Tilen Sepič: Cosmic Rain (Kozmični dež), 2018, light-sound installation
The light-sound installation addresses and materialises muons – high-energy elementary particles forming in the atmosphere's upper layers during collisions of cosmic rays from space. The installation consists of seven detector-signal units that are spread across the gallery and simultaneously powered by an electrified steel mesh. Each element comprises a scintillation detector designed in accordance with the “Cosmic Watch” open-access and open-source muon detector. As the muon passes through the scintillator, a weak light pulse is generated which is amplified by a silicon photomultiplier and then converted into an electrical signal. The built-in microcontroller detects the signal, triggering a bright flash and a blow of the electromagnetic actuator against the mesh, emulating the sound of strings. The distinctly material representation of cosmic particles as light and sound stimuli grants the spectator a sensual experience of cosmic events that are otherwise unfolding everywhere around us yet remain inaccessible to our senses.