We Are In Light (Light and Sound Exhibition) - CODAworx

We Are In Light (Light and Sound Exhibition)

Client: Lakewold Gardens

Location: Seattle, WA, United States

Completion date: 2023

Project Team

Artist and Composer

Samuel Stubblefield

Samuel Stubblefield, LLC

Technical Lead and Lighting Design

Ethan Rainbolt

Samuel Stubblefield, LLC


We Are In Light is is real-time visualization and sonification of magnetospheric activity in an 11-acre forest.

Using real-time data from NASA and NOAA, the installation creates light and sound based on magnetospheric activity that happens around the Earth. As solar flares well up 92 million miles from Earth, they cast an invisible wash of plasmic energy across the solar system. We can only see this energy occasionally as it collides with atoms and molecules in our atmosphere. It is an awe-inspiring connection to our sun, the solar system, the universe, and the vastness of space.

In this installation, a visitor to the non-profit garden space in the small community of Lakewold, WA, can experience this connection each night for several months each winter. The solar activity is monitored by NASA and NOAA satellites around Earth, activating lighting and sound in the small forest of Lakewold. Small waves of solar energy cast subtle washes of light and sound through the garden during the evening. Large waves of solar energy move powerful washes of intense light and dramatic, orchestral, and electronic music over the audience as they meander through the woods.

Thanks to NASA and NOAA for access to space weather data.


The goal is to connect visitors to the vastness of the solar system. The vision is part of a "full-spectrum" connection, looking at the microcosmic plant life of the forest while experiencing the grandness of the solar system, simultaneously.


The studio has a longstanding, collaborative relationship with NASA and NOAA. Using existing APIs provided by the organizations, the studio began to examine the data to look at how the lighting and sound might be triggered. Looking at historical data, the studio determined “unusual” activity, using these spikes and dips as triggers for more dramatic lighting and music.

The music was created from single notes of music that are triggered by the constant washes of energy. It blends orchestral and electronic sounds, reflecting the “nature meets science-fiction” spirit of the installation.