The Artists as Space Explorers – April 1997

First Leonardo Space and the Arts Workshop April 13th 1997 – Boulogne- Billancourt – By invitation
This workshop uses English and French, therefore some of the texts presented here can be in English or in French or in both languages depending of what the participants have provided.

Table of contents:


If Space has always been the privileged support of the imagination and the subject of human representations, it has become, thanks to science and technology, an object and a possible place of artistic creation. But space art occupies a very special place in the international artistic landscape. Touching on the constituent myths of humanity, it brings into play technological knowledge and considerable financial sums. More than any other art, it can only exist in interdisciplinary exchange.
For the first time Leonardo’s space art working group and the art and literature committee of the International Academy of Astronautics as well as the OURS Foundation and Maximov publication are proposing a workshop to discuss artistic projects, and try to identify their stakes in the current conception of space. This meeting brings together artists, scientists, cultural as well as space professionals.

Si l’espace a toujours été le support privilégié de l’imagination et le sujet des représentations humaines, il est devenu, grâce à la science et la technique, un objet et un lieu possible de la création artistique. Mais l’art spatial occupe une place tout à fait à part dans le paysage artistique international. Touchant aux mythes constitutifs de l’humanité, il met en jeu des savoirs technologiques et des sommes financières considérables. Plus que tout autre art il ne peut exister que dans l’échange interdisciplinaire.

Pour la première fois le groupe de travail sur l’art spatial de Leonardo et le comité art et littérature de l’Académie Internationale d’Astronautique ainsi que the OURS fondation et Maximov publication proposent une rencontre pour examiner des projets artistiques, et tenter de cerner leurs enjeux dans la conception actuelle de l’espace. Cette rencontre rassemble un petit nombre de personnes directement impliquées dans ce domaine (artistes, scientifiques, spécialistes de cet art rare, professionnels de l’espace…)


The workshop is co-organized by Leonardo/OLATS, the OURS Foundation, the International Academy for Astronautics and Maximov publication.


Jacques Arnould - "S'arracher ou s'attacher : le dilemme posé par l'Espace à l'Environnement"

L’entreprise spatiale relève aujourd’hui de deux composantes. Une composante mythique qui honore la dimension exploratoire des personnes et des sociétés humaines ; une composante utile, progressivement reprise par l’économie de marche, qui assure par exemple les télécommunications et l’observation de la Terre. La première invite à s’arracher de notre planète, la seconde, au contraire, conduit a prendre au sérieux le milieu de vie.
Comment l’Espace peut-il relever le défi de tenir ensemble ces deux directions ?
“Space is in crisis and depression. But the reasons are not only politic or economic, not even scientific; the last 50 years have teached that these constraints could be overreached by a voluntary and finalised attitude: winning a military war (German V1 and V2), taking up a international challenge (Mission Apollo), increasing scientific knowledge (interplanetary missions), etc. Actual challenges are not missing: Alpha station, Mars, Earth observation. But the ‘sacred fire’ seems to have disappeared or to be reduced and public agencies have ever more difficulties to justify their annual budget. Is it necessary to spend so much money? ask the parliaments and governmental administrations. Space has to be faster, cheaper, better. And, finally: why space enterprise? It is not easy to find a response to this last question in official statements… but it is absolutely necessary to ask this question. Space Art offers a good example.
Of course, an artist never gives dogmatic, rational or intellectual justifications to his art. Why painting, dancing, carving? The only real answer consists in the work itself, the aesthetical motions it provokes, the new interrogations it creates. ‘Why?’ belongs to the dynamic of Art; this question obliges to search untiringly the fundamental roots of the human identity, what is not usual in ‘rational’ enterprises. In this case, art offers the occasion to consider Space and its human implications through others implications than scientific, technical or economical, through perspectives which belong also to the humanity: beauty, gratuity, capacity of dreaming, sense of transcendence, research of spiritual unity.
Space art is not the definitive response or justification of space enterprise. But it offers the opportunity (and perhaps the constraint) to manage, for example, more ‘efficiently’ the mythical and utilitarian dimensions of space activities, to implant more deeply one of the actual components of human evolution.
Jacques Arnould.

