Celestial Vault

Celestial Vault, Tefan Gec, 2003. Photo Nathan Cox
Celestial Vault, Tefan Gec, 2003. Photo Nathan Cox

Utilising the vast TsF-18 centrifuge in Star City, Stefan Gec physically recorded the G-force exerted by the centrifuge on a celestial globe.

Globes have a long history of depicting the night sky, and historically celestial globes pre-date the terrestrial globe. Subsequent to their disuse as navigational tools they became collectible objects symbolising truth and knowledge. Gec's specially made sphere had the constellations of the Northern & Southern Hemisphere painted on its surface. The globe was positioned in the void normally occupied by the cosmonaut. Installed in the centrifuge, the hollow 12-inch copper globe was exposed to high G-loads (up to ten times normal gravity), causing it to be subtly deformed by the force exerted upon it. The resulting damage and distress caused by this process indelibly marks the globe’s surface, transforming it from its traditional form into something unique whose physical shape has been dictated by the centrifuge.

Celestial Vault is a response to a different time and movement where something - or someone - is projected into a physical state beyond our usual experiences. Through the use of a representation of space to illustrate this physical force, the work prompts a re-examination of our age-old fascination with the celestial sky.

Credits

Special thanks to Neal White for camera work on Centrifuge TsF-18

Commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and the MIR Consortium (Arts Catalyst, Projekt Atol, V2, Leonardo Olats, Multimedia Complex for Actual Arts)
MIR Campaign 2003

Exhibitions

MIR: Art in Variable Gravity, Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK (Arts Catalyst)

MIR: Dreams of Space, Stills, Edinburgh, UK (Arts Catalyst)

Artists Airshow, Royal Aeronautical Engineering Workshops, Farnborough, UK (Arts Catalyst)