Square Kilometre Array – Looking for God: Art in the Age of Big Data


Presentation Title:

  • Square Kilometre Array – Looking for God: Art in the Age of Big Data




  • The ‘Square Kilometre Array – Looking for God’ (SKA-LFG) project is a live, real-time 3D graphical response to real-time observations from deep space combining Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) – a high resolution form of radio astronomy – high speed computer networks, real-time processing of VLBI data, interactive 3D graphics software, and virtual reality presentation systems. SKA-LFG combines science, technology, new media, and metaphysics within a time based art form linking three distinct perceptions of time – cosmic, computational, and human perceptual time. Through this joining of aesthetics, contemporary astronomy, and theories of human perception and cognition, SKA-LFG explores narratives of the sublime through computational simulation, dramaturgical narrative forms, interactive digital media, and Virtual Reality systems.

    With its ability to look deep into space and time, Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI)  allows study of the astronomical objects such as supernovae and black holes, providing clues to the evolution of the universe. Via high speed networks systems, VLBI data can be transferred for processing in real-time with filtered data driving customised high-end real-time 3D graphics (game engine) software linked to Virtual Reality (VR) presentations systems within gallery and web based contexts. This paper will discuss the SKA-LFG project in terms of data visualization using very large data sets, narrative versus simulation, and the aesthetics of the sublime in new media art.

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