Lost in the photosphere by Aoife van Linden Tol

Lost in the photosphere by Aoife van Linden Tol


22/05/2017 2:00 pm


A. van Linden Tol


An abstract sketch by Aoife van Linden Tol, the recipient of the first ESA–Ars Electronica residency, created in May 2017 during her second stay at ESA’s technical heart in the Netherlands.

The sketch, made with charcoal powder and pigments, is inspired by multicolour images of the Sun like those collected with the ESA/NASA SOHO observatory.

As an artist working primarily with explosive media, Aoife often makes preparatory sketches and designs by throwing charcoal powder and pigments on to paper.

During the residency, she has been researching for her Star Storm project, an explosive performance inspired by stars, including the Sun. The performance will be premiered in September during the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria.

This sketch, Lost in the Photosphere, is a preliminary idea for one of the various segments in her immersive performance. The aim of this segment is to let the audience experience the turbulent processes that happen inside the Sun as if they were standing in the photosphere.

To develop the overall story arc of the performance as well as fine-tuning the details of the explosions it will include, the artist organised a series of brainstorming sessions with ESA space scientists. During these conversations, she presented individual aspects of the performance and invited the scientists to discuss the relevant physical processes and how to best represent them using a variety of explosive media.

In the spirit of a two-way exchange during this residency, the artist also offered scientists and other ESA employees a peek into her creative practice and allow them to explore their own creative thinking processes related to science by organising a workshop and a participatory live-art event. During these events, participants experimented with various media and techniques to create artworks.

This art–science residency is organised by Ars Electronica in partnership with ESA. An international jury that included ESA, Ars Electronica and Futurelab, and the European Digital Art and Science Network selected Aoife’s proposal from the 139 submitted projects in 2016.

More about Aoife’s residency on the art&science@ESA blog.

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