A*

This is a special single-screen presentation of A*, a video and sound composition that muses on the Event Horizon Telescope. An international network of observatories, the EHT worked together in 2019 to capture the first image of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. A process called Very Long Baseline Interferometry coordinates the simultaneous observations, allowing them to form one coherent picture. This process of resolving an image from patterns of interference, drawing from multiple perspectives that are distant and complex is a central metaphor in the work.

Narrated in intertitles, fragments of text trace clashes of meaning and understanding: between science in the popular imagination and its lived practices; between traditional cultural practices and those of western science; between western knowledges and imperialisms past and present. Simultaneously, the video presents a text-based score for music performance: printed cue cards deliver instructions for improvising musicians to create the work’s soundtrack. Played by Jan St. Werner from Berlin, sawako from Tokyo, Ryan Choi from Honolulu, and Cecilia Lopez from Buenos Aires, each musician worked on the score in isolation. Graydon then mixed their parts together, allowing a form to emerge from the resonances and interferences between each player’s interpretation of the work.

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