Charles Lindsay is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work synthesizes ideas about technology, eco-systems, semiotics and signaling. Lindsay creates immersive environments, sound installations, sculptures built from salvaged aerospace and bio-tech equipment. He recently partnered with the Chinese artist Shaoyu Su to realize "WIND TUNNEL: the Hongshan Experiment" which debuted at the Today Art Museum in Beijing. Lindsay and Su are currently developing "Future Human and the CLOUD." This work combines 3D printed sculpture, patterned strobe bursts, a unique 65 meter single stringed instrument and augmented reality, to investigate concepts pertaining to deep time, optical SETI, and inter-species communication.
Educated as an exploration geologist Lindsay is the SETI Institute’s AIR Program Director, a Guggenheim Fellow, recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Residency, Fellow at the Nevada Museum of Art's Center for Art and Environment, and the innovator behind OSA EARS - a project designed to deliver real time high resolution sound and data from one of the world’s most bio-diverse eco-systems to anyone anywhere with internet.
At the SETI Institute Lindsay worked with astrophysicist Laurance Doyle, who employed information theory and algorithms to prove that humpback whale communications exhibit syntax - strongly inferring the whales are talking. “CODE Humpback” references this research through sculptural audio / visual works, utilizing morse code to merge ideas about encrypted signals and inter-species communications.
Lindsay received a Guggenheim Fellowship (2010) for “CARBON” - a hybrid process synthesizing photography and drawing. “CARBON” harnesses the language of high resolution scientific imaging to render ambiguous the micro and the vast, the organic and the digital, the real and the alien. CARBON is presented as photographs, and as large scale moving visuals which are altered through sensor feedback and modulation to create subtly responsive situations where the viewer becomes aware the art knows it is being watched. “CARBON IV” was shown at the LED LAB NYC (2014.) The CARBON monograph was published by Minor Matters Books (2016) with forwards by Lyle Rexer and Dr. Jill Tarter.
Many new works coalesce within the FIELD STATION's modular architecture, which debuted at MassMoCA in 2016 and continued to evolve at the Des Moines Art Center and at the Akron Museum of Art in Ohio. Also in process are "Mining the Moon" and “the Sound of a Quantum Computer Thinking” created from recordings Lindsay made at NASA Ames Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab. “Ecotone” envisions a mobile space in which to experience live sound and sensations from OSA EARS as though in an off earth / post earth environment. "Recipes for the Mind" is a book of photographs and writing which is near completion, assuming the artist's clone proves viable. The "FIELD STATION" book is also in progress.
Recent lectures include: "The CLOUD: a collaborative trajectory" at Chronus Art Center Shanghai. "Anthropocentric?" for RISD's Department of Digital + Media, “Setting Out" at ApexArt, “Conversations on Media Culture and Practice” at CalArts Center for Integrated Media and "Destination Unknown: Aliens, Art and Consensual Reality” for the Rhodes’ Scholars in Oxford. Lindsay has presented at Moogfest, the California Academy of Sciences, Stanford’s Department of Art and Art History, 100 Year Starship Symposium (DARPA), USC’s “Visions + Voices” performance series, Ear to the Earth, SwissNex, Gray Area, the American Museum of Natural History, Mountain Film, The School of Visual Arts, Pratt School of Art and Design, the Open Center NYC, IDEA CITY, University of Akron's SYNAPSE series, and at The Hat Creek Observatory for SETI.
The author of seven books of photographs, Lindsay has published with Aperture, Little Brown, Minor Matters and Chelsea Green. His work has appeared in numerous international magazines including the New York Times Magazine, Blind Spot, Aperture, Natural History, Gastronomica, Audubon, Parabola, Orion, and GEO. Lindsay’s work has been profiled by WIRED, Motherboard, ARTonAIR.org, Viralnet, NPR and CNN International. He’s also worked with many of Japan’s leading publications.
Lindsay conceived three live music shows, for which he played six string electric cello, electronics and combinations of voice, continuum, processed field recordings, modular synth and electric guitar - not simultaneously !! All utilized projected visuals, with improvisational music developed through collaboration. The Electrosense of Paddlefish was made in response to water issues in the American west. It was created and performed with David Rothenberg for Ear to the Earth at the Frederick Lowe Theater (2010.) Trout Fishing in Space imagines off Earth habitation. Collaborators included Billy Gomberg, Thenmozhi Soundararajan, Dan Snazelle and David Rothenberg. It was performed in Woodstock at CPW (2012.) NEAR(ER) imagines alternate modes of consciousness and involved Israeli video artist Chen Serfaty. NEAR(ER) was performed at USC's Rhythms + Voices performance series (2013.)