The pause before the (star) storm

In less than ten days, Aoife van Linden Tol’s performance, Star Storm, will premiere at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria. Get ready to be astonished by this explosive, site-specific show inspired by the life of stars in the Universe.

A sneak preview of Aoife’s show: Box 1. Location for Ignition, Photon, Formation and Equilibrium – the first 4 movements of Star Storm. Credit: A. van Linden Tol

A year ago, at the Ars Electronica Festival 2016, Aoife set on a journey that would let her explore some of the most explosive events in the cosmos. This journey took place without the need to leave our planet: instead, she paid three visits to ESTEC, ESA’s technical centre in the Netherlands, interacting and brainstorming with space scientists who study cosmic explosions that characterise the life and death of stars, including our Sun.

Later, at Futurelab, Ars Electronica’s creative laboratory, Aoife tested the technology to make this series of explosive and pyrotechnic events possible. The location has been chosen: Brandverhütungsstelle BVS Linz, the local Fire Prevention Organisation.

The promotional information of the show on the festival website announces “there will be fire, smoke and loud noise”. It promises to be a breathtaking, unforgettable dive through the most energetic phenomena that take place in our Universe!

To tease the curiosity of festival visitors as we wait for the premiere, let’s revisit Aoife’s journey in a series of videos: from her contribution to the art-science symposium at last year’s Ars Electronica Festival, where she first presented the idea behind Star Storm, to her first visit to an ESA facility – the European Space Operations Centre in Germany – last October; from her presentation about the residency at Ars Electronica’s Deep Space 8K in June, to a short trailer of the performance.

Aoife van Linden Tol is the recipient of the first art&science@ESA residency in the framework of the ESA – Ars Electronica Artist-in-Residence programme, organised in 2016.  

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