Cosmic Poem -Sound Poetry From Outer Space-
Invitation on June 14 2014
Sound art, experimental poetry practice on an artificial satellite by Tomomi Adachi and Akihiro Kubota.
Berlin-based Japanese sound poet/performer/composer, Tomomi Adachi and Japanese Media Artist, Akihiro Kubota will send a program code to ART satellite ARTSAT1:INVADER, the artificial satellite will interpret the code, perform a sound poem in the orbit with a voice synthesizer chip, and broadcast the voice directly to the earth by radio a few times in two weeks from June 21, 2014 (the solstice). The broadcasting will reach many major cities in the world. Probably this is the first experiment of sound art and experimental poetry in outer space by human beings.
How to listen
Times and places of the broadcasting will be announced just before the performance on https://cosmicpoem.wordpress.com/, http://artsat.jp/ andhttps://twitter.com/CosmicPoem, https://twitter.com/INVADER_ARTSAT.
The poem will be repeated several times in one place. It is a very short poem, of less than 30 seconds with the repetition. Also, please understand that this is an experiment in outer space, the satellite might fail the performances. We try again in that case. For this reason, we recommend you to follow our twitter accounts.
There are three ways to listen to the sound poem:
1. The satellite broadcasts using 437.200 MHz frequency with FM. Prepare a receiver that covers this frequency, then direct an antenna to the satellite. For details, check this site http://makezine.com/projects/make-24/homemade-yagi-antenna/
If you succeeded in recording the sound, it is recommended sending the recording to http://api.artsat.jp/report/ or firstname.lastname@example.org
These recordings will be published on http://artsat.jp/ and https://cosmicpoem.wordpress.com/
This would be the mechanical method to listen for people who has rich technical knowledges
2. After the performances, the sounds recorded on the earth will be uploaded into internet sites http://artsat.jp/ and https://cosmicpoem.wordpress.com/ The sounds will be from then on available at the site.
This is the easiest method to listen.
3. Look up at the sky. Imagine the 10 cm cubed small satellite that is moving at an altitude of about 340km with a speed of 7.7km per a Second, and the voice which is synthesized in outer space. Try to listen to the sounds with your imagination. To face toward the satellite is effective. It is really appreciated if you write down what you listened in your mind or make an audio recording of the sound in your imagination then send it to email@example.com (please don’t attach files more than 10MB). These materials will be published on http://artsat.jp/ and https://cosmicpoem.wordpress.com/
This is a creative method to listen.
Due to a limitation in the satellite’s memory capacity (128 bytes), the poem needs to be short. Still, it contains many cultural references. Firstly, this is sound poetry which doesn’t have any linguistic meanings. The idea of sound poetry is coming from Dadaism in 1910-20s. Dadaist abandoned meanings of language and tried to attain universal language over restrictions of particular language. Sound poetry opened the door not only to experimental poetry, but also to sound art, and noise music. So we see this early experiments as a great precedent of universal language for outer space. The poem has indeed direct quotations from Poster Poem by Raoul Hausmann, one of representative figures of Berlin Dada. Also the Poster Poem is known as a source of monumental sound poem for Kurt Schwitters’ Ursonate.
Part of the cosmic poem is also inspired by Japanese writer, INAGAKI Taruho, whose 1910-20s novels focus on imagined narratives of flight and astronomy.
The poem is a homage to cosmopolitanism in the 1910-20s, which we find very suitable for cosmic imagination. Still, its format is similar to that of traditional Japanese Tanka, a short poem that has a 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic structure. We adopted this form because it works as a form of short code. Moreover, the voice synthesizer chip in the satellite is specialized in Japanese phonetic system. There are inserted phrases in the basic structure that have a direct phonetical connection to Hausmann’s poem. The phrases are also understood as a lament for Laika, the first telluric animal that made sounds on orbit with Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957. Possibly Laika died in several hours in the spacecraft from overheating.
This poem is written as a program code for a computer on the satellite. The computer interprets the code each time, each performance is slightly different. In this respect, this performance is not so distant from a regular performance by humans.
Probably, this cosmic poem is the first experimental poetry/sound art practice in outer space. Or maybe the second one, if really Lucia Pamela made her recording of Into Outer Space With Lucia Pamela on the moon in 1969.
The now-developing art satellite “ARTSAT1: INVADER” is 10cm cubed, and weighs 1.8kg, it was launched on Feb. 28 2014. The “ARTSAT Project” carries the plan of creating the world-first art satellite forward; the satellite that will be used mainly for art.
To trace the position of INVADER, see
ARTSAT project website
Tomomi Adachi (Artist)
Tomomi Adachi is a performer/composer, sound poet, instrument builder and visual artist. Known for his versatile style, he has performed his own voice and electronics pieces, site-specific compositions, improvised music and contemporary music works by John Cage, Cornelius Cardew, Christian Wolff and others in all over the world including Tate Modern, Maerzmusik, Centre Pompidou, Poesiefestival Berlin, Merkin Hall, Tempelhof Airfield, STEIM and Experimental Intermedia. As the only Japanese performer of sound poetry, he performed Kurt Schwitters’ “Ursonate” as a Japan premiere in 1996. Also he directed Japanese premiere of John Cage’s “Europera5” in 2007. CDs include the solo album from Tzadik, Omegapoint and naya records. He was a guest of the Artists-in-Berlin Program of the DAAD for 2012.
Akihiro Kubota (Artist / Professor, Tama Art University)
Born in 1960 in Osaka, KUBOTA is a professor of the Art & Media Course in the Information Design Department of Tama Art University. He earned his doctorate at the University of Tokyo School of Engineering. He has pioneered the development and synthesis of a broad spectrum of hybrid creative endeavors, including satellite art (artsat.jp), bioart (bioart.jp), digital fabrication (fablajapan.org), and sound performance with instruments he has invented (hemokosa.com). He is the author of Kieyuku Computer (Disappearing Computer–Human Interface; Iwanami Shoten, 1999), editorial supervisor of Post-Techno(logy) Music (Ohmura Shoten, 2001), and translation supervisor of the Japanese editions of FORM+CODE in Design, Architecture, and Art (Casey Reas, Chandler McWilliams, LUST; BNN, 2011) and Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information (Manuel Lima; BNN, 2012) etc.
Cosmic Poem Project Website