Bernhard Gál‘s intermedia art project Sterngucker makes use of the technical and spatial possibilities of a modern planetarium, in order to present an artistic interpretation of astronomic phenomena. The planetarium is turned into an intense perceptual space for eyes and ears, offering a synaesthetic exploration of the 'starry sky above'.
The conceptual background of the installation lies in the sonification of certain astronomic properties (orbital speeds, rotation periods, mass proportions) of celestial bodies in our solar system. The collected data serve as a basis for Gál’s audiovisual composition.
Sagittarius A* is an enormous
black hole located in the center of our galaxy, and the starting point
of our journey. From there, we head towards our solar system, where we
pay visits to all planets, and some of their moons. In doing so, the possibilities
of a digital fulldome projection are tested out by artistic criteria –
resulting in unusual perspectives, extreme rotational speeds and close-ups
which most likely won’t have a place in traditional planetarium
shows. Astronomic peculiarities are interpreted acoustically and visually,
outlooks from the respective celestial bodies onto the ever-changing starry
sky reveal the limitations of our own earthly perspective. Finally, we
reach the ultimate destination of our voyage, and leave the virtual starship
on unsteady feet.
[ Sterngucker at Planetarium
Judenburg, Austria, May 2011 ]