Space: Planetary Consciousness and the Arts – May 2005
9th Leonardo Space and the Arts Workshop and Symposium Château and Museum of Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland 19-21 May 2005.
Table of contents :
The idea of ‘Planetary Consciousness’ is directly associated with the famous image of the ‘Whole Earth’ taken by the Apollo astronauts – our home planet as an island of life floating against the vast blackness of the cosmos. This image has since become a universally embraced symbol used equally by the environmental and globalization movements that dominate society today. On a fundamental level it directly reflects upon the interconnectedness and interdependence of all life on Earth and the Universe.
Scientists have focused their space technologies on the planet and have begun an extensive monitoring of the state of its well being. Not only are environmental and ecological changes and developments being scrutinized and analyzed on an ongoing basis but human affairs such as political and military developments are being monitored from space as well. Space technologies have also catalyzed a radical expansion of our species’ abilities to communicate, exchange and access information and this is having an exponential impact on its collective knowledge base.
Looking outward, space science has discovered that the essential ingredients of life, as well as places that are potentially suitable for its development, are very widely distributed throughout the cosmos. As such, we are coming to the realization that the Earth – and all life that inhabits it – is part of a much larger cosmic environment and that life here is subject to changes and fluctuations that may occur many light years away.
Philosophy has raised the issue of the Earth as a whole “object” and our ability – or inability – to embrace and understand in its ‘globalness’ as something that is much bigger than our species. In today’s philosophy, the work of Peter Sloterdijk reworks this fundamental issue and takes it in a new direction. Phenomenology, as seen in the work of Don Idhe, also reworks these notions under the new situation brought by communication and space technologies.
In the late 60’s, theoreticians, like Marshall McLuhan and Buckminster Fuller have proposed visions of this “global unique earth”, through the ‘Global Village’ for McLuhan and the ‘Spaceship Earth’ notion for Buckminster Fuller. In the 1970’s James Lovelock introduced the ‘Gaia’ theory that speculates that the Earth behaves as if it were a “superorganism”, made up from all the living things and from their material environment. These ideas are being much discussed today, revised and pushed further by a new generation of theoreticians and artists alike.
The artists have been the ones who shaped aesthetics perception and approach to the theories and ways of thinking that have been generated or enhanced by the new technological tools and scientific discoveries. They range from the “aesthetics of communication” (Roy Ascott, Fred Forest) to some of today’s net and environmental art, from artists who “painted” the Earth (Verame) to space artists (Pierre Comte, Tom van Sant) and to today’s locative media approach.
Thus, the exploration of the cosmos and the examination of our planet from the perspective of space that began in earnest some fifty years ago is leading humanity to a new understanding of its place and purpose in the evolution of life on and beyond the Earth.
Workshop and symposium on space and the arts co-organized by the O.U.R.S. Foundation, Leonardo/Olats, Maison d’Ailleurs and the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and its Commission VI at the Château and Museum of Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland 19-21 May 2005.
Arthur Woods, OURS Foundation
Annick Bureaud, Leonardo/Olats
Roger Malina, International Academy of Astronautics
David Raitt, ESA
Patrick Gyger, Maison d’Ailleurs
Participants : Marco Bernasconi I Nin Brudermann IPierre Comte IAnnick Bureaud & Kitsou Dubois I Tania Fragra I Takao Fujiwara I Nally Gérard I Patrick Gyger I Lynn Hagan I Luke Jerram I Michael Hohl I Stephen Kovats I Michael Mautner I Kathy Marmor I Jean-Marc Philippe I Frank Pietronigro I Andrea Polli I David Raitt I Jean-Luc Soret INicola Triscott & Rob La Frenais IDaniel Sciboz IGavin Starks IFumiaki Tanigaki I Lynette Wallworth & Amanda McCrowley I Arthur Woods
Marco Bernasconi - Planetary Responsibility & Ethics for the 21st Century – Astronautic
In previous papers (Bernasconi, 1994, 1999), we identified several weaknesses in the common ethical discourse. (We distinguish thus our theme from professional, deontological ethical codes – without passing any assessment on their quality.) We had pointed out how both poets and scientists seemed to identify the root of both morals and ethics with survival aspects -a survival theme properly defined within system considerations as they apply to the entity considered. We may have failed to point out, however, how positive and optimistic such a methodology appears: i.e. that “good” behaviour can indeed be defined as a choice that maintains and empowers you to reach the full potential of your being, rejecting both useless self-sacrifice and a wanton suppression of other beings.
As an example, one may indeed consider that because human self-awareness amplifies awareness for other forms of life, the human ethical interest extends even beyond its own species. But most conventional ethics purveyors tend to portrait this extension in the range of ethical sensitivity as intrinsically good: we come to consider this behaviour misguided, at best, as it originates and entertains a tension within the biological hierarchy of needs, by suggesting the immorality of individual “selfishness,” only to be “overcome” through the elevated values of the deeper steps. In truth, however, no evidence supports such a position, and one must admit that the ranking depends on the situation!
We accordingly came to attempt definition of a general framework for ethical rules, in what one may label a call for defining a quantitative meta-ethical process. We argue that, so as authentic moral behaviour bases on elements like the non-aggression principle, a truly human ethics must build upon “self-evident” principles. Then, the application of correct ethical actions (the “minimal interventions necessary”) can actually maximize a systemic entity’s welfare – i.e. proper ethics leads to the best approximation of that entity’s true “natural” behaviour.
This discussion, after a historical summary, aims at providing a discussion of a rationale framework for ethics and the formation of rules, with suggestions about the way anchored these may be anchored in universal values. In addressing the discussion, and the creation, of the future, it attempt to give guidelines for uniting space activities and the ethical striving characteristic of the terrestrial sophonts.
Biography: Dr Bernasconi is a mechanical engineer with more that twenty-five years of experience in the space industry. Between 1994-1999, he organized and chaired the session 1 for the Academy’s Symposia on Space Activities & Society. On a number of occasions during the last decade, different domains within ESA/ESTEC have appointed him as consultant, in particular for future-oriented studies. His interest for the ethical argument is a life-long one.
Nin Brudermann - The Book of the Thousand and One Balloon
I will give a preview to an ongoing project – ‘The Book of the Thousand and One Balloon”, a fantastic, yet true story beyond Earthly boundaries: The world unites launching a thousand balloons.
I participate with the thousand and first and embark on a thermodynamic ride to the edge of the atmosphere.
I look at this strange fairy-tale moment in time and space from an alien point of view (the artist on scientists, the extraterrestrial on Earth), as well as with a system-theoretical approach from within. I will show some video of that fantastic journey and talk about the power of a balloon.
Biography: Nin Brudermann is an Austrian artist, who lives and works in New York since 1996 when she participated in the P.S.1 MOMA studio artist program. She has shown in several venues in the US and Europe and has taken part in numerous group shows in major institutions.
Nin Brudermann tells stories. She begins her artistic investigations by adopting absurd realities and unexpected personal encounters into her practice. These bizarre, but accurate events, allow Brudermann to compose fantastic tales that blur the line between fact and fiction. … Nin Brudermann’s work is a testament to the power of a little daydream’s ability to alter the way we see reality.’ (Simone Subal, New York 2005)
Pierre Comte - Signature Earth and Other Projects
Biography: Pierre Comte belongs to the generation that directly experienced the shock of the conquest of Space (the Sputnik in 1957) and the incredible adventure of the Apollo Program that culminated in the 1969 moon landing. This emerging space activity progressively entered his area of interest until it finally became his central source of inspiration.
Comte sought to introduce an art component into this highly technological environment and attempted to become directly involved in astronautics with his ARSAT (art-satellites) scheme. Aesthetics remains his most important objective: artworks inspired by celestial mechanics, research for a visual communication between Earth and Space, architecture and objects in weightlessness, and so on.
