We were keen to engage the public as much as possible with our work at Allenheads. In addition to our installation in the warm room, we hosted two themed events in the old schoolhouse, with talks from local experts and other activities outside.
The first on May 29th, Full Moon at the Cosmic Pond, featured a talk by Dr Fred Stevenson of Go Stargazing. Fred’s specialism is the Moon which, as he explained, is an often overlooked area in astronomical research. While the trend now is to look as far into space as possible, Fred prefers to stay closer to home.
Fred’s talk covered the origin of the Moon, the relationship between the Moon and Earth, tidal influences on animal behaviour, and lunar folklore.
We wondered if, just as marine life adapts to rising and falling tides, the phases of the Moon might affect the behaviour of life in the pond. We weren’t taking an entirely scientific approach to proving that, but it was an intriguing premise with which to engage our audience. It also later inspired us to make a video work, The Synchronising Cue, combining recordings from the pond with images of the Moon crossing it’s full phase.
After Fred’s talk, we took visitors outside for a bat walk around the Cosmic Pond, listening out for sonar of which we recorded along with the sounds of the critters in the pond: