22-25 July 2021 Jodrell Bank Observatory

Telescope Spectaculars

Constructed in 1957, the Grade-1 listed Lovell Telescope is a beacon in the Cheshire landscape and an internationally renowned landmark in the world of astronomy. Even now, it remains one of the biggest and most powerful radio telescopes in the world, spending most of its time investigating cosmic phenomena which were undreamed of when it was conceived.

Since the birth of Bluedot in 2016, the festival has annually transformed this iconic structure into alight-based artwork of staggering scale. Many months of planning goes into the creation of the artwork, which is traditional unveiled on the Friday night of the festival. Commencing with Brian Eno in 2016, every year a new artist is commissioned, working closely with the Bluedot team to realise their vision.

These have grown in ambition and scale each year, featuring many awe-inspiring, off the wall and leftfield elements, some of which are co-created in collaboration with the scientists at Jodrell Bank.

Last year, ‘Lunar Loops’ by Illuminos featured a live moon bounce, which transmitted voice audio to the moon in the form of radio waves via the Dwingeloo telescope in the Netherlands, receiving it back on Earth via the telescopes at Jodrell Bank live during the festival, influencing the shape and colour of the live projection artwork. Live pulsar data collected by the telescope has also been used to create a monumental artwork by Japanese artist Daito Manabe.

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