Stellr’Lumarca – 3D Volumetric Display

An immersive and interactive space, art and science, history and innovation .. a climate change story to be shared… Stellr’Lumarca

Cataloguing the Stellr’Lumarca, a major volumetric display system within the StellrScope installation, a science art commission shown at Questacon – National Science Museum. Stellr’Lumarca content focused on the context of climate change and the effects of heat in crop science, such as wheat plants and their water tolerance in such conditions. 

The Stellr’Lumarca represents an illusionistic experience of scientific experiment, although the 3D visualisation is real and true to the mathematical code generating the movement of volumetric data. Artist, Dr Eleanor Gates-Stuart, then  Science Art Fellow at CSIRO collaborated with scientists in producing Stellrscope.  The Stellr’Lumarca builds on the work of Matt Parker and Albert Hwang who originally built a Lumerca and share their processing code for other artists to create their own visualisations (Parker & Hwang, 2009). The first two sequences of the Stellr’Lumarca artwork, concentrated on the research that was undertaken in the Australian High-Resolution Plant Phemonics Centre at CSIRO. These data showed the temperature of wheat plots measured at 5 min intervals for the entire growing season measured using a CSIRO built sensor called Arducrop. This sensor sent the data through the mobile phone system back to the researcher. If the plants used more water, they cooled down and showed they are more conservative in using water, the leaves heated up. This information allows selection of wheat which uses water more efficiently. The two sequences in the performance showed data from the full spectra of a measured area and also the data analysis of the plants growth, each using a palette of four colours to show plot zones.

Image: Wheat Field - ‘Ardrop’ sensor technology collected by Jose jimemez-Berni
Image: Wheat Field – ‘Ardrop’ sensor technology collected by Jose jimemez-Berni
Prototype - Stellr'Lumarca @ CSIRO
Prototype – Stellr’Lumarca @ CSIRO
The making of Stellr'Lumarca
The making of Stellr’Lumarca

The second two sequences were artistic narratives of this information, the first sequence representing rainfall on crops and the second sequence looking at the form of a plant leaf as it struggles in the changing climate and slowly weakens. Overall, the four sequences ran as one continuous stream of data, moving eloquently through the strings as a simple and beautiful rendering of complex information and scientific content. StellrScope Music by Marlene Radice.

Challenged with visualising an environment context in a museum it, the Stellr’Lumara installation as a volumetric display for seeing 3D images and motion was ideal. Consisting of a frame with rows of strings placed in a grid formation, the custom software created an image in a series of vertical strips, a few pixals wide with each strip corresponding to a single string on the Stellr’Lumarca. The strings precisely aligned to the projector to create the 3D images and motion.  

Stellr’Lumarca Team
Eleanor Gates-Stuart – Artist & Producer
Matt Adcock – Interaction Design Engineer – CSIRO
Dulitha Ranatunga – Software Engineer – CSIRO
David Lovell – Transformational Bioinformatics Leader – CSIRO
Jose jimemez-Berni – Research Scientist – CSIRO
Marlene Radice – Composer

Further information – Contact Dr Eleanor Gates-Stuart  

All works on this site must not be reproduced or copied without permission and/or acknowledgement.