“SPACE DANCE IN THE TUBE, EXPERIENCE AND EXPRESSION” – HOW TO GET BACK THE KINETIC SENSE, HOW TO EXPRESS THE UNITY IN THE SPACE

2 03 2009

By FUKUHARA TETSURO

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“Space Dance in the Tube” is an exhibition, a workshop, and a performance with a new communication based on the whole body to get an awareness about the familiar relationship between the body and the space.. Now we have 6 spaces for this project using by 6 tubes, “Space for Balance”, “Space for Darkness”, “Space for Light”, “Space for Play Tag”, “Space for Posture”, and “Space for Real & Virtual.” We think that this project is very useful for scientific education, communication, experience of art & science, new experience of rehabilitation, developing a health.

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Yuichi Takayanagi, Director of Tama Science Museum, Ex-Commentator of NHK TV

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ARTISTIC PROPOSALS ON CULTURAL APPLICATION OF JEM 2009 ISS ART EXPERIMENT PROGRAM

2 03 2009

By TAKURO OSAKA

“If I were to create art in space, it would be composed of light.” Souichi Noguchi, the Japanese astronaut, commented after the STS-114 mission to artists at a debriefing session held at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts & Music in October 2005. He stated that through his visual experience in outer space, he felt that light had an artistic
potential in space. The statement was a great inspiration for me as a creator of light art and as a professional who conducts studies on space and art, and gave me the opportunity to write this paper. (Mission Debriefing Session by Astronaut Noguchi, 2005)

In 2008, when the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) “KIBO” will be docked to the ISS (International Space Station), the pilot mission for artistic experiments will begin. Prior to this mission, since 1996, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) has been conducting research on the effective application of cultural-social sciences to JEM, and since 2000, has carried out experiments pursuing the theme “Potential of Art in Space”.

The artistic experiments in the space shuttle by astronauts Doi (STS-87 Mission, 1997) and Noguchi (STS-114 Mission, 2005) are from this project. The present paper will report on the artistic experiments that started in 2000 and introduce the designs of the art pilot mission to be launch in 2008, and discuss the potential of art in space.

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THE MACHINES ABOVE US: AN OVERVIEW OF THE ‘CELESTIAL MECHANICS’ NEW MEDIA ARTWORK

2 03 2009

By SCOTT HESSELS

1 Image 1: Low Earth-orbiting Satellites

INTRODUCTION

The mechanical chaos above our heads affects us directly in an astounding array of ways. The technologies we take for granted, as banal as the GPS in our cars and our mobile phones, are nearly all airborne. Our communications, our media, our military, our science, our security, and our safety are all tied to mechanical superstructures drifting silently above us. Although we can’t see them or touch them, they too are part of what N. Katherine Hayles describes as the post-human tendency to physically extend ourselves through technology.

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LIMITS OF COGNITION: ARTISTS IN THE DARK UNIVERSE

1 03 2009

By ROGER F MALINA

Discoveries in cosmology reveal that 97% of the energy and matter content of the universe is in a form that is of an unknown nature, called dark matter and dark energy. For all of human history, our species has been studying only the same kind of matter that it is made of (baryonic matter), and this matter and energy is a minor constituent of the world. The human senses are very badly designed to investigate the total content of the world.

Science and technology have led to the development of a large range of different kinds of instruments to allow us to perceive parts of the world below the thresholds of our unaided senses. Other kinds of instruments allow us to access parts of the world that emit energy of a kind that our senses cannot even detect in principle. There seems to be an innate human urge to continue exploring current limits of our perceptual systems, building new cognitive territories. Such a urge would presumably have survival advantages for the human species resulting in a selective advantage during human pre-history. Now they provide the ground for development of new human cultures.

The role of artists is essential in helping us develop the kinds of intuitions, new metaphors, explanatory concepts, and linguistic elements that are needed as we explore the new extreme territories, from micro to macro scale. As scientists continue to extend the limits of perception and cognition, artists have an important role in shaping the science of the future and new possibilities for art-science collaboration exist..

New generations of artists are sufficiently trained in science to begin to contribute actively to the exploration of these extreme environments. Artists in residence, such as the one co sponsored by the Leonardo organization at the Space Sciences Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley, are helping to provide platforms for new art-science collaborations. Through such collaborations we can imagine that the experience of extreme environments will become culturally appropriated with the development of new languages, analogical and metaphorical frameworks and indeed new intuitions that will frame our imagination and artistic and scientific futures.

