Unhappy Circuit searches for extraterrestrials in A Letter Across The Stars

An evocative visualisation of observational data collected by the Breakthrough Listen initiative, the largest ever scientific research program aimed at finding evidence of civilizations beyond Earth.

Throughout his career as an artist and musician, Unhappy Circuit has been preoccupied with thinking about the future of humanity. Refusing to accept that we are lost in an ever-expanding universe, he explores along the fault lines where art, science and technology intersect, attempting to triangulate where we as a species might be headed next.

In A Letter Across The Stars, Unhappy Circuit takes as his starting point data provided by the Breakthrough Listen initiative, the largest ever scientific research program aimed at finding evidence of civilizations beyond Earth. Using some of the world’s most powerful radio telescopes and optical laser transmissions, Breakthrough Listen are able to survey the 1,000,000 closest stars to Earth and listen for messages from the 100 closest galaxies to the Milky Way.

Rendering real-time observational data collected from cosmic radio signals of unknown origin as an evocative audio-visualisation, Unhappy Circuit replicates the search for extraterrestrial life, transforming it into a immersive, cosmic experience that transcends data and computation.

Originally exhibited at the ACT Centre at the Asia Culture Centre in Gwangju, South Korea, A Letter Across The Stars is just the latest in a series of AV works from Unhappy Circuit probing at the furthest reaches of consciousness. By trying to understand questions of memory, human intelligence, how AI can facilitate the co-existence of nature and humanity, and, ultimately, whether we are the only intelligent life in the universe, Unhappy Circuit gestures towards the future of our species.

For more information about Unhappy Circuit and his work you can visit his website and follow him on Instagram.

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