'G A T E T O T H E D A R K'
A collaboration with European Space Agency
A project evolved as a creative concept for a movie and live intermedia performance event, in collaboration with European Space Agency's "Euclid" Space Mission which launched on SpaceX, from Cape Canaveral on 1st July 2023, on a quest to discover the nature of dark matter and dark energy.
Dark matter and dark energy constitutes 95% of everything, yet we do not know what it is.
All we perceive is the remaining 5% ... people, planets, stars, nebulas and galaxies.
An association with ESA and our creative project initially began with Euclid's Project Manager, Giuseppe Racca, involving a series of latin vocal pieces that Richard composed, called 'The Beauty of Science', based on extracts of text from Sir Isaac Newton's book of scientific law - 'Principia’, (published by the Royal Society in 1687).
What followed, involved meeting like-minded creative, film-maker & photographer Benedict Redgrove (benedictredgrove.com), and with input from Giuseppe and his team, a seed was sewn for an ambitious creative project in collaboration with ESA.
Focusing on ESA's Euclid mission as the foundation for our project, we are creating music and images to inform an audience with a blend of both artistic and scientific language, a piece about the knowledge we have of ourselves, the universe and our place in it. From the darkness and a dot of light in the beginning to the ultimate darkness and fading of light at its inevitable end.
The Euclid mission takes its name from the ancient 300 B.C. Greek mathematician and father of Geometry - Euclid. ESA Project Scientist René Laureijs is heading a team that is attempting to define the geometry of space, in a search for the mysterious 'dark matter and dark energy'.
In late 2019, Benedict began filming content for the project, during the ongoing construction of Euclid's stunning Korsch space telescope at Airbus in Toulouse, before the optical mechanism was housed inside the space vehicle.
Lucas Vieira, Brazilian physicist and scientific illustrator, (currently undertaking a PhD in Quantum Foundations at IQOQI in Vienna) came on board as a consultant ... and our ambition to create a genuine collaboration of art and science, consolidated around the Euclid space mission.
Nature Magazine refers to Euclid "one of the most important scientific endeavours of our time".
The mission is a billion-dollar project to map the geometry of the universe, with our scientific team putting one of the best telescopes ever built, into a million-mile Lissajous earth orbit ... a dance that will trip the light fantastic around the sun, the moon, and the earth.
As the images and research data begin transmission from Euclid, a European-led consortium of more than 1200 people in over 100 laboratories in 16 countries ( Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, UK, Canada, and the US ) will analyse the result.
Our creative collaboration aims to culminate in visual footage and music content for a movie, which will also be used to create an immersive live performance for use at special events, science & art festivals.
In 2021 Alberto Gianolio (ex - ESA Space Mission Project Manager) joined our team to act as Project Manager for the creative production.
Many consider this work to be taking place during the second Age of Enlightenment, and our working title: "GATE TO THE DARK".
Click below for a short "making of" video. Diary footage of the spacecraft's construction, shot on an iPhone, whilst on location at ESA's Euclid hanger in Toulouse. (Project music - "Axiomata") :-