Honor Harger: History Of Universe In Sound

Honor HargerHonor Harger explores the sounds of the sky, using art to connect her audience to the universe.

Honor Harger is a New Zealand-born artist and curator who has a particular interest in artistic uses of technologies. She's the director of Lighthouse, an arts agency in Brighton, UK. Her artistic practice is produced under the name r a d i o q u a l i a together with collaborator Adam Hyde. One of their main projects is Radio Astronomy , a radio station broadcasting sounds from space.

From a great interview with Harger from Lift '11:

What does it mean to listen to space?

Whilst our project uses what we describe as "sounds from space", it is important to understand that stars and planets are not directly audible. Sound waves can not propagate in the vacuum of space. However, it is possible for radio waves emitted from celestial bodies, such as Jupiter and the Sun, to be heard by using radio technology. In our galaxy, the Sun is the strongest source of radio waves - so it's the most powerful transmitter in the radio sky. Jupiter also sends us strong radio signals.

What we hear is very curiously linked with our experience of radio here on earth -- the sounds are a bit like the sound of static between the stations.

Susan notes: Thanks to TED for making TED Talks downloadable and embeddable, and for providing the biographical information that goes along with them.


Related Articles