The 25th Cycle

Figure 1. Florent Di Bartolo, The 25th Cycle, 2021.

Solar cycles have been observed for centuries by changes in the Sun’s appearance. A solar cycle affects activity on the surface of the Sun, such as sunspots which are caused by the Sun's magnetic fields. This activity can have effects on Earth. For example, eruptions can cause auroras, or impact radio communications. Extreme eruptions can even affect electricity grids on Earth.

This audiovisual installation uses data from SILSO (the world data center for the production, preservation and dissemination of the international sunspot number) to create infinite variations of the 25th solar cycle. Daily sunspot numbers retracting the sun's activity since 1818 are being interpreted to create new solar cycles during which the sun's magnetic fields change as per the amount of activity on the sun's surface.

The installation allows us to feel these changes through animated particle systems and a sound composition. The daily sunspot numbers detected since the beginning of the 19th century are being partially displayed too. Multiple sets of engraved plexiglass plates fill the installation room with representations of solar activity and its evolution through multiple cycles.

  • The 25th cycle, EMAP Garden: move to… ecosphere, Ars Electronica, sept. 2021.
  • The 25th cycle, Werkleitz Festival 2021 move to, Halle-sur-Saale, juill. 2021.

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.