Biography: Diplomé de l’Institut National Agronomique de Paris-Grignon et de l’Ecole Nationale du Genie Rural des Eaux et des Forêts. Prêtre catholique dominicain, docteur en théologie. Collaborateur exterieur du CNES

⇧ Participants

Eva Belik et Josh Firebaugh

Biography: Eva Belik Firebaugh was born in 1969, in Brno, Czech Republic, defected to Montreal Canada in 1980, moved to the United States in 1985. She currently lives in Europe (since 1994).
Ms. Belik earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Rice University, Houston and a Bachelor of Art and Art History. Currently Ms. Belik works as an architect for the office of Jean Nouvel in Paris, France. She is a corresponding editor for the subjects of Eastern European Art and Solar Art. She is daughter of the kinetic artist Jaroslav Belik who was also published by Leonardo.

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Marco Bernasconi

Biography: Space engineer – He has collaborated with Arthur Woods on his space art projects for the last ten years. He is a Member of the International Academy of Astronautics and serves also on its Committee on Space Activities & Society . His activity there is aimed at emphasizing Astronautics, instead of toying with some space science and the “three little monkeys” of applications (telecom, remote sensing, navigation).

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Michael Bohme - Saving Earth and Exploring the Universe

The title of his speech could be: “Saving Earth and Exploring the Universe” Earth and Space are the two main themes in his art. His Space paintings are artistic explorations of imaginary worlds which invite the viewer to share in this form of space exploration.It is his intention to, not only excite the imagination of the viewers, but to make them ponder the question: Are we alone in the universe? And: Is humanity the crown of creation ?
Both the Earth and the Space themes of his paintings are intended to sensitize people`s interest to the most important challenges of its history: the preservation of its home planet Earth and the exploration of the universe. And space travel is one of the most important aspects of this explorations
His works hang in private and public collections and are shown in exhibitions and publications in Germany and abroad.
Earth and space are the two main themes of Michael Boehme´s art.
It is his intention to make a contribution with his pictures to make people aware of the two most important challenges of our times: to preserve nature, the basis for our survival and to continue the exploration of our universe by scientists research for example here on Earth and astronautics and astronomy are very important aspects of that exploration.
These two challenges are connected.
Mankind will only survive, if we overcome these two challenges
If nature dies it will cause a downfall for mankind and on the other hand we will have a decline, if we don’t work on our future and go on exploring the universe.
Or in other words, we have to go forward, but have to be careful not to cut of the brunch we are sitting on.
At first glance his Earth related pictures look harmonious, but this is the initial impression only. On closer contemplation, they are seen to depict Man`s dealing with nature and the outcome of this relationship, often defamiliarized and surreal, but always recognizable.
His space related pictures mainly deal with alien life.They show imaginative depictions of potential alien life, which are based on our known laws of nature.
Of course this is only one aspect of the exploration of the universe, but certainly of the most fascinating and stimulating aspects.
And alien life is a topic today, just after NASA had found indications for former life on Mars and after we have found for the first time in human history planets around far suns, the basis for potential alien life.
His pictures are doorways into unknown worlds. They deliberately invite the viewers to use their imagination and explore the worlds depicted therein.
And it is his aim to make with his art a contribution to the sociopolitical discussion about the necessity of space travel.
It is his intention to make people interested in his art who think critically about astronautics, those people who argue: Why should we go to the Moon or to Mars. It´s more important to solve our problems here on Earth.
Space Art has always been very useful to promote space travel.
But today there has to be found a form of presentation, which can convince people that we have to do both – to convince them, that space travel is a useful and necessary contribution to solve our problems today and in the future and can do that in the same way as the imperative protection of our nature.

Biography: Michael Böhme is a member of the Konstanz Art Association,the Esslingen Art Guild, Inter Art Stuttgart and the International Association for Astronomical Arts.

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Joël Boutteville

Biography: Directeur de l’agence ARTEL (organisation d’événements dans le domaine des arts électroniques)

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Benjamin Jay Britton - July 1999 will mark not only the eve of the millennium ...

