Earth Observatory Array Elements – Treak Cliff / Shift Register (Martin Howse + Jamie Allen)

Earth Observatory Array Elements – Treak Cliff (EOAE-TC) was initiated as core particle and cosmic ray observatory structure in the show caves of Treak Cliff Cavern. It is part of a global set of observatories, operated by the Shift Register on a shoestring budget for an undisclosed period, within key sites of industrial, infrastructural and scientific interest. Of late, EOAE-TC’s key researchers appear to have hurriedly abandoned this particular facility for reason which remain obscure, although three apparently operative observatory structures remain within the cave structure. Their purpose only inferred by weak audio signals which these devices continue to emit.

As earthly and cosmic signals are filtered, refracted and descend through the limestone and fluorspar of Treak Cliff cavern, they read and reflect the peculiar geological conditions of the site. Countering the decay of all signals emitted since the big bang, EOAE-TC attempts a backup of the cosmos on obsolete media. The first device (EOAE-TC #1 Descent) seems to enter the rock itself, as if to extract stored telluric signals or radio waves from within the earth. These signals are archived on an already outdated hard disk drive. The second instrument (EOAE-TC #2 Decay), a bizarre inverted pyramid, can only have been used to monitor cosmic rays, perhaps observing changes in the hidden structures above the caverns themselves. It is unknown why the anonymous scientists who constructed this observatory chose to store these signals within a matrix of salvaged core memory. The final device (EOAE-TC #3 Depth) captures high energy muons from deep space, saving these events to the slowly spinning disks of an ancient floppy drive. Some attempt appears to have been made to observe deep-time structures within these temporary signals; to resist the slow erosions of space and Earth.

“The earth is media, filter, and an archive. It registers and processes terrestrial and cosmic signals as they descend and decay. In the moment of their capture by instrumentation, through their observation, cosmic subatomic particles and rays are consumed, they die out…”

Design and Production by Merle Ibach and Ioana Vreme Moser

Booking: This project is part of the Digital Dark Ages tour which is a ticketed event that can be booked in advance. You can book this as an individual ticket, or to experience as much of the festival as possible, you can book this event as part of a Festival Pass.

Parking: The car park is a gravelled area parallel with the road and is free to cavern visitors. In addition, parking on the road is in marked parking bays only, which at the current time is free. There is reserved parking for disabled visitors.

Please note Digital Dark Ages can only be experienced through a cave tour and is not wheelchair accessible. For more information access across the festival weekend, please visit the Festival Access page.


Event info:

  • Fri 22nd — Sun 24th Sep 2017
    @Fri 1pm-5pm, Sat & Sun 10am-5pm
  • Treak Cliff

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