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Charles Lindsay: the SETI Institute's Artist in Residence
Rocket Brain by Charles Lindsay
“Rocket Brain” an interactive work built around a 1970's missile guidance system.
Charles Lindsay, 2012.
Image credit: Charles Lindsay

CARBON installation by Charles Lindsay
Ten by thirty foot print. CARBON Installation.
Charles Lindsay, 2009.
Image credit: Charles Lindsay

CARBON installation by Charles Lindsay
Eight by nine foot back-lit piece. CARBON Installation.
Charles Lindsay, 2009.
Image credit: Charles Lindsay

Images used with permission.
All rights reserved.

Charles Lindsay was selected by the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute to serve as an Artist in Residence. His artistic vision has sought to communicate a fascination with scientific inquiry, space exploration and the limits of human perception. Lindsay’s audiovisual installations create a multi-sensory experience; these other-worldly realms seem somehow familiar, yet completely unknown.

Lindsay began his career as an exploration geologist and documentary photographer. After earning a degree in Exploration Geology from the University of Western Ontario, Lindsay used his photographic skills to document his research in the arctic. Capturing the harsh polar climate on film helped to plant the seed for a growing body of work that expresses Lindsay's evolving vision of communication, symbols and space exploration through still images, videos and music.

Lindsay’s recent shows include interactive sculptures constructed from salvaged and repurposed scientific materials. One such sculpture is his 2012 work, "Rocket Brain" (see image, top right). Many of these pieces employ sensors and custom circuitry to alter the audio and visual cues depending on the viewer’s proximity. Exploration and experiment become part of the viewers' experience of the artwork as the sights and sounds change with their movements.

One of Lindsay's most innovative works is the installation CARBON, which is supported by a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship. The CARBON environments are designed around the original camera-less imaging technique that Lindsay invented. The original negatives are scanned and animated, forging the backbone of the installations that seek to immerse the viewer in Lindsay’s constructed world. His hyper-resolved yet subtly-toned images have evolved over the years to include vibrant colors, and now they seem to take on a life of their own as giant still photographs and video projections merge with in-depth sound design.

Charles Lindsay has considered the use of retired NASA equipment to catalyze a new artistic perspective on the excitement and inspiration of space exploration. His intent is to include materials in his installations that have flown above the earth's atmosphere. The completed artwork will provide the earthbound viewer with a direct connection to extraterrestrial space, giving Lindsay's audience a personal experience of the reality of travel beyond our world.

About the SETI Institute's Artist in Residence Program

The mission of The SETI Institute’s Artist in Residence Program is to encourage cross-disciplinary artistic expression in order to explore and illuminate the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.

This program seeks to foster a cross pollination of ideas between artists and scientists, where these disciplines may influence each other through personal interaction and the shared adoption of new technologies. This initiative also aspires to encourage youth to explore the possibilities emerging at the nexus of art, technology and the sciences.

--Reprinted from seti.org

Read and See More:

→ charleslindsay.com

→ charliesexperiment.com

→ Profile: Life on the Photographic Edge

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