Pierre Comte began as a printmaker then became a filmmaker and eventually a plastic artist. His inventions of lighting mechanisms for performances led him into Kinetic Art and Land Art. His accumulated experience culminated in 1979 with his discovery of Space Art of which he became one of the theoreticians by methodically exploring its main aspects. In 1983, the ARSAT research group was created, in which scientists and technicians worked together to implement Comte’s concept of inflatable structures that would float in Space.
Pierre Comte is also an enthusiastic archaeologist and member of the French Egyptological Society, as well as a futurologist (associate member of the Fondation Prospective 2100). In 1994, with the help of the Centre Nationale de l’Etude Spatiale (CNES), the French national space agency and the European Space Agency (ESA), he first offered to develop huge installations on the ground as well as works designed for micro-gravity. Since 2001, he has been secretary to the Astronautical Commission of the Aéro-Club de France.
Annick Bureaud & Kitsou Dubois - The Embodiment of (Micro)Gravity. Kitsou Dubois's Analogies : an Artistic and Aesthetic Experience
Before anything else space art is … art. That is a specific experience with its own rules, context, etc.
How a particular (space)artworks relates to its own artistic genre and how does the work convey something —to an audience or to different audiences— about outer space within it ?
In this presentation we shall focus on those issues with the example of Analogies, the last creation of Kitsou Dubois. We shall present, analyse and discuss :
How it relates to contemporary dance, how it uses the new relationship between dance and circus, through its process of creation and its relation to space science in micro-gravity (mecanics of fluid) and the experience of weightlessness of the choreographer during parabolic flights. In other words: how micro-gravity has shaped the dance of Kitsou Dubois and how she translates it into her artistic projects.
How this work and the artistic choices that have been made convey the perception and reality of micro-gravity to audiences through a “body-to-body” transmission that goes beyond a simple, straightforward “illustration”.
How it provides a new consciousness that our “environment” has been enlarged and encompasses today outer space and how this effects our perception and conception of the world we inhabit.
Biography: Kitsou Dubois’s: Dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Ki Productions. Since the early 90’s her work is centered about dance and movements in micro-gravity. She has created three choreographies based on her experience of weightlessness in parabolic flights (Gravité Zéro, Trajectoires Fluides and Analogies) and several installations among wich File/Air. Kitsou Dubois is based in Paris, France.
Annick Bureaud’s: New media art critic and theoretician. Director of Leonardo/Olats. As an art critic she runs a regular column on electronic art in the French contemporary art magazine Art Press. She taught at the Art School of Aix-en-Provence and the University of Marne-la-Vallée. She has been guest lecturer at the School of the Art Institute Chicago/SAIC in 1999 and at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) in 2001.
In 2002, she co-edited the book Connexions : art, réseaux, media published by the Press of Ensba ; she co-organized the International Symposium “Artmedia VIII: From the Aesthetics of Communication to Net art”, in Paris and edited the online proceedings published by Leonardo/Olats.
In 2003, she organised the Symposium “Visibility – Legibility of Space Art. Art and Zero G.: the Experience of Parabolic Flight” within the @rts Outsiders Festival in Paris. She has recently published, on the Leonardo/Olats web site, Les Basiques : art “multimédia”.
Tania Fragra - Earth and Space Sciences for Computer Art Works
The paper Earth and Space Sciences for Computer Art Works searches for the articulation of Earth and Spatial sciences with interactive computer technology by means of art works, in order to create interactive computer installations and performances. The physical and mathematical theories for the understanding of space-time cosmology are allowing artists to look for functional metaphors to describe new materials, new morphologies, new ways of thinking the art world, as they feel stimulated to apply this collective knowledge base to their works. The artists, as metaphors´ creators, gather hypotheses, conjectures and intuitive perceptions, without the intention of demonstrating them, as scientists do. They are creators of poetic realms and of new means for their exploration, leapfrogging the cognitive constraints of the human senses. They transform scientific phenomena understood or even observed by means of special equipment into sensorial experiences.
The reverberations of these theories in the art world provide the examples discussed in the aforementioned paper:
1. Aurora 2001/2003: Fire in the Sky (1) is a dance spectacle, imagined using concepts from Space sciences as metaphors, which organize a journey from the Sun towards the Earth through the Auroras. The journey is based either on the vortices of “ejected solar plasma”, or on scientific concepts such as the “magnetosphere”, the “proton storm” and “solar wind”, conceived as clouds of coloured dots vibrating on the screen, immersing the performers into interactive poetic versions of the physical phenomena;
2. Hekuras – Karuanas & Kurupiras is a work in progress. It creates interactive journeys, which change the cognitive universe of the interactor into dream realms exploring cognitive realities inaccessible to their senses. The journeys make use of Earth science concepts such as “serapilheira” and “metabolism of the forest” (2) as the bases for the construction of their many realms, carrying the interactor from the Amazon towards the Sun through different, non-linear routes, emphasizing the interconnectedness and interdependence of terrestrial life with the Sun.
3. M_branas is an art installation based on the idea of extremely thin two-dimensional surfaces with twisted shapes called branes by physicist Stephen Hawkings. M_branas produces a metaphor for these vibrating membranes whose thickness is almost non-existent, creating visual figurations of these unfathomable cosmic space-time fluctuations; 4. Responsive rubber membrane is another art installation. It applies the same principles stated above, for the creation of a responsive artificial organism controlled by computer. It uses materials produced by nanotechnologies – nitinol, a memory shape metallic alloy – integrated with rubber membrane produced by small communities from the Amazon.
(1). This possibility has been under exploration since the beginning of the year 2000, with the creation of interactive cyber-scenarios for the dance spectacle Aurora 2001: Fire in the Sky. This spectacle was conceived by the American choreographer Maida Withers and performed by the dance group “The Maida Withers Dance Construction Company” in 2001 and 2003. It had its debut in Trompso, Norway and in Washington DC, both in February 2001, and went on tour to Saint Petersburg and Achangelsk, in Russia, in August 2003. NASA and the European and Japanese Space Agencies made available the use of images of the Sun and of the Borealis and Australis Auroras, taken by the satellites TRACES, YOKO AND SOHO, orbiting the Earth and the Sun.
(2). The main scientific concepts for Hekuras – Karuanas & Kurupiras are based on the Amazon rain forest research into its soil and metabolic processes. From them come the term “serapilheira” – the terrestrial micro-cosmos – originates, the live soil made up of fungi, rotting leaves, microorganisms and worms. It is the soil of the Amazon rain forest, that which is recycled from its own refuses. The “metabolism of the forest” is part of two major research projects underway in the Brazilian National Space Institute (INPE): one seeks to reveal the relationship between biosphere and atmosphere; the other is attempting to monitor and to simulate the effects of drought on that bioma. These and previous studies have found out that the Amazonian hydro-cycle has an enormous influence on the health of the rest of the planet. See LEITE, Marcelo (2001). A Floresta Amazônica. São Paulo: Publifolha.
Takao Fujiwara - Artistic Approaches to Space: A Joint Research with JAXA
The ISS, a permanent manned base in space, will provide a new viewpoint to culture and life on Earth. It will also give an opportunity to recombine sciences and arts through human activities in the new environment of space.
“Artistic Approaches to Space” is a research group formed at Kyoto City University of Arts. The members are artists, designers, and scientists. It is also the title of research project which started as a contract research supported by JAXA (former NASDA) in 1997, and has been continued as a joint research with JAXA since 2001.
This joint research aims at realizing art projects mainly in Japanese Experiment Module “KIBO” in cooperation with astronauts. It is expected that the environment of space or microgravity will modify human’s perception and sensitivity, change people’s way of life, and lead to creation of a space culture. In such a situation, it seems very important to reconsider the meaning of art and communication, to make the new culture meaningful for the people on Earth as well as for those who live in space.