July 1999 will mark not only the eve of the millennium, but also the 30th anniversary of humankind’s first manned exploration of the Moon. On this anniversary, we intend to organize a media event as a celebration of this historic landmark event by commercially publishing computer discs containing a mutual reality reconstruction of the lunar landing, by hosting a live Internet event on a major website with viewer traffic averaging over 10,000 simultaneous users, and by producing with industry partners an international television special to be aired during primetime; all these media will be used to link viewers in one medium to the others, to each other, and to the family of humanity.
We plan to build on our close relationship with industry partners in broadcast media, computer technology and in software development to bring to the public a celebration of the miraculous accomplishments made possible by people working together to achieve goals which would otherwise be impossible. Our goal is to instill in our viewers a recognition of the value of the global community to each of us. We will do this by utilizing advnced media capabilities and cross-publicizing each of them. Using state- of-the-art computer and television media, we will create a living, collaborating community, bringing people together in honor of the Moon and all it means to us.
This live Internet event will take place in mid-July 1999. The disc containing the mutual reality experiences and Internet links will continue to be distributed to the public, and all viewers from that time on will be able to find each other on the Internet simply by viewing the disc and returning to the virtual reality Moon Landing. These archival discs will be viewable for the foreseeable future; a record of our century’s celebration of this truly historic accomplishment, a manifestation of our contemporary culture.
We have built a beautiful model of the lunar lander and we have the ability to make this project at the highest technicla standards, including the floowing components:
– Historically accurate, virtual reality moon landing
– Complete virtual reality map of the Moon
– Statements about the voyage by the astronauts
– Archival film and video footage of the mission
– Live link to mutual reality Internet sites
Under the creative control of Benjamin Britton, As Principal Artist and Project Director, the Moon Landing is conceived as a work of art and as a contribution to our family of humanity, evocative of the many dimensions of human achievement and community, engaging and revealing the past in order to create in audiences hope for the future and to encourage their participation as individuals in the great efforts of human civilization.
copyright 1997 Benjamin Britton

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Annick Bureaud - Space Art and beyond

Biography: Groupe de travail Space Arts de Leonardo
Spécialiste d’art électronique. Responsable de l’association CHAOS, édite IDEA, le guide international des arts électroniques ainsi que la version online (IDEA online). Directrice artistique de ARTEL, agence organisant des évènements dans le domaine des arts éléctroniques. Critique d’art, free lance pour Art Press, membre du bureau éditorial de Leonardo. Membre du groupe de travail Leonardo Space and the Arts Projects, chargée de la biographie. Chargée de cours sur les arts électroniques à l’école d’art d’Aix-en-Provence.

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Richard Clar - Heaven and Earth: Lookin Up, Looking Down

Art Technologies, Beverly Hills, California
As we reach the end of the twentieth century and approach the new millennium, a unique opportunity exists for artists to create art that extends beyond traditional media and venues using the available technologies of the space age. The focus of my attention is on the creation of interdisciplinary art-in-space and art that utilizes data and processes related to various aspects of space that extend the parameters of Earth-bound art.
Two projects are described here: Space Flight Dolphin and Collision. Space Flight Dolphin is an art-in-space project designed to be deployed from the U.S. Space Shuttle into low-Earth orbit. An inflatable dolphin sculpture/satellite constructed from Nitinol–a shape memory alloy–will transmit a signal modulated by dolphin “voices” that maybe detected or sensed by extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI). Installations in various museums around the World and the World Wide Web (WWW) will enable large numbers of people from varied cultural backgrounds to listen to Space Flight Dolphin as it orbits the Earth.
Space Flight Dolphin was intended to fly aboard the U.S. Space Shuttle in the Get-Away Special Program (GAS). A reservation was made by NASA in 1982 and the payload number 445 was assigned . Get-Away Specials are 5-cu-ft canisters carried as secondary payloads in the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle. Prior to the disheartening explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger, one option available in the GAS program was an ejection system that could be used to deploy a small satellite. However, sometime after the Space Shuttle resumed operations, it was determined that ejectable payloads would no longer be flown in the GAS program. Instead, ejectable payloads could be flown in NASA’s Hitch Hiker program which utilizes the same hardware as the GAS program. The cost to fly an ejectable payload in the Hitch Hiker program exceeds one million U.S. dollars as opposed to a cost of approximately 150,000 U.S. dollars in the GAS Program.
A search is now under way to find an alternative lower-cost expendable launch vehicle to deploy Space Flight Dolphin.
Collision is a collaborative project with Los Angeles composer Mark Mantel. In this collaboration a “site-specific” interdisciplinary artwork and performance is being created by using known data on orbiting space debris around Earth to generate musical and visual information through a shared computer program.
In August of 1995, an orbiting constellation sculpture was created using 297 orbital debris objects. Using a massively paralleled computer, a simulation was done by the Naval Research Laboratory that shows the constellation sculpture set against a background of the entire orbital debris catalog (Fig.1). The orbital debris objects were color coded according to country of origin. Red for Russia, blue for the United States, yellow for the European Space Agency (ESA), and magenta for objects of unknown origin.
Our role as artists in this interdisciplinary “site-specific” work Collision will help to focus more attention on the important issue of orbital debris and emphasize our deep concern for progress and careful management of our near-Earth environment.
Richard Clar

Biography: Richard Clar from Art Technologies USA focuses his attention on the creation of art in space and art that utilizes data and processes related to various aspects of space. Subjects range from the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) to Orbital Debris. Richard’s work is interdisciplinary in nature and seeks to engage a broad audience from varied cultural backgrounds.

