SFB1258 & SFB42 #3: UNDERCURRENTS - a submarine exhibition in the Pacific

Photos: Simon Freund

The research group of Elisa Resconi is currently planning for P-ONE (Pacific Ocean Neutrino Experiment) - a new neutrino telescope in the northwesterly Pacific Ocean. To probe the site and conditions at a depth of 2600 Meter, two pathfinder experiments have been conceived. The STRAW experiment is monitoring the optical conditions at the Cascadia Basin since  2018. The second pathfinder experiment (STRAW-b) was deployed in October 2020.

The ten optical modules of STRAW-b are distributed over a 500 Meter long string that are anchored on the seafloor to test hardware and strategies for the planned first segment of P-ONE, the Pacific Ocean Neutrino Explorer. The optical modules are contained in perfectly transparent glass spheres. Three of the glass spheres are only used to transfer data such as temperature and pressure and are not completely packed with devices - giving space for the project initiated by Elisa Resconi and Jol Thoms envisioning the neutrino telescope also as an artwork.

From the collaboration with the project group SFB42, four pieces of art emerged to be hosted in this unique submarine exhibition.

Simona de Fabritiis: "CIAO MAMMA SONO TORNATA"

Simona de Fabritiis: The message “CIAO MAMMA SONO TORNATA” (Hello mama I've come back) engraved by Simona De Fabritiis in a bronze sculpture, greets the common origin of all life forms, through the thick glass of a STRAW-b sphere.

Josua Rappl: "ARTEFACTS"

Josua Rappl: The “ARTEFACTS” object will relocate mineral and biological traces from the Gran Sasso Mountain in Italy, which the project group SFB42 explored in an ethnographic field trip in 2018, as part of its first project. The group also visited the neutrino experiments at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso deep in the mountain. Now the two distant locations will be linked together - the dark cave and the deep water, both strange and normally inaccessible places from which physicists observe the sky. The samples are also talismans, providing good spirits and luck for the deployment of the detector, the collection of data, and for ONC and the P-ONE collaboration.

Jol Thoms: "Radio Amnion"

Jol Thoms: Collaborating again with both of the SFB’s, Jol Thoms has arranged a networked audio-sculpture that will receive and play new sound compositions from diverse practitioners interested in sending voicings and soundings of care, concern, and affection in/to oceanic space. The ‘Radio Amnion’ sculpture will quietly transmit compositions on each full moon, when the tides are high. A reverse ‘Golden Record’ of the voyager spacecraft, these ritualistic relays of care irrigate unspoken plains of energy and communicate affirmations of life and cosmological entanglements between and beyond human, non-human and more-than-human scales, conditions and relations.

Lea Vajda: "sea me not"

Lea Vajda: Reflecting on the human need to understand, quantify and explore the constant unknown, Lea Vajda’s glass piece introduces an opaqueness to one of the glass spheres, a sculptural gesture turning the entire sphere into a work of art. An iridescence half sphere is thought of as an attractive spot for the bioluminescent creatures to hide, stay, tell one another their luminous secrets, and giving them the possibility to conceal themselves from the scientists' eyes. “sea me not” proposes that not everything has to be transparent to science, showing that deep-sea’s secrets can prevail.