Our “Artistic Approaches to Space” project consists of the following programmes:
This programme aims at (1) the research of mental communication in the environment of space, (2) the study of such artistic expression that is characterized by microgravity or is possible only in space, and (3) the study of presentation which helps people to understand space intuitively. As results of this programme, we have made some experimental works: (1) Mind Garden, a human-scale capsule for artistic and mental experiments, (2) Space Garden, a garden to enjoy gardening or to walk round it, and (3) Space in Hand, a small vacuum capsule to bring “space” back to Earth. We also continued to propose art missions when a Japanese astronaut took part in the flight of Space Shuttle; one of the examples is a sketch drawn by Mr. Doi during STS87 (1997). It should be noted that we are trying to spread Japanese culture in this programme.
This is a basic programme for the whole project. It consists of: (1) visiting space facilities such as JAXA and NASA, and having interviews with astronauts to deepen our understanding of space and the environment of microgravity, and (2) collecting and investigating resources such as videos, photos, books, and other publications. With the help of JAXA, we could have interviews with Japanese astronauts many times, and the results have been published as a report already.
This is a programme to socialize the research. The name comes from double “here,” i.e., space and Earth. In this programme we have tried to make the results of our research open to public by having a symposium or by publishing a CD-ROM, and some were reported by TV and newspapers.
Biography: Astrophysicist, Kyoto City University of Arts
Nally Gérard - Attraction, From The Ring Of The Circus To The Cosmos
Attraction, a Cirque Ici-Johann Le Guillerm’s Project
Johann Le Guillerm is a circus performer, whose conception of the circus is radical. For him the ring is a point created by the looks of the spectators. The characteristic of the circus, he says, is not the nature of elements of the show (trapezes, horses, etc.) but the fact that what is shown is always “minority and universal practical experiences”. He began his artistic project named Attraction three years ago, when he went back from a trip around the world. This work is composed of a show (Secret), a monumental moving sculpture La Motte, a film and La Trace, an evolving set of all the texts and the commentaries about the project itself. Attraction is based on the notion of point of view and on the physical dimension of the point. It is a project with a fractal structure. In the smallest scale as well as in the biggest, we find the same pattern : a tridimensional point.
I’d like to focus on the project La Motte (presented in 2007 in Nantes-France). This twelve meters sphere, moving by itself with a complex hydraulic system inside, covered with a vegetal ecosystem, is for Le Guillerm “a planet you can watch”. One of his goal, for example, is to manage to find a special status for this special work, legally speaking. La Motte, conceived as a “vegetal and mineral circus phenomenon” is an original expression of the planetary consciousness.
I wish to expose how Johann Le Guillerm’s thoughts processes is in line with the work of a poet-researcher such as the surrealistic French writer Roger Caillois. The idea is to explore mysteries of reality and of the mind with rigour and method. “Take the way of scientific accuracy to reach a universe of sensations and rhythms that go beyond observations and the common concepts of science” as Caillois wrote.
Biography: As a free-lance journalist, I write about performing arts, above all about hybrids forms of shows, in several cultural magazines (Mouvement, Omni-Revue du Théâtre de la Marionnette à Paris, Bulletin de Hors les murs…). I’m particularly interested in how performing art can be fed by popular forms of arts (circus, puppet, mime, street art,…), by technologies of information and communication and by other forms of knowledge (science, history…) in order to create a contemporary theatre where questions like relationship with the audience, improvisation, process, perceptions, utopia… could be centrals.
Biography: Patrick Gyger is the director of “Maison d’Ailleurs” a museum housing one of the world’s largest collections of Science Fiction. In this post he has been responsible for the preservation and presentation of this valuable educational resource. During his tenure he has regularly organized successful exhibitions and events that have brought much public and media attention to the museum.
He was one of the co-managers of ESA’s ITSF study – Innovative Technologies from Science Fiction for Space Applications – a web based research and educational project that resulted in much international media attention for the Maison d’Ailleurs and ESA as well the publication of the glossy ITSF brochure in English/ German and French editions by the space agency.
Patrick Gyger also presently serves as artistic director of the “Festival International de Science-Fiction Utopiales”, Nantes (France) – a yearly event that reaches a very large public with a program that involves the participation of artists, writers and film makers. He is also working together with “Festival International du Film Fantastique” in Neuchâtel, Switzerland in the organization of exhibitions and planning workshops dedicated to the intersection of film animation and the new-media arts.
Lynn Hagan - ExoMars Cultural Utilisation Project - Art on Mars
The opportunities for art in space are twofold. Art may be used as decoration and be merely ornamental and ancillary to science, with artists as propagandists of scientific pursuit, or it may act as a force in its own right, equally deserving of a place in the history of the space movement. The ethical structures of both art and science do not exist in isolation and there remain instances and opportunities whereby the ethical frameworks of each may blur and merge to produce momentous and historical works. Art is more than a mere investigation of the immediate reality of the artist. The same ultimately can be said of science, as we become witnesses to the escalation of collective efforts directed to supporting this enquiry into space, an enquiry that must involve art as well as science.
One such opportunity arises with the current investigations of Mars. ESA is sending ExoMars Rovers to Mars and initial communication with Jorge Vago of the ExoMars team suggests that there may be a possibility to place artwork on board the vehicle which transports the rovers to the surface. There will be a video camera on board this vehicle with which it would be possible to film on exit whatever artwork is left and broadcast these images to Earth. From a scientific perspective, the study of the Mars environment by missions such as ExoMars will teach us a lot about the evolutionary history of our own planet. Likewise, the inclusion of art in such mission may provide insights into the reasons why our species wants to extend its culture beyond its home planet and into space.
Thus, the ExoMars mission offers an opportunity to not only use art as a means of publicising the event but also of raising the consciousness of the public who eagerly await not only news, but images of these forays into space as a means of direct participation. The question of what artwork could be sent, the technical aspects of its transportation and transmission of the images, the cultural aspect of its reception on Earth, will be the subject of the paper for this workshop. A short animation of the imagined landing of the rover on Mars and the view of the artwork as the vehicle as it withdraws has also been made which I would like to exhibit.
Biography: I run my own organisation called LifeInSpace which was formed in 2003. The organisation was founded primarily as a bridge for those artists wishing to experiment in zero gravity and those who may possibly arrange the flights but its scope now stretches to the actual organisation of those flights and the conception of specific collective projects. The first zero gravity campaign is called Project One and will comprise of works by myself, Arthur Woods and Stelarc as definite participants and will hopefully take place in 2005 with more artists involved.
Luke Jerram - L'Orchestre céleste
Michael Hohl - Exploring Experiences Of Global Awareness And Holistic Overview In Interactive Environments
This project has two basic concerns: Creating and understanding experiences of global awareness, holistic overview and interconnectedness incorporated in an immersive interactive environment that involves participants in a vivid cultural exploration; And engaging constructively in the disciplines of Fine Arts and Computer Sciences for their mutual benefits.
The vehicle for the research is an unencumbered interactive artwork called “radiomap”. Participants walk about a projection of a photorealistic live map of the earth (8x4m), showing day & night regions. Depending on their location participant’s tune into live radio broadcasts from the corresponding place on earth. The selected stations usually have a strong local colour and program format. These broadcasts together with the unusual, disorientating viewpoint create Gestalt effects that enable people to perceive the earth and other cultures from a different perspective. It is a collective and holistic experience of exploration, surprise, longing and belonging, mediating between the individuals (in the installation) and the cultures of the broadcasting places, creating an intense presence that is expected to last beyond the active participation itself.
The outcomes that we are looking for include:
– a framework of design principles that enable researchers from both disciplines to talk about these experiences.
– a new perspective towards telepresence which is not about “going there” but bringing properties of “there” here.