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Pierre Comte- Le Rêve spatial à l'épreuve des réalités

L’un des rêves les plus constant de l’humanité a été de pouvoir un jour atteindre la Lune et se promener dans les étoiles. C’est devenu possible avec la conquête spatiale. Ce fait ne pouvait laisser indiférent certains plasticiens.
Nous avons ainsi été quelques uns dans la décénnie 70 à rêver à ce nouveau domaine, à cette nouvelle dimension. Sans nous concerter et d’ailleurs sans nous connaître, nous avons établi les bases du SPACE ART.
Entendons par ce mot, non ps les représentations réelles ou supposées de paysages extra-terrestres (Lucien Rudeaux/Chesley Bonestell) mais des propopositions s’appuyany sur la technologie spatiale naissante pour en faire des actes esthétiques.
D’abord, trois définitions simples :
– Le SPACE ART peut être relié aux “Arts Technologiques” (Computer Art/Video Art/Art laser etc) sur le plan démarche : prise en compte de notre époque technologique. Par voie de conséquence hors d’un cadre pluridisciplinaire artistes-scientifiques-techniciens si l’on veut formuler des propositions crédibles et pouvant passer au stade de réalisation.
– Le SPACE ART est un dépositaire du rêve spatial.
J’ai personnellement défini et exploré depuis 1979 trois domaines possibles d’intervention :

Concept basé sur l’utilisation à des fins esthétiques des sattelites d’observation de la Terre.
Moyen : Réalisation d’installation sur le sol terrestre dont les caractèristiques techniques permettront d’être parfaitement visibles et lisibles pour un satellite précis.
Résultat : L’installation au sol demande l’intervention de participants divers et parfois nombreux. Le groupe vit alors une aventure exaltante en contact direct avec l’Espace (voir ma “Signature Terre” de 1989).
Le lien psychologique Terre-Espace est ainsi créé. Il est ensuite relié et amplifié par les média, toujours friands d’opérations sortant de l’ordinaire.

Concept basé sur l’élaboration de nouveaux “outils satellites” à des fins esthético-philosophiques.
C’est le domaine où s’est investi le plus grand nombre de plasticiens.
Dans tous les cas il s’agit de réaliser des sortes de happenings soatiaux visibles à l’oeil nu pour l’ensemble des habitants de notre planète.
Moyen : Systèmes additifs à vocation événementielle plaçés sur des satellites avant lancement, lancement et mise en orbite de satellites spécifiques événementiels, larguage de dispositifs événementiels divers depuis une navette, par exemple.
Résultat : L’extrême ambition de ce type de projet n’a d’égal que son extrême difficulté pour le mener à bien : haute technicité, financement, oppositions diverses et parfois violentes etc. Aucun projet de ce genre n’a encore vu le jour. Cependant, des idées jugées “exotiques” dégagées par certains de ces projets peuvent donner naissance à de nouevelles filières technologiques (voir le cas de mon Groupe Arsat).

Concept basé sur l’épanouissement d’un art spatial “in situ”.
Moyen : Expérimentation dans le milieu spatial même ou sa simultaion (vols paraboliques) utilisant les propriétés de ce milieu à des fins esthétiques.
Résultat : Il s’agit de la phase la plus explorative du SPACE ART, la recherche d’un art non soumis à l’attraction terrestre et produisant un résultat esthétique impossible à envisager au sol. Probablement une nouvelle forme d’art qui se développera au 21ème siècle et qu’il faudra aller visiter “in situ” ! (voir le résultat vidéo de mon “ALPHA” du Zéro G.Art).
L’épreuve des réalités montre que si le concept TERRE-ESPACE est parfaitement réalisable (je prépare en ce moment une seconde création en ce domaine), le concept ESPACE-TERRE est pour le plasticien d’une complexité extrême. En revanche, le concept ESPACE-ESPACE est, je pense, plein d’avenir.
Pierre Comte

Biography: Artiste et président de l’association ARSAT
Malgré de nombreuses initiatives, projets et même réalisations à l’actif de Pierre Comte (avec le CNES, l’ESA) , le Space Art est loin d’être une démarche évidente et reconnue en France et en Europe.
Le problème se complique encore lorsque la recherche esthétique donne naissance à une filière spaciale novatrice. Pourtant, une part de l’art du prochain millénaire est peut-être là.

