Solar Flares

Figure 1. Solar Flares, Florent Di Bartolo, 2019.

Solar flares is an audiovisual performance about solar activity with real-time graphics and electronic music composed with modular synthesisers. It uses data about solar activities to animate visual landscapes and filter sound waves using subtractive synthesis.

The data being used relates to the solar magnetic activity cycle: a nearly periodic 11-year change in the sun’s activity and appearance. They include changes in the levels of solar radiation and evolutions in the number and size of sunspots and flares. Solar cycles have been observed for centuries by changes in the sun’s appearance and by changes seen on Earth’s surface, such as auroras.

The sound landscapes have been composed using the daily total sunspot number available at SILSO and that is tracked since 1755 following the original numbering proposed by Rudolf Wolf in the mid-19th century. The visual elements of the performance are also connected to the data being read to generate the sound landscapes. Several of their parameters are controlled by it in order to create a complex dialogue between image and sound.

The project exists as an interactive installation too.

The Work was realised within the framework of the European Media Art Platforms EMARE program at RIXC with support of the Creative Europe Culture Programme of the European Union.

Figure 6. Last Solar Cycles, Laser cut model for 3D sculpture, Florent Di Bartolo, 2019.

About the author

Florent Di Bartolo is an artist and researcher based in Paris. His work includes audiovisual performances, installations and interactive data visualizations. His artistic practice revolves around the notion of data poetics in the context of ubiquitous computing and explore alternative ways of representing and accessing data using sensors and custom written software.

He holds a PhD in Digital Art from Paris 8 University and a BA in Fine Art from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts located in Paris. He teaches new media art and graphic programming at the University Paris-Est.