– raise awareness that telepresence-qualities can function as innovative, cultural medium
– new perspectives for the cultures of arts and computer sciences
– novel methods to capture the “experiential quality” of unencumbered, interactive environments.
Although functionally informed by HCI principles [1,2] the actual artistic content of the environment strongly relates to artistic predecessors as Sensorium , Buckminster Fuller , Stewart Brand , among others.
Methodologies and methods
We will use the “7 Rhetoric’s Of Play”  from Brian Crouton-Smith as foundation for explanation to which sense of play the environment is applying and what the underlying sociological mechanisms may be. This allows assumptions over its effects upon participants that are difficult to explain otherwise.
Benford, et al. “Sensible, Sensable & Desireable” : The framework defines three different HCI methods of constraints, forming three, partly overlapping circles.
Methods will include among others video observation, semi-structured video interviews, among others, iteratively informed by a grounded theory approach.
This theoretical and practice based research is serving as the conceptual basis that forms part of a practice based inter-disciplinary research program encompassing fine art and human-computer interaction. It started in November 2002.
 Steve Benford, Chris Greenhalgh, Gail Reynard, Chris Brown, and Boriana Koleva: “Understanding and Constructing Shared Spaces with Mixed-Reality Boundaries”, ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, Vol. 5, No. 3, September 1998, pp. 185-223
 Bilinghurst, Marc, Buxton, Bill (2002): “Gesture based interaction”, ACM Paper
 Shin’ichi Takemura. : “The Internet as a Sensory Medium for Rediscovering Ourselves and Our World”
 Fuller, Buckminster (1981), “World Peace Game” in Critical Path, Griffin, p. 198 – 226
 Brand, Stewart (2002) “Earth Buttons” in an interview at the Stanford Humanities Lab
 Sutton-Smith, Brian (1997, 2001), The Ambiguity of Play, Harvard University Press
 Benford, S., Schnadelbach, H., Koleva B., Gaver, B., Schmidt, A., Boucher, A., Steed, A., Anastasi, R., Greenhalgh, C., Rodden, T., and Gellersen, H. “Sensible, sensable and desireable: a framework for designing physical interfaces”, Technical Report Equator-03-003, Equator, February 2003
Biography: PhD Candidate, Sheffield Hallam University, Art & Design Research Centre
Stephen Kovats - V2 activities for MIR In Orbit project. Space art projects ‘Submersive’ and ‘Disembodiment in immersive digital experiments’
V2 – activities for MIR In Orbit – In the spring of 2003 V2 co-organized a series of parabolic flights and activities at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City (RUS). The first outcomes, research and projects of the participating artists and scientists of these flights were unveiled at a presentation and a seminar during the Architecture Biennial 2003. The ideas and experiences among experts from various disciplines were exchanged and the relevance of these experiences discussed in the realm of ‘disembodiment versus physicality in virtual reality’. The physical properties of zero gravity initially appear obvious, but the effect on the mind and body – on movement and physiology – as well as upon materials is a very recent area of research. The physical properties inherent within zero gravity rarely form part of our conscious perception. Much of our physical system is adjusted to and indeed ‘designed’ by the gravitational forces that work on our body. Even though we are not particularly aware of how gravity affects our physical system, these forces have a great impact on both body and mind. The ability to remove the effects of gravity as a variable in human physiological research has only been available to scientists since the start of the space race. The only practical means with which to alter gravity in relation to the human body are through centrifuges (increasing gravity), off-planet space travel or orbit, scuba diving, parabolic flight or through its simulation with virtual reality systems. Until today research in this field has also mainly been conducted by scientists. V2 approaches outer and extraterrestrial space with its unique physical and perceptual conditions such as these variations in the force of gravity, its electromagnetic presence and tangible materiality from an artistic and cultural point of view.
To further investigate these issues in the cultural field V2 plans two residencies.
Year 1: ‘SUBMERSIVE’ – Artists in Residence project by artist Graham Smith and invited European artists (tbc). SUBMERSIVE uses a new display medium invented by Graham Smith that recreates the effect of weightlessness for viewers and frees the audience from the constraints of a conventional theater by placing the theatre underwater in a swimming pool. This decontextualization of the theatre, allowing it to disappear from both sight and touch, is at the core of the concept and allows people to physically reconnect with the strong memory of weightlessness that we believe we all share. SUBMERSIVE is an underwater movie theatre which is constructed in a swimming pool and projects video imagery onto a 7 meter wide screen which is situated underwater. A high intensity video beamer projects a 100 degree image onto the screen at the bottom of the pool where 5-10 people equipped with scuba masks, snorkels and neutral buoyancy vests immerse themselves to experience cinema in a weightless state. During the residency at V2_ a group of European artists will be working with Graham Smith to explore the concept of how to create a narrative element for SUBMERSIVE. Conventional film and video makers will be brought into the project to allow their input and thoughts. The weightless theatre can also be thought of as an extension of the VR Cave, and the ways with which to include interactive experiences by using real time computer graphics will be explored.
Year 2: Artist in residence project ‘Disembodiment in immersive digital experiments’.
The second artist in residence project deals with a CAVE – virtual reality environment and (dis)embodiment in immersive spaces. Following the previous MIR activities V2_ recently started a partnership with Erasmus Medical Centre, in Rotterdam. The physical aspects and the thus the intersection between real and virtual environments carries with it recurrent philosophical debates dealing, most prominently, with interfacing and disembodiment issues. One could argue that disembodiment is the main motivation and attraction for immersive environments, as it reflects an escapist desire to leave reality behind and immerse in an illusionary world which is closely related to the dream of being weightless. Other opinions reflect upon the central role of the body as placeholder for perception and physical memory. How do the diverse theories about body, mind, consciousness and reality hold up in the immersive digital environments? Over the last years a growing number of researchers, artists and designers studied the effects of (dis)embodiment through interfacing and its influence on the immersion, sensations, balance system and equilibrium experienced by the user. In this respect, especially the research in the biomedical and neurology fields, as is fostered by Erasmus Medial Centre, seems more than relevant for further collaboration. The artist in residence project in year 2 will be hosted by V2_ in close collaboration with students and researchers of the Erasmus MC. An open call for proposals will be published by the beginning of 2006 inviting artists who are working in the field of multimodal media art. A specialized jury, representing the involved disciplines will select the final artist and project to participate in the program.
Biography: Canadian born architect and media researcher Stephen Kovats spent a decade upon German unification designing and establishing media art and culture related programs at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. His Studio Electronic Media Interpretation hosted numerous international projects, symposia and exhibitions exploring the relationships between media space, political culture and electronic art. In 2000 he published MEDIA · REVOLUTION which wrapped up the “Ostranenie International Electronic Media Forum” series focusing on the role played by media art and culture upon the societal transformation process in Central and Eastern Europe. During this period he founded several media culture oriented exchange and network programs including Archi-Tonomy, EMARE, ECX and the current Bauhauskolleg, a multidisciplinary post graduate program for alternative urban design. Thereafter, based in New York, he developed work and communications based strategies for mobile media and urban reconstruction projects including the initiation of a new urban masterplan for the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. Through his telecommunications projects Aurora Universalis and NOM he has also been active in investigating the spatial structures of terrestrial electromagnetism, communications mobility and technological isolation systems. Currently Kovats is an international media arts program developer at V2_Institute for the Unstable Media in Rotterdam, through which he initiated and co-organised the “Trans-European Picnic 2004: Media and Art of Accession”, an event exploring media culture on the edge of the newly expanded European Union, co-curated the DEAF04 event “Affective Turbulence: The Art of Open Systems” and produced “Splendid Immersion: The Time and Space of Flow”, an exhibition and seminar on experimental immersive systems for the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2005.
