Semiconductor is UK artist duo Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt who explore the material nature of our world: how we experience it and how we try to create an understanding of it, questioning our place in the physical universe. They often adopt scientific tools, processes and philosophies, encouraging the artifacts, errors and nuances which are commonly inherent in these devices and technologies as a way to reflect on the presence of the human as observer.
The module Brilliant Noise takes us into the data vaults of solar astronomy. After sifting through hundreds of thousands of computer files, made accessible via open access archives, Semiconductor have brought together some of the sun's finest unseen moments. These images have been kept in their most raw form, revealing the energetic particles and solar wind as a rain of white noise. This grainy black and white quality is routinely cleaned up by NASA, hiding the processes and mechanics in action behind the capturing procedure. Most of the imagery has been collected as single snapshots containing additional information, by satellites orbiting the Earth. They are then reorganized into their spectral groups to create time-lapse sequences. The soundtrack highlights the hidden forces at play upon the solar surface, by directly translating areas of intensity within the image brightness into layers of audio manipulation and radio frequencies.