Digital Arts & Creative Technology

COSMOS 2017 – Celestial Frequencies at bluedot

This summer as part of the bluedot festival we co-commissioned award winning Tokyo-based Media Artist, DJ and Programmer, Daito Manabe and Rhizomatiks Research for the COSMOS flagship international artists commission and residency at Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics.

COSMOS invites an international artist to create a new audio-visual work developed for, and to be projected onto, the iconic Lovell Telescope.  The commission includes a residency at Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, enabling artists to collaborate with scientists and researchers, experiment with data collected by the Lovell Telescope and others, and gain a new perspective on the observatory’s research. It offers artists and scientists a unique, new opportunity to connect and to visualise the knowledge gathered about deep space.

You can see some behind the scenes of the residency with Daito Manabe here:

The epic structure of the Lovell Telescope – now in its 60th year of operation – presented a unique and unparalleled canvas for the art work. During the festival the dish was in the zenith position, pointing directly upwards into space, receiving radio signals as the Earth turned and the sky drifted past overhead.

A mixture of deep space data collected on-site in real-time, and previously gathered from telescopes further afield – including Planck spacecraft observations of the microwave radio sky – was transformed into Celestial Frequencies, a unique generative audio-visual artwork projected onto the telescope.  If you were not at bluedot, or even if you were, you can see the art work in our video here:


COSMOS is a flagship international artists commission and residency for Lovell Telescope. Produced by Abandon Normal Devices, commissioned by Jodrell Bank Observatory, bluedot, SHIFT and Abandon Normal Devices. Supported by the University of Manchester, Rhizomatiks Research, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, and with public funds from Arts Council England. LiDAR* scans of the Lovell Telescope used in the production of COSMOS are provided by Arup.  Videos by Tim Brunsden.