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OPTICKS IS A LIVE AUDIO-VISUAL RADIO TRANSMISSION PERFORMANCE  BETWEEN THE EARTH AND THE MOON

a project by Daniela de Paulis in collaboration with international radio operators

OPTICKS is a networked live transmission performance between the Earth and the Moon and a Cosmic Mail Art event that allows participants to travel into space with their minds and experience being virtual astronauts. OPTICKS was created by media artist Daniela de Paulis in 2009 as a live event hosted inside the cabin of the Dwingeloo radio telescope (NL) in collaboration with the CAMRAS team, it is now an international endeavour hosted by several venues. 

In October 2009 media artist Daniela de Paulis got in touch with the CAMRAS team at the Dwingeloo radio telescope with the proposal of sending images to the Moon and back as part of a live performance, pioneering a new application of the Moonbounce technology that she called Visual Moonbounce. The Moonbounce technology allows sending and receiving radio signals using the Moon as a natural satellite, Visual Moonbounce is thus the extension of the technology into the visual field. During each OPTICKS images submitted by the public with a message are sent to the Moon and back in real time. The event is usually streamed on the Internet live and viewed by thousands of people in real time as part of Global Astronomy Month and other international exhibitions. Each OPTICKS live performance is made possible thanks to the cooperation of international radio enthusiasts. The title OPTICKS is inspired by Newton’s discoveries of the light spectrum, reflection and refraction. Similarly, the colours composing an image – converted into radio signals – are bounced off the Moon (reflected and refracted) by its surface during each live performance.

Here you can view a recording of the performance for the radio programme RaiTunes

A paper about the project was published by Leonardo MIT Journal in 2016 and can be downloaded here

Here the recording of OPTICKS during Global Astronomy Month 2015


OPTICKS is the first live art event ever designed to be streamed live from the Dwingeloo radio telescope (NL), in collaboration with international radio operators and the live participation of the audience. Many elements of the project are now being used by another very similar endeavour sadly without credits


Background image courtesy of JAXA/NHK