The SETI Institute is dedicated to finding extraterrestrial life, so it's perhaps fitting that SETI's first Artist In Residence creates art that looks utterly alien. Charles Lindsay, a former photojournalist, has developed a new form of art called CARBON.

According to SETI's announcement:

At the heart of CARBON is a camera-less photographic process Lindsay invented. The process begins with a unique carbon-based emulsion on a transparent base, which he then freezes, electrifies and manipulates. The resulting negatives are scanned, digitally layered and printed in large scale or animated for video projection. "CARBON combines my interest in the aesthetics of space exploration, scientific imaging and the evolution of symbols." Lindsay's CARBON installations offer an immersive alternate world, where all the senses are engaged to consider fundamental questions about our place in the universe.

Adding another dimension to the installations, Lindsay creates sculptures from re-purposed scientific devices, introducing motion and touch sensors, audio response circuitry, small video screens and custom led lights. His works include focused soundscapes created by processing a number of sources, including archival recordings from NASA's space research experiments along with audio he records in remote environments.

And here's how Lindsay describes his art project as SETI's artist in residence:

As the SETI Institute's first Artist in Residence I will create an immersive art installation blending video, sound and interactive sculpture. I will build sculptures from salvaged pieces of space program equipment which I'll re-fashion with sensor technologies and audio visual components. As an artist I am interested in interpreting the ‘memory' of such devices in relation to our evolutionary arc from early primates to astronauts.

Here are a selection of images from Lindsay's existing CARBON installations, showing the weird shapes he's been able to generate using his "camera-less photographic process." Check out more at the link. [Charles Lindsay and Charlie's Experiment, via SETI Institute]