Michael Mautner - Securing Our Cosmological Future
Life is unique in nature: Biological structures are unique in their complexity, and the laws of physics coincide precisely to allow life to exist. Life is also unique in propagating its structures, as if seeking this purpose. Inherent in life, there is action with purpose.
We are part of life and share its unique position in nature. This identity defines the human purpose: To secure and propagate life, and to assure that life will pervade the universe.
We shall be able soon to expand our family of gene/protein life in space. We can populate the Solar System using resources in asteroids and comets. Experiments with meteorites showed that these materials can support algae, bacteria and plant life, and eventually humans. These resources will allow lie in the Solar System that will greatly exceed life that has existed to the present.
Moreover, in this century we can launch missions of directed panspermia to seed with life new solar systems in the nearby galaxy. The required technologies of solar sail propulsion, accurate astrometry for targeting, and biotechnology to develop hardy biological payloads, are developing rapidly. The panspermia missions can start many new branches of life. Some may evolve into intelligent beings who will propagate life further in the galaxy.
Further in the cosmological future, white and red dwarf stars can provide energy to sustain life for 1e37 (ten trillions trillion trillion) years. Based on resources of matter and energy, we can estimate the potential amounts of life as 1e48 kg-years in the galaxy and 1e59 kg-years in the universe.
These immense potential future can motivate a panbiotic astroethics that aims to expand life in the universe. In the cosmological future, our descendants will transform nature to maximize life, and seek eternity. In founding that future, our human existence can achieve a cosmic purpose.
Biography: Department of Chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA.
Kathy Marmor - On The Practices Of Seeing: Creating Poetic Interactive Audio Environments That Deconstruct Satellite Imaging
I am proposing a presentation that discusses through examples of my work how the visualization of global satellite data effects its interpretation and consequently its implementation. The visualization of satellite data like medical imaging has profoundly altered our society’s ideas about subjectivity and identity. It has also informed and shaped the ways in which humans perceive their relationship with earth and space
Many artists have critically addressed the use of digital and analog media in terms of surveillance from a personal or local level. However, surveillance must also be discussed on a global level. Remote sensing connotes an abstraction of power through the global collection and interpretation of satellite data. I plan to discuss these points through a new series of pieces that function as sketches or prototypes for a larger, and more complex interactive installation.
Mapping subjectivity is the primary focus of all of my work and I use the concurrence of science, art and technology to address embodiment and its influence on one’s self-perception. I am also an artist who is interested in looking at science and the culture of science from a feminist point of view.
My new works – Berenice’s Hair and Birding are metaphorical three-dimensional satellites that create interactive audio environments. These works expand on themes honed in a previous body of work entitled Kitchen Science. My interest in space satellites is driven by their invisible presence. The general population only knows about satellites by the images they produce. I believe that one way of making scientific concepts accessible is by rendering them visible. For example, In the DNA Cookbook from my series Kitchen Science, I provided my audience with the opportunity to become the home economics equivalent of the amateur scientist. We extracted DNA using kitchen tools and products. I watched the audience become entranced with the clumps of DNA that they were spooling. I am suggesting in my current work that having a physical interaction with metaphorical satellites can alter how their visualization of data is perceived.
In both Berenice’s Hair and Birding my satellites are simple open cardboard boxes that are suspended from the ceiling. These boxes are embedded with sensors and audio speakers. My use of the cardboard box pays homage to AMSAT or Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. A group of amateur radio operators who are dedicated to creating a “low tech entry into the high tech world of space.” I am particularly interested in the amateur hobbyist who without access to expensive and sophisticated technology invents ingenious low-tech methods to explore scientific principles. The Origins of Life, another interactive work from my Kitchen Science series began with the same premise. I used ordinary kitchen measuring spoons as an electronic interface after reading an article by Shawn Carlson that explained how to extract DNA in your kitchen.
In my presentation, I will also discuss the role of gender in the history of space research. The geographer and oceanographer, Evelyn Pruitt, coined the term remote sensing in the 1950’s. Evelyn Pruitt’s contributions, like those of other distinguished women in the sciences, are often written out of history because of their gender.
These three points: the paradox of making the invisible visible, the tenacity of the hobbyist and the role that gender plays in scientific research are interwoven with my research on remote sensing and the authoritative power implied by a seemingly autonomous visual representation of satellite data.
Biography: Kathy Marmor is a multimedia artist who creates interactive installations. Her work investigates the psychological and cultural construction of self-identities and the way in which power, gender and technology affects its formulation. Her work is grounded in the personal, and functions as a feminist visual commentary on modern culture.
Kathy has exhibited widely in the United States. Her work has also shown at Ciber@rts -Bilbao, Spain and New Forms festival in Vancouver, Canada. She has been an artist in residence at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York and Light Work in Syracuse, New York. Kathy has an MFA in Imaging and Digital Arts from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Vermont.
Jean-Marc Philippe - The KEO Project
Frank Pietronigro - Workshop on Space Artist’s Residencies and Collaborations: Creating New Spaces where Artist, Institution and Space Agency Collaborations Flourish
The author will describe the evolution, the process, the findings and outcomes of the Workshop on Space Artist’s Residencies and Collaborations that was held at Carnegie Mellon University West at the NASA Ames Research Center on February 10-12, 2005. As Co-Organizer for this event the author will discuss his support for the workshop and its impact on building new collaborations between space artists, institutions and the general public. The author will also provide an update on plans for an International Conference on Space Art intended to follow the workshop at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California in 2006.
The author will discuss a public space art event that concluded the workshop proceedings. Hosted by the SETI Institute, ‘Space Artists – The Cultural Frontiers of Space Travel’ brought the public together for face-to-face encounters with space artists, sponsoring organizations and their advocates.
The author will conclude with developments related to the Zero Gravity Arts Consortium (ZGAC). ZGAC is a international space arts organization, based in the United States, that is dedicated to fostering greater access for artists to space flight technology and zero gravity space through the creation of international partnerships with space agencies, arts organizations and universities.
Biography: Interdisciplinary Artist. Co-Organizer, Workshop on Space Artist’s Residencies and Collaboration Project Director and Co-Founder, Zero Gravity Arts Consortium. Associate Fellow, STUDIO For Creative Inquiry, College of Fine Arts, Carnegie Mellon University. Project Director and Space Artist, Research Project Number: 33 Investigating The Creative Process In A Microgravity Environment.
Andrea Polli - Heat and the Heartbeat: Sonifying Global Climate Change
The author presents two recent art projects in the interpretation of recorded and simulated data describing the global climate. As was seen in the recent Tsunami disaster, many lives depend on the interpretation of global information. Developing a language or series of languages for communicating this mass of data must evolve, and part of that evolution must include the work of artists.
In an article called ‘Database Logic and Landscape Art,’ Brett Stalbaum defines one of the most important roles of a database artist to be the projection of meaning onto meaningless data streams.
The interpretation and presentation of data using sound is part of a growing movement in what is called data sonification. Like its more popular counterpart, data visualization, sonification transforms data in an attempt to communicate meaning.
This process of translating data into an unfamiliar form for an aesthetic purpose can be compared to ‘anticommunication’. In a 1970 position statement on technology and composition to UNESCO, Herbert Brun called the process of new language development ‘anticommunication’ and saw anticommunication as the offspring of communication, an attempt to say something through new modes. Brun defined anticommunication as an active way of re-defining or re-creating the language.
The two projects presented are Heat and the Heartbeat of the City and N. (pronounced n-point).
Heat and the Heartbeat of the City is a series of sonifications that illustrate scientifically predicted climate changes focusing on the heart of New York City and one of the first urban locations for climate monitoring, Central Park. According to a 1999 report published by the Environmental Defense Fund, New York City will be dramatically impacted by global warming in the near future. Average temperatures in New York could increase by one to four degrees fahrenheit by 2030, and up to ten degrees by 2100. The impacts of these changes on this major metropolitan area will be great.
