Singing the stars, and tricking your brain to feel pain

August 27th 2018

  • Canvas: Art & Ideas :: The Constellations

Listen to Canvas: Art & Ideas talk with Bec Dean from dLux MediaArts about The Constellations.

The Constellations is a new event series and podcast exploring art that pushes scientific research into new dimensions.

“Barbed wire went through my hand—I really felt that!”

In her work ‘Seeing Is Believing’, Eugenie Lee convinces her participant that they’re in pain. “Because pain happens in the brain,” she explains, “I can make them feel like their hands are burning.” This manipulation comes with noble aims: to help people understand what’s it’s like to live with chronic pain—a condition that effects one in four people.

“A bridge between Hobart and the heavens.”

Michaela Gleave’s ‘Galaxy of Suns’ connects audiences with the larger forces at play in the universe. A 36-part chorus, dressed in silver cloaks, sing the stars as they rise. Mapped with great accuracy, Gleave worked alongside astronomer Dr Michael Fitzgerald to pinpoint when each one moved above the horizon. Giving one voice per star, Gleave orchestrates an experience that brings into view the epic expansiveness of the cosmos.

These are some of the projects covered by The Constellations, an initiative from Dlux MediaArts in association with FBi Radio’s Canvas: Art & Ideas. Giselle Stanborough and David Capra chatted with host Bec Dean about the way artists at the forefront of Australian practice are using new research to make work, and what scientists are learning from them in the process.

“The borders of disciplinary expertise are starting to become more porous and we get these really interesting intersections…new kinds of art and new kinds of aesthetic experience.”

Over the coming months The Constellations joins the dots between art and science with guests such as Helen Pynor, Lucas Ihlein, David Haines and Joyce Hinterding, and the scientists who work with them, plus many more.

You can listen to The Constellations as a podcast or go along to a live recording at 107 Projects in Redfern.

‘Geology’ (detail) by David Haines and Joyce Hinterding
‘Seeing is Believing’ by Eugenie Lee, photo: Anna Kucera
‘Galaxy of Suns’ by Michaela Gleave, photo: Lucy Parakhina


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