⇧ Participants

Kitsou Dubois

Biography: Chorégraphe, travaille à partir de recherche sur l’espace et sur l’apesenteur.

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William K. Hartmann - Astronomical painting and a science/art connection

The more I have pursued painting as an adjunct to my planetary science career, the more deeply I have thought about the relationship between science and other approaches to creativity and knowledge. I remain convinced that the scientific method is the best way to understand our relationship to the universe, but painting has also made me aware of the limitations of science as it has evolved in the 20 th century.
Science, by its analytic nature, trains practitioners in various specialties : One astronomer studies the universe through spectroscopy ; another through polarimetry or photogeology based on spacecraft photos; another through theorical dynamical calculations. in our culture, only the artist synthesizes these to address the question, « What would it be like to visit this planet or this nebula in person ? », «What would that object be like as a place ? »
A perfect example comes from asteroid studies. Many astronomers, (including myself) have spend significant parts of careers measuring the colors and reflectivities of asteroids of various compositional classes, expressing results in the 2000 years old system of magnitudes. Amazingly, I have not encountered a single astronomer who can say what paint pigment a given set of B-V and V-R (etc) colors and albedo corresponds to. The measures may indicate a « red »as opposed to « blue » , but would the asteroid appear wram grey, tan, brown, copper-red, or what ? In other words, after 40 years of « measuring asteroid colors », none of us can say what color an asteroid is, in the conventional sense !
Another example comes from the lunar landings. The moon itself is a fairly dark grey object by numerical standards. The lava plains are dark grey basaltic rocks and powders, for example. A naive scientist who wanted to to paint a lunar scene might select dark grey pigments that match those properties; yet painters have learned that the result would be a muddy, uninteresting, and « unrealistic » view. Indeed, I havec heard Apollo astronauts speak of how bright the surface seemed; one landing area was described as looking like a bright Alpine ski valley. « Numbers don’t lie », so how can this be ? You quickly perceive the answer by standing on a black asphalt street under a bright streelight at night; the surrondings are dark and the surface looks bright. From this we learn that a painter has to make a choice of what « reality » to present, and we generally paint not the « numerical reality » but the sensations that human being would perceive in the an environment – the way it looks, the way it feels. To put it the way an Impressionist painter might have : we paint not objects but light.
From these lines of thought, I have come to the opnion that science studies a smaller fraction of reality than many scientists believe; mostly it is the narrow facets of reality that our particular instruments can measure. In any case, while the scientist beaks apart and analyzes, the artist gathers togethers and synthesizes all the availble knowledge that can be brought to bear about a place. The broader your base of knowledge and experience, the better your painting will be.
I my own astronomical paintings my goal is to make something esthetically beautiful from our discoveries about the rest of universe. To me, the discoveries about other worlds are so fantastic that we do not need to go very far outside the bounds of realism to make interesting images, although I like my images to have a certain interest at he abstract compositional and sometimes textural levels.
In the painting I have chosen here, I placed the observer 54 000 km beyond the moon. I wanted the observer to sense that the world « environment » no longer applies just to local meadows and streams, but to a larger cosmic environment which has unfolded from the days of Copernicus to the days of Mars landings. To me it is a pleasure to try to synthesize all we know into a painting. Examples here include the red backlighting of the earth atmosphere, and the reflection of the full moon (as seen from Earth) in the ocean at the center of Earth’s disk. The solar « rays » don’t correspond directly to « numerical reality », but to a blend of the « real » solar corona and the human perception of looking into a dazzling light, which involves phenomena in the eyeball and brain
by William K. Hartmann, Senior scientist, Planetary Science Institute, Tuscon, AZ, USA

Biography: Dr. William K. Hartmann is known as a planetary scientist as well as being a painter and writer. He is on the imaging team of NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor mission and has an asteroid named for him in recognition of his research. He has participated in shows in Moscow, Montreux, Washington DC and elsewhere, and had two paintings commissioned by the NASA Fine Arts

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Richard Kriesche - ARTSAT

The space problem in terms of art and culture is centered in the metaphysical questions of humanity, regarding both: the ‘out of body reality’ – transcending materiality, as well as the ‘beyond the innerbody reality’, – transcending materbiology.