Listeners travel forward in time at an accelerated pace and experience an intensification of heat in sound. The data sonified is actual data from summers in the 1990’s and projected data for the summers of New York in the 2020’s, 50’s, and 80’s using one of the most detailed climate models of any urban area. All data was modeled and formatted especially for the creation of sonifications by scientists of the Climate Research Group at the NASA Goddard Institute. See
N. is a project created in collaboration with Joe Gilmore, a web artist and programmer from the UK. Climate change in the Arctic is an important indicator of global climate changes. N. is a near-real time sonification of arctic data, updated regularly, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Arctic research program. Important to this project is a custom piece of software created by Polli in collaboration with computer programmer and video artist Kurt Ralske. N. will premiere at the 2005 Lovebytes Festival in Sheffield, UK this April.
An active, real world engagement with data models and databases is an important aspect of both these projects. Is transforming data different from transforming the raw material of the real world? Like a photograph, a data set is a representation, but unlike a photograph, this representation can be entered, explored, and transformed. A data set can be experienced, but unlike a real-world experience, it can be replayed from various points of view and under different conditions. The weather and climate models in these projects are designed to respond to various conditions. Simulations are tested against the real world and the results either confirm the accuracy of the model or force the scientists to reconsider and re-design. Can a simulation precede or even cause events in physical reality? Stalbaum sees the database not as a static subject on which an artist projects meaning, but as a “catalyzing factor in the conversation.” He optimistically states that “data and control systems provide a channel through which ecosystems are able to express an influence in favor of their own protection.”
Brun, Herbert. “Technology and the Composer.” As read to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Stockholm, 10 June 1970
Stalbaum, Brett. “Database Logic and Landscape Art.” Netzpannung 24 January 2004
Biography: Andrea Polli is a digital media artist living in New York City. She is currently an Associate Professor of Film and Media at Hunter College. Polli’s work addresses issues related to science and technology in contemporary society. Her projects often bring together artists and scientists from various disciplines. She has exhibited, performed, and lectured nationally and internationally.
She is currently working in collaboration with meteorological scientists to develop systems for understanding storms and climate through sound. For this work, she has been recognized by the UNESCO Digital Arts Award 2003 and has presented work in the 2004 Ogaki Biennale in Gifu, Japan and at the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva, Switzerland. Her work in this area has also been presented at Cybersonica at the ICA in London and awarded funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Greenwall Foundation. As a member of the steering committee for New York 2050, a wide-reaching project envisioning the future of the New York City region, she is currently working with city planners, environmental scientists, historians and other experts to look at the impact of climate on the future of human life both locally and globally.
Biography: Senior Technology Transfer Officer, Technolgy Transfer & Promotion Office, European Space Agency – ESTEC
Dr David Raitt has worked for the European Space Agency since 1969 in France and Italy, as well as The Netherlands, in a variety of positions. He is now Senior Technology Transfer Officer in the European Space Agency’s Technology Transfer and Promotion Office in The Netherlands where his activities involve identifying and researching new breakthrough technological opportunities to ascertain their subsequent spin-off/spin-in possibilities in new markets. He is also charged with making the general public more aware of space technologies and concepts and the benefits in every day life that can result from technology spin-off. He is also involved in space art, culture, design, and educational activities, as well as projects relating to biomimetics, space elevators and materials, amongst others. One particularly noteworthy study that he initiated and managed related to innovative technologies from science fiction for space applications. Essentially this study sought to ascertain whether science fiction literature, arts and films contained concepts or technologies which had been overlooked and which now might be possible to achieve with today’s scientific and technical advances. The work generated much press and public interest and has fostered several follow-on activities. Dr Raitt is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics.
Jon Ramer - IAAA - International Association of Astronomical Artists: Death Valley workshop and other activities
Jean-Luc Soret - A Multimedia Tour of Space Art
Nicola Triscott & Rob La Frenais - Cultural Utilisation of the International Space Station – A Study
When complete, the International Space Station will be a great achievement of human ingenuity and a cutting-edge research facility. The station’s promise of providing such a unique laboratory environment has excited scientists around the world.
The European Space Agency has commissioned a 6-month study from the Arts Catalyst into cultural utilisation of the International Space Station. The aim is to focus the attention of the cultural world on the ISS and, through cultural projects, to raise visibility of the ISS in the public mind.
The study is being undertaken by the Arts Catalyst, a UK-based arts commissioning agency, in collaboration with Leonardo/Olats, the Paris based branch of Leonardo the Journal for Art, Science & Technology, and Delta Utec, a small, Netherlands-based space research & consultancy group. The study is supported by the MIR network, a group of European and international arts organisations that seek to promote artists’ engagement with space activities.
The study team has proposed that cultural utilisation should be looked at from a systems level. Within this approach, ESA’s involvement in the ISS programme extends beyond Columbus and the ATV to include other ISS related flights and ground-based facilities.
The systems approach – integrating in-orbit and on-ground facilities – has several benefits. It will enable the cultural sector to get in tune with ESA and its ISS involvement. There are direct entry points with many centres because of the de-centralised nature of the European ISS ground facilities. Critically, it will allow for considerable experimentation and wider programmes of work and enable the long-term development of effective cultural utilisation of the ISS. A well-publicised official ESA artists’ residency programme using ISS-related ground-based research, support and engineering facilities would encourage artists into this area.
Working with and within the European Space Agency, the study team aims to set up a dialogue between the cultural community and the space community that can explore the complex narratives of mankind’s utilisation of space and the orbital expanses.
This paper will present the preliminary findings of this study.
Biography: Nicola Triscott is an arts producer, curator and specialist in art and science. She is the director of the Arts Catalyst, which she founded in 1993, an arts and research organisation engaged with science, space and related technologies, based in the UK and working internationally.
Rob La Frenais has been organising visual art projects on an international level since 1987. He was the editor of Performance Magazine, a UK-based European cross-artform journal, director of the EDGE Biennale in London, Newcastle, Glasgow and Madrid in 1988, 1990 and 1992, and curator of various innovative art, science and technology projects around Europe. He has been curator of the Arts Catalyst since 1997.
Daniel Sciboz - Positioning System Exploration
My contribution to the Space : Planetary Consciousness and the Arts workshop would include a short presentation of my personal researches and the recent piece produced with french artist and teacher Liliane Terrier and students during a one week workshop. This shows small promenades on the neighbourhood of La Plaine Saint-Denis (France), made in a mood close to land-art or some conceptual experiences. This free exploration of (sub)urban space is represented by 3D renderings built directly from live recorded GPS data, synchronised with video sequences taken by a webcam. Although the full potential of localization and orientation of GPS was not directly used in these works, they can probably be relied to Locative media arts.
As both artist and design practicioner, I’m particularly interested in the way new Art forms can both on the conceptual and aesthetic level influence (or be influenced by) scientific mapping techniques and procedures. Localization and orientation systems (like GPS) influence our perception of time and space. New technologies are giving artists the opportunity to mix common visual and sonic material with data given by the localization systems and this leads to new attitudes, concepts and aesthetic proposals, taking there influences both in the Arts field, but also directly in the scientific geographical mapping. Artists and groups can now produce maps, sometimes dynamic ones, displaying datas and icons from typical cartography in a more subjective manner, proposing to make relations with social issues, documentation from performances or urban mobility recordings, everyday life or personal journeys… also working on the limits of real and virtual space.
I will also propose to focus on recent works of such artists working with localization systems aswell as make some relations with pieces (sometimes older) where we can find interest for space exploration and representation.
