One Hundred Ounces of Light


Tiny bottles filled with light of the celestial bodies

Project Details

Mentor : Jon Rogers (University of Dundee)
Team : Jazeela Basheer, Rucha Joshi & Kalyani Tupkary
Role : Creative Technologist, Art Director
Tools : Physical computing (Arduino, Processing), Woodworking
Timeline: 1 week | January, 2014

The project was showcased as a part of 'Space Wonder Lab' at the UnBox Festival, New Delhi, 2014


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Can data be emotive?

Mangalyaan (literal meaning Mars-craft in Sanskrit) launched on November
5, 2013, by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). India successfully placed its low-cost Mars spacecraft in orbit around the Red Planet in its very
first attempt. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is a poetic amalgamation of spectacular technology, frugal innovation and Indian ingenuity. This project is a tribute to the same.

These objects aim to connect the common citizen of India to the emotive aspects of ISRO’s space missions, through personalised lamps that glow using space data.
It channels the fascination we have all felt towards the sky and its stars while challenging the belief that space explorations is for the elite few. Applauding the spirit of 'jugaad', it allows absolutely anyone to fill the light of a celestial body in a little bottle of their own.


 
New York Times published this elitist cartoon referring to India’s space mission

New York Times published this elitist cartoon referring to India’s space mission



“A one-km auto rickshaw ride in Ahmedabad takes Rs 10 & India reached Mars at Rs 7 per km”

Context

Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India said a cost of Rs 7 was incurred per kilometre in covering the 650 million km distance to Mars by the unmanned spacecraft. “Everything about Mangalyaan is indigenous. We reached Mars at a smaller budget than a Hollywood movie,” Yet we saw the New York Times publish this rather elitist cartoon.

“More than half of the 51 Mars missions launched globally have failed. India’s successful mission follows those of the United States, Europe and Russia. But India’s mission cost a fraction of NASA’s $670 million Maven, which entered Mars orbit Sunday. The Curiosity Rover, which touched down on Mars in 2012, cost nearly $2 billion” - Washington Post


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The distant lights of the universe have been captured in these bottles. One stores the golden light of the sun and it flickers as if it is breathing, its intensity changing with the changing space data of the sun. It is connected to the live image feed of the sun from NASA open which gets updated every 30 seconds. The other bottles contain the essence of Mars, Jupiter, and our Moon. We captured it on our stargazing expedition. You too can fill the light of a celestial body in a bottle of your on.

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We tinkered with the Arduino & Processing to pull the live data. The tiny bottles were closed with even tinier corks and labelled. The cables were encased in shimmering threads. Rosewood chest, golden threads, a red velvet casing and antique bottled with handcrafted corks are put together to make a treasure trove of light alive.

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The project was showcased as a part of 'Space Wonder Lab' at the  UnBox Festival, New Delhi, 2014

The project was showcased as a part of 'Space Wonder Lab' at the UnBox Festival, New Delhi, 2014