Asterismos by Nacho Rodriguez Bach

Curated by Mariana Valdes Debes

Neon flex LED light and digital system
Variable measures
1/3 + AP

“Asterismos is an interactive music and light installation inspired by the fact that there are 88 constellations and also 88 piano keys. Artist Nacho Rodriguez Bach joins them by assigning a note to each constellation and lighting them up during a performance”.

Asterismos by Nacho Rodriguez Bach, courtesy of Braulio Arsuaga

Asterisms are imaginary figures drawn by connecting lines between stars, making constellations easier to spot. There are 88 constellations (36 in the northern hemisphere and 52 in the southern hemisphere) coincidentally, there are also 88 piano keys (36 black and 52 white). Asterismos explores this relationship by assigning each asterism to a piano key.

Astronomy and music are complementary since we can see the stars but not hear them and hear music but not see it. Realizing that both can be described using mathematics and thinking that the planets hummed as they orbit, Pythagoras linked them in the harmony of the spheres; an invisible logic behind all things. To this day, we are still looking for it in the form of an unified theory of everything.

Stephen Hawkins stated that philosophy is dead and that physics is the only way to fully understand the universe. Yet science generates certainties which still need to be interpreted. Like notes in a piano and stars in the sky, scientific facts have to be linked into conceptual frameworks and weaved into language, which develops by reinterpreting what is already there.

The power of abstraction is evident in the evolution of Cuneiform script from 1,000 forms, almost one for every word, to the Hebrew and Arabic alphabets. All that we know can be described by combining just a couple dozen letters, in the same way that music, based on 12 tones, can be combined into endless melodies.

Asterisms could be used as metaphor to joining things together into a new form, like a family. If neuronal networks can become conscience, then conscience can reinterpret and contextualize everything, its all laying there before us waiting to be understood. Its our imagination, rather than physics alone, that will see us through by rethinking our perceived limits, by making new music and drawing in the sky.

About the Artist:

Nacho Rodriguez BachNacho Rodriguez Bach has a solid international trajectory as a multidisciplinary artist who integrates diverse media with music and philosophy. His music compositions, scientific speculations and philosophical propositions are expressed and published via his site specific installations.

Bach has presented artwork in Mexico City’s Zocalo, the Chelsea Music Festival in NY, St Catherine Cathedral in Eindhoven, Holland, 798 Beijing and museums like San Ildefonso which belongs to the University of Mexico and the National Council for the Arts, Nacho Rodriguez Bach was commissioned by NASA’s Center for Chemical Evolution to elaborate on the origin of life.

His academic formation includes a BA in Film Scoring from Berklee college of Music in Boston film studies at USC Los Angeles and music composition at the Royal School of Music. He is currently based in Mexico City.