Biography: Daniel Sciboz, born 1973. Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland. Works as independent graphic designer and teacher. Following a master degree in the Arts department of university Paris 8 in Saint-Denis, under the direction of Jean-Louis Boissier. 1995: Graduated as graphic designer. 1996—2002: Intership in London. Works for several swiss design firms including Roger Pfund in Geneva and Weiersmüller Bosshard Grüninger WBG in Zürich. Six months stay in Dakar, Senegal. Since 2002: Teacher for typography at the Ecole d’art in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Studies in the postgraduate programme New media design in Geneva. Completed a theory semester on urbanism and orientation systems at HEAB in Bern. 2004: Graduated from the Haute école d’arts appliqués HES in Geneva presenting a collection of interactive essays using the GPS technology. Leading GPS-Movies, collective performance/workshop in Saint-Denis, France. GPS-Movies shown in JOUABLE, exhibition at the Ecole nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs, Paris.
Gavin Starks - Astrophysics And Music - Bridging Voids In Communication
Astronomy and Astrophysics are often regarded as romantic, abstract or impenetrable. Creating meaningful dialogue relies on breaking down preconceptions, fears and misunderstanding between significantly diverse groups. Recently the term ‘space art’ has gained significant presence, yet it highlights the huge discrepancies between scientist’s understanding of Art, and artists understanding of Science. It is not surprising that the public is left even more confused as a result. Even the definition of “space” is assumed – in the context of “Planetary Consciousness” it is as important to look ‘beyond’ as it is to be introspective to gain a sense of “place”.
Using cosmology as its basis, including some basic astrophysics fundamentals, this presentation will explore a route through a void of communication; de-mystify and elucidate the workings of the universe, and the position of our seemingly random planet within it – from the perspective of an Astrophysicist, speaking as a musician.
The “whole earth” image is remarkable not only because we are captured in a single frame, but what can be seen behind it, and why we can see anything else at all. Our philosophical location within the larger structure of the universe can be visualised, our physical models of where we exist are plausible, and there are tangible tools for us to explore, not only with quantitative scientific methods (which are never as exact as perceived), but via other media.
We have developed a set of tools for creating sound from the raw data of the universe, developed by professional astronomers with close artistic and sonification direction. The results are surprising, and open up new methods of comprehending scale, depth and complex cosmological ideas.
We are inspired in our creative endeavour to utilise sonification as an early stepping-stone to larger scale compositions. From a starting point of an uncertain astrophysics (there are many cosmological models) we have incorporated traditional western classical compositional styles, and realised them within an acousmatic music structure to create new works. We attempt to span a void, and communicate the intangible without words. Yet, we can demonstrate a tangible impact of “space” on music, and a music-inspired analysis of space.
Our role is beyond the expression of planetary conciousness – to place physical limits on conciousness seems artistically prohibitive, philosophically ambiguous and scientifically flawed.
Biography: Entrepreneur, Radio Astronomer, Sound Artist and Streaming Media innovator.
Gavin has been engaged in the cross-over between Astronomy and Music for more than a decade. He holds a BSc in Astronomy and a Masters degree in Computer-Music. He worked at the Jodrell Bank Radio Observatory in Radio Astrophysics, created and lectured new courses in Electronics and Music at Glasgow University. His music has been regularly performed and his research published internationally.
He contributes to the AmbientTV collective, the Acoustic Space Lab network in Latvia and Nesta/PAL workshops, providing links between technology, science and the arts.
Gavin has pioneered streaming media in the UK and Europe since 1995 when he helped set up Richard Branson’s “Virgin Net” ISP, and helped found the International Webcasting Association in Europe. In 1999 he created the award-winning cross-media company, Tornado Productions, and sold it to a larger media group in late 2003. He is now creating a non-profit, open-broadcasting network.
Andrea Vogler - My Home Is My Spaceship - Synergies Of Human Spaceflight Research And The Planetary Understanding Of Home
“My home is my castle”, reflects the backward directed home concept of a majority of people. But at least since Le Corbusier built his iconic Villa Savoie in 1929, which lands like a spaceship on the ground, there have been forward directed developments in architecture, which have parallels, synergies and anticipations to spaceflight. Although there have been a number of architects been influenced by the development of technology and especially the moon landing in the late 1960s, a potential synergy between the building on Earth and building in space is rarely seen, nor investigated. Building on Earth seems ‘dirty’, unsophisticated and cheap for the Aerospace industries, and building in space too highly developed and costly for the hands-on building industries. With the exception of a few architects working for the Aerospace Industries and some Japanese building contractors like Shimizu, who are engaged in space research, there is not much cross-industry learning. This paper wants to track the parallels and highlight the potentials for cross-cultural synergies of homes on Earth and homes in space. The terrestrial home owner could actually take part on the development of Human Spaceflight.
From the 1960s on architects like Richard Rogers, Norman Foster, Future Systems and the group of Archigram has been strongly influenced by the new light-weight constructions of the moon lander. At the same time, and then seconded by the oil-crises solar panels appeared on buildings. At the same time experiments with ‘underground’ building have been done to use the earth of the site as insulating material. The parallel to space is radiation protection for surface habitats. With today’s passive building standard, the sun as the main energy source – passive and active – for houses is nearly reached. The next evolutionary step will be to have fully regenerative systems for waste treatement, which let the home owner become independent from a vulnerable central infrastructure built up in the 1960s. First fuel-cell driven homes are in prototype stage. On the other hand a main issue for a human mission to Mars is the development of low-energy, light-weight regenerative systems, which replace the concept of waste with resource treatment. The space community could gain valuable data and developments from the giant market of home owners. Next to the synergies of structure and building technology, recent research in architecture is directed towards the networked ‘Smart Home’ and household robots, making the home a fully interactive ‘machine for living’, as it has been postulated as early as in the 1920s by Le Corbusier and others. Thus, valuable functional data for the home use can be gained to ease the live of astronauts on long duration mission. ‘Cocooning’ is a recent and growing trend for making the home the main center of one private life. The home has to increasingly serve for the ‘grounding’ of ones senses. A growing in-house wellness market is reflecting this. ‘Home’ is the cradle of ones privacy and psychological health. The parallel here is the psychological problem of sensory deprivation in long duration spaceflight and possible countermeasures.
The aesthetic and technological developments driven by architects for home building bear valuable synergies for the space community and a wider cultural understanding of the dimension of Human spaceflight. If the synergies are developed more systematically, the concept of ‘home’ can serve as an analogue test facility for future space habitats.
– Stilwerk AG (Ed.). (2002). Wie schön wohnt die Zukunft? Stilwerk Trendstudie. Hamburg
– Trendbüro. (1999). Wohnen 2040 – Trendstudie Schöner Wohnen.
– Asendorf, C. (1997). Super Constellation – Flugzeug und Raumrevolution. Die Wirkung der Luftfahrt auf Kunst und Kultur der Moderne (Ästhetik und Naturwissenschaften). Springer Verlag Wien.
– Ruyter, B. d. (Ed.). (2004). 365 Days – Ambient Intelligence In Homelab. Eindhoven: Philips Research.
Biography: Andreas Vogler, dipl. Arch ETH
Born: 15 January 1964, Nationality: Swiss
Education: Studies Art History, German and French Literature, University of Basel and Berlin. Studies of architecture at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and Rhode Island School of Design, USA. Diploma 1994, dipl.Arch.ETH
Background: registered architect. Member of the AIAA DETC Aerospace Architecture Subcommittee. 2 years practice with Richard Horden Assoc., London. 6 years assistant professor at Institute of Architecture and Product Development, Univ. Prof. Richard Horden University of Technology Munich. Micro Architecture and Space Architecture Education programs with parabolic test flights at NASA-JSC Houston. Research on Microgravity and surface Habitats. Own office in Munich (Architecture and Vision) several prize-winning competitions. Study on Inflatables for ESA, Research professorship at Architecture School Copenhagen. Research Topic: “The House as a product”. Upcoming research fellowship at TU Delft topic: ‘Towards a Customized Industrial Concept House’. Currently preparing PHD about ‘Space-Age Housing’ at TU Delft.
