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Simon Ingram: Radio Painting Station & Paintings of the Sun

Simon Ingram and street construction workers with Ingram's Radio Painting Station

Simon Ingram opens his exhibition, Paintings of the Sun, at Gow Langsford Gallery, Lorne St, Auckland, on 29 April until 23 May 2015. The new series of works arise from his Jar Project residency where he has installed his Radio Painting Station.

For almost 10 years, Ingram has been exhibiting machines that paint, as well as the paintings they make. With the more recent Radio Paintings, his machines have drawn on/from cosmic sources for their creativity, radically expanding and complicating their agency in the process. Installed at Jar, an Ingram machine with its eyes on the stars and its feet in Kingsland, will spend the next twelve months showing us how such sources might change the idea of what painting is and does. Radio Painting Station is in fact a solar powered amateur radio astronomy painting studio, and Ingram's most ambitious project to date. A waveguide horn antennae sits on top of a wooden tower looking for electromagnetic energy from the 21cm wave or Water Hole frequency. The painting machine and its radio equipment are powered by the sun and will receive and interpret electromagnetic energy from the antennae in order to produce a major series of thirty paintings over the course of the exhibition. The Station's setting up and starting out, its operation and its progress will be thoroughly documented and discussed on this site over the months ahead.

Our sun, over 70% of which is hydrogen, is a giant transmitter of electromagnetic energy. The Station has been collecting some of this energy and putting it to work. This energy powers an apparatus that receives, interprets and paints spectral emissions of atomic hydrogen at 1420 Mhz.

Seeking a basis for the production of each painting, the Station's software and radio electronics interpret signals received from a SETI type horn antennae, something which resembles a small grain hopper mounted on top of a wooden tower pointed through JAR's skylight.

Each painting has become a black on white one-dimensional centrifugal graph that registers variations in the strength of the frequency's voltage received at a set place and time, a 60 second 'snapshot' taken by the telescope starting at 2.28pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Now, at the completion of the project in April 2015, Ingram shows the work he has created.

Simon Ingram & Rob Gardiner with Ingram's Radio Painting Station

Simon Ingram's Radio Painting Station

Simon Ingram's Radio Painting Station

Images: Simon Ingram's Radio Painting Station attracts attention from Rob Gardiner, Chartwell Trust, as well as street construction workers in Kingsland, 2015.

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