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226-Role of space-images in contemporary art related to Earth-ocean-atmosphere

226-Role of space-images in contemporary art related to Earth-ocean-atmosphere

  • Contract :Ph.D.
  • Duration :36 months
  • Working time :Full-time
  • Experience :Entry Level
  • Education level :Master’s Degree, MA/MS/MSc

Your mission at CNES :

The role of the space-images in contemporary art related to the Earth-ocean-atmosphere system: from semiology to art installation.

The subjective interpretation of natural phenomena marked the pre-Galilean science and pushedthe Physics to split into proto-sciences, with languages and formalisms specific to theobservation of a well-defined class of phenomena. This taxonomy of Physics produces a rapidadvance of the specific knowledge but, on the other hand, it imposes limits in the discovery of themutual interactions between the different separate disciplines. E.g., Seismology, which considersthe surface of the Earth as free, neglects the atmosphere; the Atmospheric Physics, consider thissame surface a rigid barrier, unaware of any seismic activity; they are the example of thisseparation and limit in highlight the exchange of energy between the solid part of the Earth andthe fluid envelopes.

In the history, Earthquakes created many different mythological or philosopher-naturalisticinterpretations. Notwithstanding the strong mythological interpretation of Poseidon moving thebowels of the Earth with his trident, the Greek School found natural causes for this shake -inGreek σεισμος which gave in the modern era, the name to Seismology. Most of the developednatural theories explored the idea that the Earth contains galleries and cavities. According toAnaxagore, the cavities are flooded and shaken by violent fires of flammable materials, such astar and sulfur. According to Plato, the cavities are invaded by the currents of the Pyriphlegethon,an immense river of ire in the center of the Earth. Epicurus prefers to replace the fire withincessant streams.

Among these hypotheses, Aristotle anticipate -in his pneumatic theory- the idea of the couplingbetween the solid Earth and the atmosphere. Aristotle supposed that pneuma was the cause ofearthquakes. This force, due to the compression of the air under the effect of the Sun's rays,generated winds inside the cavities of the Earth, creating strong pressures variation, and causingearthquakes.

At first glance, the Aristotle’s theory may seem naive, but it’s already showing the idea that theEarth is a complete system where the different parts (solid and fluid) interact each other.

Unfortunately, the exchange of energy between the solid Earth and the atmosphere has beenforgot in the modern Seismology. However, in the past decade, a number of studies based onspace observation have shown that Seismology can cross the limit of the Earth's surface toobserve the interactions between the solid Earth and the fluid envelopes (ocean, atmosphere,ionosphere). The observation of earthquakes and tsunamis from space, mainly observing theirsignature in the ionosphere, opened a new science called Ionospheric Seismology, and stronglysupported by the CNES.

With this thesis, we wish to accompany the realization of an art installation at the CarmignacFoundation, in Porquerolles, using an airglow camera (provided by ONERA) to observe thespatial flow of OH and see the signature of the vibration of the planet as a single object. The siteof Porquerolles, is a light-protected natural park, with a better night than elsewhere in France,considerably increasing the performance of the airglow camera. The images of the camera willbe broadcast in a deferred time in a circular dome (inside Fort Saint Agathe, see photo above), apiece of about 10 m in diameter where the spectator will be totally immersed in the spatial imageof the flow of OH to feel part of this vibration that the planet Earth transmits to him. The public willbe sensitized to this new science and the role of the CNES.

Additionally, the objective we also wish to explore theoretically the role of the space observationsin art, in particular focussing on the new perception of the Earth, as a unique system where thesolid part and its fluid envelopes are in permanent exchange of energy. Our work will explorehow the society is affected and change by space-observations used in art.

To apply, we invite you to contact the PhD/research supervisor at IPGP ninto@ipgp.fr and fill, with him/her, the co-financing part of the online application form by March 31, 2020

Candidate profile searched:

MSC in Human and Social Sciences

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