Stars in Their Eyes
Open-weather workshop, Stars in Their Eyes, at Het Lage Noorden in Marrum, part of a larger research course from artist Cocky Eek, teacher in the ArtScience Interfaculty of The KABK.
From 13 to 17 November 2023, open-weather, co-led by Sophie Dyer and Sasha Engelmann, provide a short course on building a DIY ground satellite in Marrum. Joined by artist, writer, and scientist Adriana Knouf.
Sonic Acts is happy to announce this collaboration with the ArtScience Interfaculty, embedded in the Royal Conservatoire and the Royal Academy for Fine Arts in The Hague, from guest teacher Cocky Eek, who organised a special autumn course for her students at Het Lage Noorden, an artist-in-residence space in Marrum. Her course, Dark Skies – Field Station Friesland, focuses on field research as a crucial part of our cultural orientation in a world of change and uncertainty. Field Station Friesland aims to engage this interaction, applying field research from this course directly to the dark skies of the Wadden area to observe its impact on the rhythms of the living world down under. Amongst various contributors, open-weather is a feminist experiment in imaging and imagining the Earth and its weather systems using DIY community tools.
Since 2020, open-weather has held ten DIY satellite ground station workshops in the UK, Austria, Germany, Greece, Poland, the Netherlands, and online. Our night sky is increasingly populated by a constellation of earth’s observation satellites known as ‘unblinking eyes’. Some such satellites are called the National Ocean Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather satellites, part of a family of satellites that have been orbiting Earth since 1970. By tuning into these satellites’ increasingly glitchy transmissions, we are witnessing their slow deaths, the end of almost half a century wherein they witnessed the climate crisis on our behalf. Can we return their gaze? By building a DIY satellite ground station in the darkness of Het Lage Noorden, can we watch a sunlit satellite pass overhead while receiving, in real-time, its image of us? What would this shot-reverse-shot yield? As we catch each other’s eyes, what last words would we exchange, if we could?
Cocky Eek is a spatial artist focusing on expanding the power of perception in direct relation with our environment. She creates experiences in which our inner landscape interferes with the landscape that surrounds us. She likes to immerse her participants in spatial compositions to induce the feeling that you are not moving through space, but where space moves through you. Her work connects with the deeper layers of ourselves and of our surroundings. Eek has been a member of the ArtScience Interfaculty since 2011.
Co-led by researcher-designer Sophie Dyer and creative geographer Sasha Engelmann, open-weather encompasses a series of how-to guides, critical frameworks, and public workshops on the reception of satellite images using free or inexpensive amateur radio technologies. Open-weather is a feminist experiment in imaging and imagining the earth and its weather systems using DIY tools. They investigate the politics of location and interlocking oppressions that shape our capacities to observe, negotiate, and respond to the climate crisis.
Adriana Knouf works as an artist, writer, and xenologist engaging with topics such as radio transmission, satellites, non-human encounters, drone flight, queer and trans futures, and machine learning. Knouf has a PhD in Information Science from Cornell University, an SM in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT, and a BS in Engineering and Applied Science from the California Institute of Technology. She is the founding facilitator of the tranxxeno lab – a nomadic artistic research laboratory that promotes entanglements among entities trans and xeno.
Photo: DIY Satellite Workshop by open weather 14 October 2022 at Likeminds-Amsterdam. Photo by Amie Galbraith.