“ARTSAT” has been the first art-experiment in the history of the russian space program. One orbit of MIR has been ‘bought’ for this art project. The task for the Austrian cosmonaut on board of MIR has been only to watch the earth during the whole orbit and by it’s end deliver his upcoming thoughts live to the ORF tv-station. The speech – approx. 3 minutes- has generated live a score and has been HEARD and SEEN live on a special prepared piano. The speech has also been transfered into a special set up of welding robot, which MATERIALIZED the sound-speechstructure onto a polished steel sheet (3 meters diameter)

(Note: This text has been written in 1989 for the ,ARTSAT” publication. The Scottisch sheep ,dolly” didn’t exist yet. Whereas the publication ,animal art” of the same year had it’s focus already on patenting of animals, copyright on art and nature, etc.)
(…),ARTSAT” is a project with the background of an attempt to redefine the lost unity of science, nature and art. In this way the project emerges from the background of an ecological, art-theory based, and holistic view of the world. In this art-theory the earth proves to be the paradigmatic artwork that has to be safed and sheltered. This is the art’s paradoxon now to protect nature in the context of a totally artificial, rational, and denaturalized reality. Reconsidering earth as one common environment demands from the arts to develop a model for survival of/in reality, determined by scientific and engineering intelligence. This further demands bordercossing between disciplines, ideologies, religions and cultures, but it finally demands ,bordercrossing” of art itself in order to meet the pretension of meshing with life on earth beyond market, money and museum. Then aesthetics -far away from artworks- totally refering to life on earth per se is about to become the new ethics. 30 years after the first flight into space by Juri Gagarin, which also means 30 years of military, technical, scientific technological and economical exploitation of space, ,bordertime” has come to remodel the cultural dimensions of space in regard to the earthbound conditions of living.
By now space and nanoworlds merge. In the view and to cope with this high degree of abstraction of the macro- and microspaces with their anavoidable interdependence and upcoming togetherness, only art as practise in ,nowhere space” is asked for. The abstraction, conceptualisation of art is becoming reality. There are many clues to wether our cultural conditioning might be the main obstacle for colonizing new spaces_codeword: The human as the errorsource. The question in its most radical form therefor is the colonization of “nowhere spaces”: Up to which degree are we willing or able to TECHNICALLY CONDITION ourselves in order to colonize ,nowhere spaces”? or asking differently: Up to which degree must we CULTURALLY DECONDITION ourselves in order to colonize the ,nowhere spaces”?(…)
HS.prof. mag. richard kriesche

Biography: 1940 born in Vienna,
1964 diploma for graphics and painting at the academy of fine arts, Vienna, founder of the department for audio-visual media ;
1970/71 research grant to university college London, GB
1984 research grant to WPA (Washington project for the arts),Washington, USA.
1985/86 research grant to M.I.T. , Albert and Vera list visual arts centre at the “media lab” , Cambridge, USA – 1988-91 teaching profession at the technical university Vienna : aesthetics of scientific and technological processes’
1991/96 professor at the hochschule fuer gestaltung Offenbach/Main – theory and practice of electronic image production’.
1995/96 professorship at the “ecole nationale superieure des beaux arts Paris for electronic media art” –
since 1996 vice director of the science & research department of the austyrian government.
Exhibitions since 1963 : one man shows at the museum of modern art Los Angeles; museum moderner kunst Wien; Massachusetts institute of technology, MIT media lab- list visual art center, Cambridge; Washington project for the arts, Washington;
DOCUMENTA 6, and 8 Kassel – ARS ELECTRONICA, Linz, 1989, 1994.
ARTSAT – SPACESTATION MIR (first art project in the history of the russian spaceflight on the spacestation MIR, 1991.)
The talk will be about the russian space flight project.

⇧ Participants

Roger F. Malina

Biography: Groupe de travail Space Arts de Leonardo.
Roger Malina (Ph.D.) est directeur de Leonardo, revue internationale spécialisée dans le domaine des arts et des sciences. Il est aussi directeur de la revue Leonardo Electronic Almanac sur Internet. Astrophysicien, il est directeur du Center for EUV Astrophysics à l’University of California (Berkeley).

