Friday, June 3, 2016

Event 2: Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory, attended on June 3, 2016; 90 Degrees!
Before the show began, beautiful artificial sky.
Inspired by our lecture of Space+Art, I chose to visit the Griffith Observatory and watched the "Centered in the Universe" screening at the Griffith dome named Samuel Oschin Planetarium. First off, it was 90 degrees outside waiting under the canopy for 30 minutes to enter the dome, and the moment I stepped in I was faced with this beautiful artificial image of a sky-blue sky in a nice breezy room. I was stricken by how realistic technology had made the sky look, and how intricate they had the details added. I was only able to take one picture of the dome before the screening began; however the sky changed colors, clouds changed positions, and sunlight was withdrawn as if within a real sunset.

The screening was about how human beings are metaphorically the "center of the universe" even within all the scientific investigations and discoveries proving how we are not, literally. Surrounded by the circular shape of the dome, and with every corner filled with some beautiful projection of visuals, the audience looked around 360 degrees as if it were the real sky.

Myungjae song, with Uniformed Griffith Observatory worker

 The computer graphics of the show took us through eras of pre-modern to modern histories, all the way from Alexandria, Egypt of 140 A.D., to astronomer Clausius Ptolemy's Earth-centered universe, to Galileo's Sun Centered Solar system -which reminded me of Professor Vesna's lecture about the Copernicus model of the sun centered system, and lastly onto Edwin Hubble at Mount Wilson Observatory.

The graphics were designed in such a way that it provided visuals from both the bird-eye&human-eye perspective. This show was visually aimed to trigger the audience's creative imaginations according to the bits of realistic time travel, making us question the fundamental questions about the universe, who we are, where we come from, and how the space was integrated into so many aspects of inherent questions to where we are today.

 For me personally, this was such an interactive way to experience the integration of science into technology, visualizing astronomy, made into art; I would definitely recommend this event to all my classmates. As Professor Vesna said, Space is where all the subjects we learned came together;  where robots projected artificial yet beautifully realistic images onto the dome sky, where exploration of astronomy&science was explored through the technology of computer graphics, and where imaginations and visual effects were artistically expressed and triggered through such technological tools.

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