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Violent plasma explosions from the Sun’s surface – known as coronal mass ejections – reverberate to the farthest reaches of our solar system. However, due to the Earth’s protective magnetosphere, most people don’t take note of these events unless a particularly powerful solar flare disrupts radio signals or produces colourful aurorae near the poles. Created as part of an art installation, this inventive, visceral short uses data collected from the University of Alberta’s CARISMA radio array to sonically and visually interpret a geomagnetic storm high in Earth’s atmosphere. Manifesting the data as a dynamic sculpture, the digital rendering captures the volatility of these usually unseen and unheard phenomena, hinting at their potentially destructive powers.
Directors: Ruth Jarman, Joe Gerhardt
Website: Semiconductor Films
The key to geckos’ unrivalled climbing skills isn’t sticky feet. It’s subatomic
Technology and the self
Greetings from Green Bank – the small town where modern technology is banned
Far from frivolous, cuteness is a powerful – and still mysterious – force of nature
Dance and theatre
How a Noh mask-maker summons a lifelike face from a single block of wood
The ancient world
What wine vessels reveal about politics and luxury in ancient Athens and Persia
David Goldblatt captured the contradictions of apartheid in stark black and white
In the search for life, might alien ocean worlds be a better bet than Earth-like planets?
Thinkers and theories
Is simulation theory a way to shirk responsibility for the world we’ve created?
A dazzling slice-by-slice exploration of wood exposes hidden patterns and hues