Lynette Wallworth & Amanda McCrowley - Catching the Light – From Space to Sea
A mass explosion of coral polyps litters the waters of the Great Barrier Reef only once a year. Triggered by the phases of the moon each species along the enormous living structure of the reef releases its fertile bundles into the vast blackness of the night sea. They merge with another in the water column then carried by the currents, they skim along the under surface of the water until they settle and seed the beginnings of a new colony. As an artist one of my key research areas over the last 10 years has been an exploration of the living system of the Great Barrier Reef through collaborations with scientists. The GBR is the world’s largest living structure and the only one that can be seen from space. Less than 20 years ago the mechanism of annual mass coral spawning of the GBR was first observed by a team of Australian scientists, revealing the means by which this enormous and complex living organism has continued to grow. Current investigations are revealing the role of fluorescent pigments in shielding the coral from excessive light and the ability of the coral to release chemicals, which help to induce rain in their vicinity. They may be making their own weather. The more we know of the reef the more the Gaia model seems to be reflected in its ability to sustain itself. This massive organism speaks volumes about interconnected systems operating on the planet. In a work I am currently developing – building on research undertaken in the development of “Hold:Vessel 2001, in which I used deep space and deep sea imagery – I use the model of the reef and its complex interdependent systems as a window to generate an experience of interconnected reality. I deliberately design interactive installations that encourage the sensation of interconnectedness where the participant/viewer is essential to the revelation of the work.
The challenge for me as an artist is to make a space that emulates the sensation of belonging to the system, and therefore part of a connected thread of reliance. I attempt to deal with this challenge by building spaces that require the involvement of the participant/viewer in order for the work to be fully revealed. I structure spaces which establish an interdependence between the viewer and the vision while encouraging a temporary sense of community between participants. The imagery in these works moves from deep space to deep sea but without contextualizing moment to moment what is being observed. Microscopic marine algae merge with nebula and colliding galaxies fall into macro images of coral polyps. These works use the premise of extreme focus as a vehicle to an immersive experience. Akin to the focus of scientific exploration, they provide the viewer with a fragile glass viewing device as the means to catch and hold light beams of imagery falling into space. The world of the temporary environment mirrors the reef; a model of symbiosis is at play. The vision cannot be seen without the viewer, encouraging a sense of responsibility and a knowledge that the system is reliant. The potency of the model of the reef is clear and is reflected in my aim to build interactive environments that mirror the fragile nature of this complex environment.
This presentation will take as its starting point my current research and explore how I aim to provide a visceral sensation of belonging to the complex systems at play, from macro to microscopic through my work. The viewer is a participant in the unfolding drama of space and sea, caught and held by the vision of complex life forms.
Biography: Lynette Wallworth holds a New Media Arts Fellowship through the Australia Council for the Arts. She works in DVD installation, photography and short film, Her research for developing installations has included collaborations with Australian scientists and specialist cinematographers especially those working in underwater imaging techniques. Lynette was principal in the development of Big New Sites, produced by The Performance Space in Sydney, which placed visual and sound artists works in cinemas throughout Australia over a twelve-month period. For SBS Eat Carpet TV, Still Moving series a short film, ‘Nocturne 1’, looked at light pollution and the loss of darkness in urban spaces. In 2002 Lynette was Associate Director of the Adelaide Festival, she was a member of the curatorial and working committees for the Adelaide Biennial Exhibition, ‘ConVerge’ on collaborations between artists and scientists and Art of Dissent a national conference on dissent, politics and artists working with communities. For the Melbourne International Festival 2004 she presented Invisible by Night an interactive public projection piece that responded to touch. In the same year she presented Still:Waiting a responsive single channel DVD environment that reflects on protocols of first meetings across cultural difference. Her Fellowship is allowing her to research and develop a new series of installations through residencies in Iran, Massachusetts, Lode Star Observatory, New Mexico and in association with Dr Anya Salih from the Australian Key Centre for Microscopy and Microanlysis, Sydney University.
Amanda McDonald Crowley is a freelance cultural worker and curator working in contemporary arts and new media. She has presented at many international events, including ISEA98, Manchester/ Liverpool; Quintessence Summit, Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada; Sarai opening conference, Delhi, India; Museums Australia conference, Sydney, Australia; Multimedia Arts Asia Pacific panel at Asia Pacific Triennial, Brisbane, Australia; European Cultural Backbone meeting, Helsinki, Finland. Amanda has been a member of the Inter-Society for Electronic Arts in the 1990s and in 2003/04 has participated in UNESCO meetings to establish the Digi-Arts Young Digital Creators Program and has contributed to their facilitation of Asia Pacific networks.
Amanda was executive producer for ISEA2004. She was artsworker in residency at Sarai New Media Initiative in Delhi, India (Dec 2002 – Mar 2003). During 2002 she worked as a consultant to the New Media Arts Board of the Australia Council as Project Manager on Synapse, research and policy implementation for the Board’s art/science strategy; she was an expert assessor for the Australian Research Council and a lecturer in Public Art at the SA School of Art, University of South Australia. Amanda was Associate Director, Adelaide Festival 2002 and from 1995 to 2000 she was Director of the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT). Prior to this Amanda worked on a National Multimedia Training Strategy undertaken by Arts Training Australia. From 1990 to 1995, Amanda worked at the Australia Council for the Arts. 1988-1990 she was administrator of Electronic Media Arts (Australia), which ran the Australian International Video Festival.
Biography: Space artist, director of the OURS Foundation
Arthur Woods is a space artist. He spent his youth living near the Kennedy space center in Florida where he witnessed the beginning of the American space program and where he later worked during the Apollo program. He settled in Switzerland in 1974. In the mid-eighties he was one of several artists around the world who proposed to create art works in outer space. His 1985 O.U.R.S. – the Orbiting Unification Ring Satellite – project to put “a circle in the sky” symbolizing global unity and peace with the aim to celebrate the new millennium was developed substantially and resulted in much press attention. A prototype of the O.U.R.S. sculpture called OUR-SPS (OUR-Space Peace Sculpture) was manufactured in the Soviet Union by NPO Energia in 1990 with the goal to be deployed from the Mir space station in 1992 to promote peaceful cooperation in outer space and to celebrate the International Space Year. Although these early projects were never finally realized in space, they however led to the realization of two art-in-space projects: the spaceflight of the Cosmic Dancer Sculpture to the Mir space station in 1993 which was designed to investigate the properties of sculpture in weightlessness and to explore the introduction of art in a space habitat and, in 1995, “Ars Ad Astra: the 1st Art Exhibition in Earth Orbit” which sent 20 artworks from different artists to the Mir space station during the EuroMir95 mission in cooperation with the European Space Agency. Together with Patrick Gyger of the Maison d’Ailleurs, Arthur Woods co-managed the ITSF project: Innovative Technologies from Science Fiction for Space Activities initiated by ESA. He is founder and president the OURS Foundation and founder and CEO of Swissart GmbH that has developed and maintains “swissart.net” an online art portal in Switzerland. He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), a Fellow of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA) and a guest lecturer at the International Space University (ISU).
Bureaud Annick & Dubois Kitsou – The Embodiment of (Micro)Gravity. Kitsou Dubois’s Analogies : an Artistic and Aesthetic Experience, 2005
Fragra Tania – Earth and Space Sciences for Computer Art Works, 2005
Marmor Kathy – Practices of seeing: a bird’s eye view, 2005
Mautner Michael N. – Seeding the Universe with Life – Securing Our Cosmological Future, 2005
Polli Andrea – Interpreting the Data Environment, 2005
Observatoire Leonardo des Arts et des Techno-Sciences
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