SETI’s First Artist-in-Residence Takes Viewers to Alien Worlds

Posted filed underContemporary Art, Photography, Science.


Scientists have been trying to find intelligent life on some other planet for years and now they have artist Charles Lindsay to help them out.

The Mission of The SETI Institute’s Artist in Residence Program is to encourage cross disciplinary artistic expression in order to explore and illuminate the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.

This program seeks to foster a cross pollination of ideas between artists and scientists, where these disciplines may influence each other through personal interaction and the shared adoption of new technologies.

Wired: “Charles Lindsay’s gigantic, sometimes 60-foot-long, black-and-white and color prints from his CARBON photo series are enigmatically provocative. Are they high-resolution scans from an electron microscope? Manipulated images of far-off planets captured by the Hubble telescope?

The photos are actually created through a special process Linsday invented that involves spreading a carbon-based emulsion onto plastic negatives. The resulting images are then digitally scanned and printed in several ways.

It’s an approach that has yielded unusual results and stuck a strong chord with audiences, earning him not only a Guggenheim fellowship, but also the first-ever spot as an artist-in-residence at the SETI Institute.

“A photograph normally suggests reality, our initial read is that its protracting something real,” says Lindsay. “But in these photos there is a lot of ambiguity and that’s one of the things that I respond to strongly in art; it’s a necessity.”

For two years now Charles Lindsay and scientists at the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) have been collaborating and finding new ways to mix art and science in an effort to help stretch the public’s mind about the possibilities of the world and space around us.”

Read the whole story at Wired.

Charles Lindsay will be speaking and performing in San Francisco on Sept. 18 at Swissnex as part of the ZERO1 ‘Seeking Silicon Valley’ arts biennial. Lindsay will also debut CARBON-X, a new dome formatted surround audio visual work, Sept. 22 and 25 at Getting off the Planet and ISEA2012 in New Mexico.