Chlorophilia Frequencies, 2020


Chlorophilia : Artists : Nicola Rae

About the artwork

The substantiation of sunlight into responsive frondescence through photosynthesis is explored in this installation made for Chlorophilia. Recent video footage of the green filtered X-Ray solar flare region of the Sun at 6,000,000 Kelvin is projected onto a reclaimed aluminium porthole. This near-live footage was recorded by the Solar Dynamics Observatory's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly during a coincidentally active time for solar flares that included an M4.4 solar eruption on 30th Nov 2020. SDO aims to understand solar variability and its impacts on Earth.

Pickups have been attached to the stems of Buddleia plants and when interacted with the branches sound, referencing John Cage's 'Child of Tree'. These plants become interactive instruments that are improvised on sonically through the careful plucking of their branches by participants. The visualisations of these amplified plant frequencies are projected onto a second porthole. Plants respond to human contact, sound waves and magnetic fields.

About the artist

Nicola Rae's art practice engages with scientific processes explored in installations that include digital technologies, analogue equipment and physical computing. Since 2008, a series of installations visualising the sonic have responded interactively to a variety of acoustic sources and microphones picking up co-produced sound as well as site responsive experimentation. Other sound frequency installations have responded to online recordings of electro-acoustic phenomena as well as interdisciplinary collaborations with scientists and their research data.

Collectively initiating and co-curating exhibitions with others has become another important aspect of her working process as an artist. Encouraging longer set up times that allow for on-site experimentation and collaboration is of continuing interest.