Sounds of Space, Kate Tierney residency

Kate Tierney's investigation of sounds of deep space at the Centre for Astrophysics & Planetary Science, University of Kent

Kate Tierney is a multimedia artist specialising in sound and its perception. Her artwork responds to and interprets environments and encourages interaction, experimenting with the physical nature of sound. With a background in electronics, engineering, computing and sound design, Kate’s projects often include the design/build of crucial hardware and software.

The research of the Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science (CAPS) focuses on the origin and evolution of galaxies; the birth of stars; astrochemistry; asteroid and cometary impacts on planets; spacecraft damage; and detector development. CAPS is heavily involved in several major astronomical missions, and the recent Huygens probe to Titan was built at Kent.

Kate's residency involved a practical, aesthetic and intellectual exploration of the following questions:

1. As scientists have extended the normal range of perception to show visual images of deep space, how can sound in space (which exists, but is too tenuous to be heard with ears) be similarly represented?

2. How can the dynamism & violence of the universe be revealed, including that of the immediate environment of Earth? How can sound be used to do this?

3. How do we filter out background noise, both in real life & in astronomy? 

Her residency included a trip to attend an observing run at Subaru telescope, Mauna Kea, Hawaii.