Daniela De Paulis



OPTICKS is conceived as a Cosmic Mail Art event, where the digital images – submitted from different locations on Earth – reach the Moon while being altered by its surface and by the long journey. At the end of each ‘happening’, the moonbounced images are printed as postcards and returned to the original sender with a message by the artist, confirming the effective journey of the image. The noise, the distortion of the colours and shapes is what makes the moonbounced images interesting and evocative of the long journey to the Moon and back.

The radio waves containing the information of the image travel approximately 768.000 Km, thus returning back to Earth much weaker than the original signals. Other causes for the distortion are the poor reflective qualities of the Moon’s surface, the Doppler shift and the Lunar Libration. Every OPTICKS event has a component of unpredictability, some technical problems can occur either before or even during the live event. The problems can be caused by high winds or by technical failures at one of the stations. The component of uncertainty however is part of the poetic message of the work, space travel is far from being a flawless journey, space travel by radio waves is no exception.

The title ‘OPTICKS’, is inspired by the 1704 essay by Isaac Newton on the reflections, refractions, inflections and colours of light. The title aims at suggesting the phenomenon of reflection and refraction of the radio waves caused by the Moon’s surface, through a poetic and philosophical link between Moonbounce and the light spectrum.

The moonbounce for The Story of Light took place on 27 January 2015


Daniela de Paulis is a visual artist and lecturer living and working between Italy and The Netherlands. She works with video, installation and performance, showing her work internationally and often collaborating with other artists, scientists and radio amateurs. Since October 2009 she has been the first artist in residence at the Dwingeloo radio telescope (NL).

She is currently a PhD student at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, developing her research on Interstellar Transmissions in Live Performance. Since 2010 she has been collaborating with the international collective Astronomers Without Borders (AWB), as the founder and director of the AstroArts programme.

Contact: selavyrose@gmail.com

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