30 April, 20:00 UT
OPTICKS is a Cosmic Mail Art happening between the Earth and the Moon, during which images are transmitted to the Moon and back as radio signals in real time. The project has been realized by visual artist Daniela de Paulis (IT/NL) in collaboration with radio amateur Jan van Muijlwijk and the CAMRAS radio amateurs association based at the Dwingeloo radio telescope (NL). Each live performance is made possible thanks to the collaboration of international radio enthusiasts, including Bruce Halasz (Brazil) and Nando Pellegrini (IT)
We are pleased to announce that Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke has agreed to let us moonbounce a photo of his family. When Duke visited the Moon in 1972 he left a photo of his family behind on the surface. Duke has sent us a copy of this image, and so we are going to send it to the Moon again, but this time instead of leaving it behind, we will be bringing it back! On the left is an image of the original photo on the Moon, in the bottom left corner of the image you can see a footprint for scale.
We will also be moonbouncing a painting by Apollo 12 astronaut and 'first artist on another world' Alan Bean. Bean draws on his experiences as an astronaut to paint amazing artworks of space, "I'm the only one who can paint the moon, because I'm the only one who knows whether that's right or not."He even uses some of the tolls he used on the Moon to create his artworks. The image we will be moonbouncing is on the right, it is called "'Please Take Me Back Home" You can see some of his works here.
During each live performance of OPTICKS, the images are converted into radio waves and are transmitted to the Moon. The Moon's surface reflects the radio signals and scatters them all around the Space. Only a small percentage of the original signal is reflected on Earth and received by the Dwingeloo radio telescope's antenna, where it is converted back into the original images.
The 'noise' showing in any moonbounced image is caused by the great distance travelled by the radio signals to the Moon and back (approximately 800.000 Kilometres) and by the poor reflective qualities of the Moon's surface.
The title OPTICKS is inspired by Newton's discoveries of the light spectrum, reflection and refraction. Similarly, the colours composing an image - converted into radio signals - are bounced off the Moon (reflected and refracted) by its surface during each live performance.
The project has become a global event and has been performed internationally, both in art festivals and science events, including Global Astronomy Month 2011, 2012 and 2014 (www.opticks.info).
For GAM 2015, OPTICKS will be presented as a Google Hangout and will include some very special guests. The event is organized in collaboration with MAAM, a multicultural hub in the outskirts of Rome , developed around an abandoned factory. Artists associated with the MAAM museum, will create artworks especially for the OPTICKS performance. At the end of the show, the moon reflected images will be printed as postcards, mailed back to the original senders and exhibited at MAAM in May 2015.
About the artist
Daniela de Paulis is a visual artist and lecturer living and working between Italy and The Netherlands. She exhibits internationally, often collaborating with other artists, scientists and radio amateurs.
She holds a BA from the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, Italy, and a Master Degree in Fine Arts from Plymouth University, UK.
Since October 2009 she has been the first artist in residence at the Dwingeloo radio telescope (NL) where she developed, together with the CAMRAS and the ASTRON team, a technology called Visual Moonbounce, which allows sending images to the Moon and back as radio signals, using HAM radio
She is currently a PhD student at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, developing her research on Interstellar Transmissions in Live Performance.
Since 2010 she has been collaborating with the international collective Astronomers Without Borders (AWB), as the founder and director of the AstroArts programme. In 2013 she founded Cabine Voltaire, a pioneering online, collaborative platform for open debate on the arts and science.
More information on her work can be found on www.opticks.info and www.danieladepaulis.com.