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NORMAL TO AN ABNORMAL DEGREE

28 02 2009

By MIKE PHILLIPS

This paper discusses interventions made by the author and collaborators into the extreme territories that lie outside ‘normal’ human frames of reference. In the space-between the speed of a building, the collective archetypal view from space and the frame-by-frame memory of a catastrophe, lies a new perspective that relocates us from the foreground to the vanishing point. The view through the Albertian window has lost its relevance, it is no longer reassuring, it just doesn’t look ‘normal’ anymore.

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WUNDERKAMMER: WEARABLES AS AN ARTISTIC STRATEGY

24 02 2009

By LAURA BELOFF

INTRO:

Many of us are currently, and possibly permanently, living in a hybrid space conditioned by the use of mobile and wireless technologies. This space, which emerges from our technological condition, has been scrutinized by various theorists and researchers during recent years. Amongst others, Timo Kopomaa has written about the concept of a third space, Anthony Townsend about phonespace, and Adriana de Souza e Silva has defined the more general concept of hybrid space which is formed from a merge of physical and virtual spaces.

Our use of technology is generally limited to standard applications and commercial ready-mades, which commonly exhibit a very functional and task-oriented approach to technology. The wider possibilities of hybrid space are often left unnoticed due to the ordinary and pre-defined perspectives offered by mobile devices available for consumers.

The focus of my research is in artistic experiments and works which investigate and refer to concepts of hybrid space, ubiquitous computing, the individual third space and/or phonespace. These works enable a person to experience hybrid space in a different manner than from standardized perceptions. They aim at directing the focus away from a functionally-oriented approach to hybrid space, towards a more conceptual approach. In my practice I have introduced the figure of the hybronaut; a person coupled with an artistic wearable device. The hybronaut exists within and continuously explores hybrid space. By simply focusing on being rather than doing, the hybronaut refers to the wider phenomenon of technology within our society and in our future.

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THE MARTIAN ROSE (2007): EXPOSING A ROSE TO MARTIAN ENVIRONMENT

22 02 2009

By HOWARD BOLAND and LAURA CINTI

Our cultural concept of Mars has historically been entrenched with its possibilities of life since Lowell gazed at Schiaparelli’s canali over a century ago. Perhaps a small misinterpretation of language, an optical illusion or the dream of an optimist unlocked the myth of a war torn planet where unrivalled irrigation skills implied markings of intelligent creatures (Lowell, 1909). With new discoveries and development of technological tools, Mars has become reduced from inhabiting man-like creatures to worms, plants and gradually only a potentiality of microbes. Indeed, many scientists shared this disappointment as the Mariner orbiters first laid their eyes on a hostile planet engulfed in dust. Beginning with the Viking mission, the raging dust storms’ settled and its two Landers unravelled for the first time the alien world of Mars – a dry rocky desert covered in iron oxide yielding the ochre-red hue as well as its name, the red planet. Hitherto the only set of tests for carbon life probing Martian soil showed incomplete but daunting results. Its controversy sparked a complete re-thinking of ‘what life is’ and ‘where we can find it’. The robotic invasion of Mars has since re-awoken its potential, catalyzing a range of new research disciplines drawn to the possibilities of finding life. The red planet remains a frontier for life through its history both as a cultural and scientific space. Our engagement attempts to open artistic areas in primarily scientific spaces and to address cultural aspects and experiences that also take place. The Martian Rose is an artistic investigation into boundary conditions of life beyond terrestrial settings.

The Martian Rose developed from a previous work that provocatively examined notions of culture and nature by introducing genetically modified plants into pristine wilderness. A journey deep into Mexico opened a hyperreal and bioinvasive exploration aimed at investigating genetically altered living systems and their interaction with our culture and ecosystem. Thereby, challenging frontiers surrounding constructions of nature, belonging and otherness. Keeping within this bearing, we turned our attention to more recent frontiers and production of life in these realms. This led us to a world beyond our own, researching possibilities of life outside Earth. Mars is often referred to as our final frontier because it evokes a sense of wonder and mystery that science fiction valiantly tries to capture (De Goursac, 2005).

Whilst scientific research has become increasingly sensitive to questions of ‘what life is’ and ‘where can we find it’ by probing new chemical and atmospheric configurations; interdisciplinary fields combining genetics, space- and nanotechnology have emerged posing a challenge to the search path for life and consequently to trajectories of an extraterrestrial dream. The question ‘of life’ in this context is all of a sudden reconfigured to: Can we create life outside of Earth?

Our interest started with the long leaping idea of creating life for Mars.

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