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Macgregor S Reid

Christine Maxwell

Publication Maximov

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Hervé Moulin

Biography: Comité Art et littérature de l’académie internationale d’astronautique

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Jean-Marc Philippe - A quest for universality through art and space

From my point of view, space offers artists a palet of tools and opportunities through which they can depict Man in an unusual way, showing his potentialities and achievements.
Personally, I am currently working at two projects linking art and space, which seek to excite the imagination of people of all ages and cultures. They hope to add to our sense of pride of human achievements to date and at the same time, to strengthen our sense of responsibility towards our unique environment, Planet Earth.
Briefly described, the first project, “the Archeological Bird of the Future” is a satellite that will be sent on orbit and will circle around Earth for some 100 000 years before coming back to its native soil, safe and sound.
It will thereby act as our messenger to our distant descendants, delivering to them, intact, our common offering :
1- The messages that all of us, inhabitants of today’s Earth, wish to pass on to the future,
2- A collection of our current customs, the knowledge of our times and state of development, like a contemporary “Library of Alexandria”.
This information – the thoughts, hopes and secrets or the distress and revolt of our contemporaries worldwide – will be made available to the large public, after the launch of the satellite, planned for the change of millennium, year 2001.
The second project, called “the Sphere of Mars”, consists of a small threadlike sphere that will land on Planet Mars thanks to one of the forthcoming probes to the planet. Its shape memory alloy central parts will then start to transform their shape, in harmony with the temperatures of the Martian ground. While its heart will be closed at night, it will discover at daytime a present from Planet Earth to Planet Mars : an artificial diamond containing four symbolic inclusions, characteristic of the Earthen development – water from the ocean, air from the atmosphere, arable soil and granite. This present will be signed by us all trough the symbolic engraving of the DNA double helix on the diamond.
Pictures of the Sphere of Mars will be sent back to Earth for the time of the scientific experimentations ; it will then be freed to pursue its destiny under the Martian winds.
Whereas these projects are clearly aimed at my human counterparts, I think that my next projects will be intended for a sort of universal consciousness, possibly existing in space like electromagnetic fields or gravitation fields do, but still inaccessible to our senses or knowledge. (Think of the magnetic fields that give birth to Northern LightsÉ we are unable to feel them).
In this vein, I hope to be able to present soon a project entitled “Earth/Space Electromagnetic Ballet” : since it will not be directly accessible to our senses, a simulation will be made so as to allow us to perceive it tangibly. I thereby hope to spur emotion and help raise questions on the existence of unaccessible dimensions.

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Josette et Jean-Jacques Runavot

Alexandre Szames

Biography: Vit et travaille à Paris. Né en 1970 – maîtrise de Sciences de Gestion, Diplôme National Superieur d’Etudes Plastiques (Ecole Nationale d’Art(s) de Cergy Pontoise) (en cours) – Membre de la commission Exploration de la Société Astronotique de France. A présenté deux communications aux sessions étudiantes des congrés de la Fédération Internationale d’Astronautique (IAF) : “the MSGP or Mars Scientific Glider Project” (IAF-ST.84-07) et “MSGP II : report on Phase “A”, BAsic studies” (IAF – ST -87-02)
Intérêts particuliers : recherche fondamentale et recherche exploratoire, toutes techniques de propulsion (avancée, exotique et énigmatique), épistémologie, histoire, théologie, polémologie et géostratégie.

⇧ Participants

Claudine Varesi- S P A C E A R T A N D L I F E

We could talk for hours about the meaning of art and its role in the world.
Our contemporary time is a period of great change and upheaval in every area of human activity and art, being a testimony of it’s time, is challenging artists to produce the kind of work that can bring back some sense to it all.
What is happening in the developement of art in general throughout the world can be well seen as a representation of the individual and collective processes that human beings are subjected to. We can observe that art has a tendency to search for expression beyond a simple esthetic expression, and it is trying to recover it’s original intention which always has been one of inspiration and vision.
Art which is dedicated to the exploration of space is still considered by many as very scientific and technical. From its beginning, this has been so, and it is correct, but it is definitely only one of the aspects of this form of art.
The other aspect is less obvious, but equally true, being this its inspiring pioneer vision. Space art is intuitive, and becoming more engaged with our planetary life and environement.
Space exploration needs science, as well as creativity, to bring forward information that permits us to understand and visualize our place in the universe. From our place in the scheme of things we have to admit that the ultimate reason for all of this is the preservation of Life.
One of my artworks was selected for Ars ad Astra: The first Art Exhibition in Earth Orbit which wass flown on the Mir space station as a part of EuroMir 95. This experience offered me a new perspective over my own artistic work. To have an artwork flown to space and to have the astronauts colaborate with their time and attention on this project during the four months the paintings were on board, was stimulating and revealing. It tells me how human beings, no matter where they are or what their endeavours might be, will always profit from the presence of art as a way to access other dimensions of thought and emotion. Art invites to meditation, and offers inspiration.
It was gratifying to hear the Mir cosmonauts talk about their experience with the paintings during the live-video transmission was held with them at the Euro space Center in Transinne, Belgium. They expressed satisfaction for having received abundant food for thought from the paintings and how much they enjoyed having the beautiful colors and the images in their usually very sterile and technical space station environement. It was also very interesting to realize how the representation of images such as water, children and earth, made themselves impressionable in their perceptive appreciation.
Claudine Varesi

