On September 29, 1962 the launch of the Alouette satellite made Canada the third nation in space after the USSR and the USA. Although it was switched off after some ten years, it remains in orbit, some say it is still potentially operational and in fact is only “sleeping”. There is a secrecy and romance around the very idea of satellites, perhaps something to do with their strange orbital mechanics, which keeps them mysteriously in a state of perpetual falling. They fly above us night and day, informing, communicating and navigating and producing their own resonant language of live rivers of information.
On the evening of October 1, 2011, as part of Nuit Blanche, Miles Keller and Michele Woodey will transform the historic Trading Floor at the Design Exchange (DX). The artists will create a shimmering interface of communication utilizing sound, light, and moving image. Playing on improbability, chance and coincidence the installation alludes to the uncertainty of connections, the unfathomable process of falling in love and our perpetual attempts to create meaning from random information.
Miles and Michele reinvent the DX as a sublime territory where inner and outer spaces converge, if only for one white night, in a kind of romance. Image, sound and light are set adrift to encounter each other in unfamiliar and elusive poetic connections. A fleet of glittering satellites float above, illuminating the darkness, asking the question – is there really any such thing as empty space? The proposal was met with enthusiastic support from the DX and Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC) and is also enhanced by input from some of the original scientists who worked on the original Satellite project the Alouette, a symbol of Canada’s important part in early space exploration.
The installation itself consists of three main elements; 3D sculptural objects, digitally projected moving images, and an original soundtrack. The sculptural element is made up of nine full-scale representations of the Alouette satellite. These will be covered in a mirrored surface and slowly rotating while suspended above the crowd. Lights directed at these sculptures will be fragmented and bounced around the room. Moving images of inner and outer space will be projected on the three main walls of the space, surrounding the crowd and creating an ethereal other worldly effect. An original ambient soundtrack incorporating archival material from the CRC, and created specifically for this event, will be augmented by performances of electronic music.