Some of the imagery from Grayson Cooke's work, Open Air.
Some of the imagery from Grayson Cooke's work, Open Air.

700km above Earth: Artist's breathtaking project

A VIDEO that combines science and art has been shortlisted for a prestigious international award.

The work, by Lismore-based digital media artist Associate Professor Grayson Cooke, is called Open Air.

It uses the "breathtaking beauty" of the Australian landscape from space, alongside the music of experimental jazz trio The Necks and paintings by Mullumbimby artist Emma Walker.

Open Air will be launched at the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra this week.

 

Some of the imagery from Grayson Cooke's work, Open Air.
Some of the imagery from Grayson Cooke's work, Open Air.

"The project is basically visual music," said Professor Cooke, who is from Southern Cross University.

He said it was a "visual setting" of The Necks' album Open, but it is also a "kind of creative earth imaging", using Ms Walker's works and timelapse satellite images of Australia.

These were produced by Professor Cooke through working with Geoscience Australia and the Digital Earth Australia platform.

The project has already garnered significant interest in Australia and internationally.

 

Some of the imagery from Grayson Cooke's work, Open Air.
Some of the imagery from Grayson Cooke's work, Open Air.

The NASA Landsat team in the US published an interview with Professor Cooke on its website, and now Open Air has been shortlisted for the prestigious Lumen Prize in the Moving Image category.

This is an international competition which celebrates excellence in digital art.

Professor Cooke's project was one of only 31 shortlisted entrants from a pool of more than 900. Prize winners will be announced in a public event in London on September 27.

"The Lumen Prize is a significant player in media art internationally," Professor Cooke said.

"They hold exhibitions all around the world. I feel very privileged to have become a Lumen artist."

Professor Cooke has been working alongside Geoscience Australia and the Digital Earth Australia platform since July 2017.

 

Some of the imagery from Grayson Cooke's work, Open Air.
Some of the imagery from Grayson Cooke's work, Open Air.

Chief of the Environmental Geoscience Division of Geoscience Australia, Dr Stuart Minchin, said he was excited about the launch of Open Air.

"We have been proud to support Professor Cooke in developing this work," he said.

"Digital Earth Australia is a rich public resource with a mandate to support innovative public access to environmental information, but we recognise that public engagement around understanding our natural environment is not just about the scientific facts, but also our feelings and emotions, so having an artist work with DEA data and staff has been a very rewarding experience."



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