Biography: Claudine Varesi grew up between Mexico, Peru, and Switzerland. Studied art at the Kunstgewerbe schule ZH, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, danced with the Maria Retivoff Modern Dance Group, studied Cinematography with the Peruvian film director Armando Robles Godoy, as well as voice training, psychology and philosophy.
One of her paintings was flown to the MIR station as part of the Ars ad Astra space exhibition organized by the OURS Foundation. She teaches color theory to groups of students, as well as the use of color for therapeutical applications.
Her experience with different froms of creative expression give her the sense of unity she is searching. Life and the Cosmos interest her profoundly.
Her oil, acrylic, and silk paintings are an intent to formulate the relationship of man/womankind as the token between the micro- and macro-cosmos.

⇧ Participants

Arthur Woods - Space Artist

Growing up in the vicinity of Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy space Center in Florida (1959-1970), I witnessed the beginnings of the U.S. space program. I was employed at the space center in the summers of 1967 and 1968 during the Apollo program. These unique experiences later influenced my artistic development and interest in space.
In 1984 I initiated a project to put a visible “circle in the sky” in the year 2000 to celebrate our passage into the next millennium. This project called: OURS – the Orbiting Unification Ring Satellite, entailed the construction of a one kilometer in diameter orbital structure in space. I founded the OURS Foundation – a non-profit cultural and astronautical organization to be a vehicle for the project’s development. To explore the technological options a prototype of the OURS was developed which I called the OUR – Space Peace Sculpture. This inflatable sculpture was designed to be deployed during the 1992 International Space Year as a way to promote and symbolize international cooperation in space. Various exhibitions of the project took place which also invited public participation. In 1988 an agreement was signed with Glavcosmos of the U.S.S.R. to deploy the OUR-SPS from the Mir space station during a spacewalk. In 1990 a full sized mock-up of the OUR-SPS was built by NPO Energia. Due to the uncertainties associated with the dissolution of the Soviet Union – this project had to be canceled.
Taking advantage of the Russian openness to private ventures within their space program, the Cosmic Dancer Sculpture project was proposed and then launched to the Mir space station in May 1993. The Cosmic Dancer Sculpture is a geometric painted sculpture measuring 35 x 35 x 40 cm and weighing exactly 1 kilogram. The purpose of the project was to investigate the qualities of sculpture in weightlessness and to explore the integration of art into the world’s space programs in space. The space environment allowed the sculpture to be viewed from all possible angles and gave a independent kinetic quality to the sculpture as it spun freely in space.
The cosmonauts interacted with the sculpture in a dancing fashion, compared the sculpture to free floating globules of water and made a 30 minute video of their experiences with the sculpture inside the Mir environment. To my knowledge the sculpture is still on Mir.
In 1995, I initiated Ars Ad Astra: the first art exhibition in Earth orbit as a means to open the door to space to artists around the world. This project was realized in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) as a part of their EuroMir 95 mission. An international competition was organized around the theme “Space & Humanity” and 20 art works and an electronic archive consisting of one art work from each participating artist were selected for the flight to Mir. The Mir crew then selected one art work from the twenty to stay on board. Their decision was relayed during a video live link up which took place at the Euro space Center in Transinne Belgium in November 1995.
Still thinking about the year 2000, in 1995 I exhibited the SEEDS – Synergizing Earth’s Evolutionary Development Spacewards – project at the 46th International Astronautical Congress in Oslo, Norway. This project is currently under development and has the goal to send objects containing organic seed material into space as a way to further and sustain the evolution of life originating on Earth.
My current project is called “ars astronautica” which is an Internet Web site dedicated to promoting the arts associated with space and to promote the cultural dimensions of space development. The address is : http://www.spaceart.net

Biography : Artiste et responsable du Comité Art et littérature de l’Académie Internationale d’Astronautique, président de OURS foundation
He will speak about the Cosmic Dancer Sculpture and the Ars Ad Astra projects on the Mir space station. He will also speak about the new web site ars astronautica and how he plans to use Internet to launch a new space art project.

⇧ Participants


Bureaud Annick – Space Art and beyond, 1997


The original website of the conference