.::..Nicholas Sagan..::. …:.::..artworks and experiments…::.:…nicholassagan@gmail.com

Astro-Tracking and Max/MSP

For a while now I’ve been pre-occupied with both Max/MSP as an environment to create work in and experimental astrocartography. You may have guessed this already…But what is even more perplexing is why I haven’t really ventured to completely merge the two. Sure, I started with taking shots of the night sky, then moved to creating a small-scale (relatively) representation of a patch of night sky, then did some more experimental photography based on that…but I’m really just running around in circles to an extent.

What I really need to do is threefold: 1) figure out how to get Max/MSP to control the motorized tripod for my telescope 2) figure out how to find and track night sky objects through Max/MSP, with possible interaction with Google Earth’s Night Sky feature or some other system and 3) gather data from actual night sky telescope observations that can be converted to musical or other generative/performative art. It could perhaps become a “time-delayed” live cinema of sorts, where all the data gathered is compressed. It could be that a system could be built that would track a number of night sky objects, depending on the field of view…or the sidereal rotation of the Earth against the night sky…who knows!

First things first, I have to figure out what the language of my telescopes controller is, then I can build a hack for it. It has a fiber connection (modem-style, not ethernet) that might be able to work with Max…but I really should start with the program. Ideally, Max would work as an image processor as well, performing the same functions that any other CCD camera program can. Except in this case it would interpret the images slightly differently or more towards an aesthetic end…

Here is a loosely diagrammatic view of the system I am proposing:

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