Shift Register: POLAR EYE SOLAR EYE

in
sat_dish_still.jpg

The guests are scatter’d thro’ the land
For the eye altering alters all
The senses roll themselves in fear
And the flat earth becomes a ball

The stars sun moon all shrink away
A desert vast without a bound
And nothing left to eat or drink
And a dark desert all around

— Blake, The Mental Traveller

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Engineers and scientists claim to “know” the planet in myriad ways. They count its biospheric populations, probe and measure its material fluxes. They build towers, dig holes, launch vessels and spacecraft, photographing the blue marble to be transmitted at hundreds of megabytes per second. Ecological and geographical sciences, long based in on-the-ground observation and counting operations, are complemented and corroborated with data-based models and extra-planetary pixel-vision, data-based models of climate, land use, vegetation cover and erosion.

During a week-long workshop, project researchers (Merle Ibach, Martin Howse, Jamie Allen) will visit Kilpisjärvi Biological Station of the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Biological and Environmental sciences to interact and observe experimentation and fieldwork at the site (June 10-16, 2018). Following these visits, the group will travel to Tromsø, Norway, the site of multiple incoherent scatter radar and synthetic aperture radar installations.

In Tromsø, public discussions, interventions and orientations will take place (June 17-19), as well as a collaborative event with Kurant Visningsrom. The group will explore, through questioning and making, the variances and (in)congruities between data gathered on the earth, and the images we make of it from space; bringing the satellites down to earth, rendering these images as physical and material objects.

Media, computation and communications have always been geological, entering into material cycles through extraction (mining, for example, copper), processing (for example, the reburial of copper and fiber optic cables in the earth) and representation (the images and models we use to plan and track planetary change). What is perhaps new, in the recent naming of the becoming-geological of humankind is the conjoined transformation and awareness of humans and their home planet as at once media and matter, information in communication and congruence.

The workshops are all public, by arrangement with the hosts. Please contact Kristin Tårnes to register you interest in participating in the public events in Tromsø.

Tromsø, Norway
Kurant Visningsrom
June 17-20, 2018

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The Shift Register art and research project investigates how technological and infrastructural activities have transformed the Earth into a mediated planetary laboratory. The project maps and activates local dynamics and the media and material shifts that take place between human, earthly and planetary bodies, temporalities and scales. Contemporary science and technology need to be shifted through other knowledge systems if we are to reconfigure our relations with planet Earth. http://shiftregister.info/

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ACTIVITIES

– Mapping and sampling exercises towards an investigation of the layered and stacked ecologies of local satellite and radar stations: way of describing overlays of “ecologies” - so for example signal ecologies, plant/animal ecologies (analysis/counting in grids), above-ground ecologies (dust, atmospherics), satellite ecologies. These sites as places of observation which now become observed (simple questions such as “is there more moss closer to the antenna, how old is the lichen growing on the dish?)

– Exercises in the lab as to how we render and respond to these stacked data sets and experiences.

– Satellite imaging (DIY): orbits, temporality, history of orbital theory (Keppler, Dee) and relation of these early theories to astrology, interpolations, gaps, invisibility, occultation, why the satellites are where they are (bringing the satellites down to earth, rendering them as physical and material objects)

Our first encounters will be on Sunday evening at the Charlottenlund Recreational Park, where we will take a short hike to the KSAT installation. On Monday we’ll visit the EISCAT facilities and have a look to ways of perceiving satellites. On Tuesday we will go for a hike and move to creating some thing together at Skippergata 52, Tromsø, followed by some food and drinks. We will be working with materials found out on the walks, as well as satellite signals and stereoscopic images, and making responses to the this, together.

It's a good idea if you bring along clothing for being outside. You
would be welcome, as well, to bring along your laptop computer,
headphones, recording devices of any kind and any portable food items and/or beverages you might wish to consume while on hikes and walks.

No prior knowledge or experience is needed to take part, and you are welcomed to join us on any of the three days. Here is a schedule for the Workshop 17, 18, 19 of June:

SUNDAY EVENING - JUNE 17
17:00 - Meet at Charlottenlund Recreational Park (when you enter follow the running tracks until you find the recreation hut and barbecue)
17:30 - KSAT Investigations (walk)
18:00 - BBQ: Eating / Discuss Workshop Plan

Charlottenlund can easily be reached by for example bus 26, the nearest stop is Skoglyst. If you have trouble finding us, you can call Kristin on +47 995 99 829.

MONDAY - JUNE 18
10:00 - Meet at Skippergata 52, Tromsø - Drive to EISCAT (please let us know if you are coming so we know we have enough cars)
11:00-14:00 - EISCAT Visit
14:00-15:00 - Picnic Lunch Break (Perhaps bring a bit of food!)
15:00-17:00 - Satellite Perceiving & Receiving
17:00-18:00 - Dinner (optionally, together!)

TUESDAY - JUNE 19
10:00-13:00 - Meet at Skippergata 52 - Excursion to Tromsdalen/ Fløya. We either walk or take the bus over the bridge. It is possible to walk up or to go up with the cable car: https://fjellheisen.no/en/
13:00-17:00 - Satellitic Sequencing, Stereoscopic Scenography, Solar Setups & Polar Production
17:00-19:00 - Dinner & Reception at Skippergata 52 Tromsø

Find here a backgrounding reader of materials and detritus arising from the various processes and processing now taking place in at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station, on our way to Tromsø: http://shiftregister.info/post/174917458644