Takuro Osaka – "The New art education of micro gravity environment" -The new art education which is supported by engineering, psychology, and astronauts – 2005


First publication symposium workshop The Impact of Space on Society: Cultural
Aspects, in collaboration with IAA and Millenaris, Budapest, 2005

From 2001 to 2003 NASDA (present: JAXA-JAPAN Aerospace Exploration Agency) researched on the “possibilities of art in space age” with four art universities in Japan. As a member of the project team, I had valuable experiences. One of them was the interviews with astronauts. And the other was the art experiments that I could do during two parabolic flights.

The lesson I have drawn from the interviews with the astronauts is “the relationship between the viewpoint from outer space and the fate of human beings”. Especially I was deeply impressed by Takao Doi, an astronaut who paints. Floating out of Space Shuttle and looking at the earth, he strongly felt that human beings never get any new discovery nor enthusiasm nor moral without having a viewpoint from outside of the earth. The new ethics that changes the way of living as repeating wars and destruction, and the consciousness that is trying to find a new way, may not come into being without having a viewpoint from outside of the earth. In 20 years thinkers and artists will have opportunities to board the ISS (International Space Station). Then the ISS will become a new thinking circuit for human beings which produces super earth consciousness. Through utilization and development of outer space based on the ISS, we will be able to see a new world. In such an opened world by science and technology, it would be the role of art to propose how to live. And it would be the role of design to propose rich environment for life. I gave lectures about this idea at art universities in Zurich, Berlin and Jordan in 2003 and 2004. And here are two concrete examples I did in art classes in 2004 and 2005. These were educational programs on the theme of “space and art, gravity-free space and design “.

"0 Gravity play installation"

(A year class for the second and the third year student, Constructive Art Course, School of Art and Design, University of Tsukuba )

Each student makes a presentation of play installation on the basis of gravity-free space. The aim is to take another look to consider art and design through this study. Life is, so to speak, a fight against gravity. Babies become beings able to stand up and walk, and after living a social life independently they will be ill in bed and finish their lives. All household belongings such as houses, tables and tableware are designed based on the structure to resist gravity. Although we can find many sculptures which themes are free from gravity, the marks of struggling remain on its construction. In 20 years people in several type of job will live in the gravity-free space of the ISS.

Then, what kind of household belongings will we need there? Thinking about art and design, students were given a concrete subject such as play instrument or installation. Play instrument was a request from astronauts. First of all, students had to understand such a peculiar environment as gravity-free space. In order to embody their ideas, they needed back up from different fields. Fortunately they got support such as swimming pool facility and help from JAXA and School of Comprehensive Human Sciences. So the yearly class became exciting for the students. Other programs such as visiting the astronaut training institute, attending lectures by astronauts and technical staff of JAXA, and simulating gravity-free space in a swimming pool helped the students to create their works of art. The themes picked up by students werethe following: including black humor, as an instrument to heal the residents’ hearts in outer space, gravity-free kaleidoscope, floating light instrument, pet in space and fire works of LED. As a life tool, tool to drink, relaxation costume, floating traveling tool for handicapped people and clock of mass. As an entertainment, gravity-free dance and performance.

In February 2005 the exhibition which shows these results was held in an institute of JAXA and received various response from general audiences.

"The Odyssey of Light-Earth, Cosmos and Human heritage"

Light art event: the 50th anniversary on normalization of diplomatic relations between Jordan and Japan ( Roman heritage in Jerash Jordan 3rd-8th September 2004)

The purpose of this exhibition was “young people from the Middle East and Asia throw light of hope to the future, looking at the continuous war history of human beings in the heritage”. In the first lecture for students to create art works, I strongly appealed for significance of having the viewpoint from outer space by showing images and comments by astronauts. And I made it a condition that the theme is a communication that beyond the spaces, and they make art works from only waste materials and light from ecological point of view. The actual collaboration works were done by using e-mail and interactive television for students’ meeting. The art works by Japanese students were set up and exhibited by counter partner students when they arrive in Jordan. On the stage of 135 meters long heritage that was lightened up with stage lighting, forty of art works by twenty two students from University of Tsukuba and Yarmouk University were exhibited. At the opening over two hundreds people gathered and could share their impression in both countries. I would like to continue extending international events based on the global point of view which can share pleasure of creation by using new communication tools and media. It is not a empty dream anymore for us to consider art and design including outlook in outer space. The advance into space, that may affect human existence, is one of the dreams of human beings. Going ashore and leaving the mother earth, the consciousness of all the people transcend to the new next level with shock. Then we are faced with the need of recreating our social structure. Now is the very time of this shock. The people who can recreate the new structure are the one with global point of view. I hope that the people who have the universal experience and intention play the important part to generate the new consciousness and transfer it to the next generation.

© Takuro OSAKA & Leonardo/Olats, mars 2005 / republished 2023