Data as Culture (DaC) the art programme of the Open Data Institute (ODI) presents a new 4-channel digital film installation by Artist in Residence Rohini Devasher. Inspired by the concept of digital twin models, 100 years of sun data and conversations with the ODI team, Devasher has created a series of what she calls ‘analogue twins of the Sun’. One Hundred Thousand Suns explores the relationships between observation and experience, information, data and truth. It is curated by DaC director Hannah Redler-Hawes.
Rohini Devasher is an international artist and amateur astronomer based in Delhi, India. Her practice spans film, drawing and printmaking, mapping the ‘antagonism’ of time and space.
One Hundred Thousand Suns is another kind of rendering of the Sun, assembled from data that is both historical and contemporary. This data is collected in the form of glass photographic plates, hand-drawn drawings and calculations from the archives of the historical Kodaikanal Solar Observatory in South India. Kodaikanal is one of only two observatories in the world that have over 120 years of continuous data on the Sun.
One Hundred Thousand Suns work explores the notion that there may be multiple readings and avatars of data depending on the site, the observer, and the mode and method of observation, collection and preservation.
These observations are further layered with data sets from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio, the Solar Dynamics Observatory Science Team and the Virtual Solar Observatory. Devasher also draws on interviews she has conducted with eclipse chasers and her observations and eclipse data collected in 2009, 2019 and 2021.