In 2016 the pioneering Tasmanian winter festival Dark MOFO continues to push the artistic agenda with an unmatched array of hybrid creative events, performances, screenings, projects, happenings and interactions.

UNSW Art & Design alumni are once again among the artists featured including Michaela Gleave who is launching a new work titled A Galaxy of Suns, which will also be presented internationally at the Bristol Biennial in the UK from September.

Created by Gleave, composer Amanda Cole and programmer Warren Armstrong, A Galaxy of Suns connects audiences with the unseen motions of our galaxy.

A Galaxy of Suns is a smart phone app and associated choral performance that ‘plays’ the stars as they rise and set over 360˚ of the horizon – for any location on Earth. The work launched Dark MOFO last weekend – view a snippet of the performance from ABC Arts.

Operating on a galactic scale, this project is a collaboration across contemporary art, music, astronomy and design. A Galaxy of Suns works with the native potentials of smart device technology to create a unique experience of the cosmos, accessible to audiences wherever they find themselves in the world.

Tracking the Earth’s motions through space, A Galaxy of Suns documents in real-time the audience’s precise position in relation to the stars, sonifying stellar data to create a sound and visual composition unique to their location in space and time. Using the GPS data automatically recorded by smart phones and operational without network access, the project works with parameters such as location on the horizon, brightness, size, age and chemical composition of stars, and translates them into sonic and aesthetic variables including rhythm, pitch, volume, panning, colour and light intensity.

The app has been released nationally this week. See a preview of the app here.

Hear Michaela Gleave and Amanda Cole discuss A Galaxy of Suns on Radio National’s Books and Arts program here.