing was the program he told us about called COMBO. Nasa runs this program in order to calculate the miscalculations of astronomy pieces. Another cool project was the thing that combined song and dance; the MRI of a dancer was detected using motion sensor points. Software was then used to create a three dimentionsal object from the catscan. Tetsuro, the Japanese dancer, explored how dancers move in space and transformed music, dance, and art, into a technological file. That the data can convey the physical identity and emotional state of the sender is highly impressive.

The New Butoh Space Dance:

new-butoh.jpg

space-dance1.jpg

My favorite topic, however, was SETI, or the scientific search for extra terrestial intelligence. I came across this page from astrosociety.org (http://www.astrosociety.org/education/family/resources/setiprint.html) that referred me to a number of links to articles and books about SETI. One article I read entitled “SETI Searches Today” by Alan MacRobert discussed how most searches are conducted and then provided examples of recent searches. According to the article, all searches utilize radio technology to search for narrowband (single-frequency) signals coming from outer space. This is the kind of broadcast that best transmits across solar systems.

Wavelength diagram:

microwave_window_l.gif

One of the projects from the article called Project Phoenix was established in the SETI headquarters in Mountain View, CA (near my hometown! :] ). Anyway, the project scanned nearby stars for artificial signs with “more depth” than any previous study. It was built around “robust methods” to distinguish fake signals from real, interstellar signals. False alarms, caused by radio interference, is/was one of the main problems with radio SETI efforts. A drawback of the project, however, was that it examined only about eight hundred stars – a small selection pool out of the billions and billions of stars in this galaxy.

Finally, I’d like to end with this quote from Richard Clar that he featured at the end of his powerpoint. I really liked it, so I am going to post it again. To me, it represents the vision of science and the heart of the scientist.

In the poetry of the unknown resides the dream of the profound. In the dream of the profound the infinity of space is revealed in the penumbra of the subconscious waiting to move forward in light. In light are the dreams that have not yet been dreamed.

http://www.arttechnologies.com/site-2005/Gallery/21new-butoh.html

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/resources/seti/3304561.html?page=2&c=y

http://www.astrosociety.org/education/family/resources/setiprint.html

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