Cosmic Rain presents the natural phenomenon of muons in the minimalist language of a light-sound kinetic installation. Muons are high-energy elementary particles forming in the atmosphere’s upper layers during collisions of cosmic rays from space. They pass through our bodies, large natural masses, and human infrastructure at any given time, mostly disintegrating only in the Earth’s depths.
The installation consists of detector-signal units spread across the gallery and simultaneously powered by an electrified steel mesh. Each element icomprises a scintillation detector designed in accordance with the Cosmic Watch open-access and open-source muon detector. As the muon passes through the scintillator, a weak light pulse is generated which is amplified by a silicon photomultiplier and then converted into an electrical signal. The built-in microcontroller detects the said signal, triggering a bright flash and a blow of the electromagnetic actuator against the mesh.
The distinctly material representation of cosmic particles in the form of light and sound stimuli grants the spectator a sensual experience of physical and cosmic events that are otherwise unfolding everywhere around us yet remain inaccessible to our senses.
Artist: Tilen Sepič
Circuits development and programming: Luka Frelih, Staš Vrenko, Brane Ždralo
Artistic direction and text: Maja Burja
Technical support: Luka Bernetič, Valter Udovičić
Acknowledgment: Jožef Stefan Institute (Prof. Dr. Peter Križan, Dr. Andrej Gorišek), Dadamachines (Johannes Lohbihler), Miro Križman
Project production: Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory | konS ≡ Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art
Coproduction: Forum Ljubljana (Lighting Guerrilla)