Art-Science in the development of ICECUBE Volumetric LED Displays

by Mark-David Hosale & Rob Allison (York University), and James Madsen (University of Wisconsin-River Falls)


A conversation between artist, scientist and engineer about visualization and colour, in the conception and development of the ICECUBE LED Display [ILDm^3]. The ICECUBE LED Display [ILDm^3] is a cubic-meter (1/1000th scale) model of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, a cubic-kilometer telescope made of ice just below the surface at the South Pole. While scientifically precise, the display uses art methodologies as an optimal means for expressing imperceptible astrophysical events as sound, light and colour in the domain of the human sensorium. The 45 minute talk will be followed by Q&A period.

Date & Time: Sunday Mar 18, 1:30pm

Location: Propeller Gallery, 30 Abell Street, Toronto

Hosale V3


The ICECUBE LED Display is a cubic meter volumetric display that sits low to the ground. The base is constructed of wood and provides support for 86 acrylic rods, each with 60 LED’s, totalling over 5000 LED’s. The piece also makes sounds, which are the sonification of light events. 

Mark-David Hosale is a computational artist and composer work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as SIGGRAPH Art Gallery (2005), International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA2006), BlikOpener Festival, Delft, The Netherlands (2010), the Dutch Electronic Art Festival (DEAF2012), Toronto’s Nuit Blanche (2012), Art Souterrain, Montréal (2013), and a Collateral event at the Venice Biennale (2015). His interdisciplinary practice that is often built on collaborations with architects, scientists, and other artists in the field of computational arts, resulting in the creation of interactive and immersive installation artworks and performances that explore the boundaries between the virtual and the physical world.

James Madsen is the chair of the physics department at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls and an associate director of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, where he leads the education and outreach team. He has deployed five times to Antarctica, and presented science talks on five continents. He enjoys providing opportunities to participate in astrophysics research that range from one-time talks for general audiences to extended research experiences for teachers and students, including field deployments at the South Pole.

Robert Allison is a Professor at the Centre for Vision Research and in the departnemnt of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at York University. My main work involves basic and applied research on stereoscopic depth perception and virtual reality. I study how the brain, or a machine, can reconstruct a three-dimensional percept of the world around us from the two-dimensional images on the retinas and how we use this information to move about and interact with our environment. I am also interested in the measurement and analysis of eye movements and the applications of this technology.

Artist, Mark-David Hosale (York University, Toronto, Canada), and Physicist, James Madsen (University of Wisconsin, River-Falls, USA) have been working regularly with each other since 2012 and have realized several projects that explores the visualization and sonification of data sets collected at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. Rob Allison (York University, Toronto, Canada) joined the collaboration in 2015.



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