Jon Adams, Konfirm

Konfirm is a sound work prompted by systematic processes which will be presented in audio and visual metaphor.


Jon Adams's artwork explores sense and sensitivity through the 'hidden' and plays with perceptions of normal and the inaccessible. A geologist by training, Adams’ seeking of the concealed in his art often reveals his naturally systematic thinking: his inclination and ability to uncover systems within everyday interactions and landscapes.

In this residency and research project, Jon Adams set out on a personal, artistic and scientific investigation of his own Asperger's Syndrome, through a series of conversations, observations and experiments, working in collaboration with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge.

Jon presented his sound work as a performance with accompanying talk at the Arts Catalyst's event space in Clerkenwell.




This collaborative research project has emerged from an initial meeting between Jon Adams and Simon Baron-Cohen at an Arts Catalyst/Shape project Alternative Ways of Thinking: Exploring the Autistic Mind at the Cheltenham Science Festival in 2011 and supported by Wellcome Trust Arts Award

Read Jon's research blog

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Dynamic, Affordable, Apollo-free Residency

Hagen Betzwieser (Germany) and Sue Corke (UK) artists in residence in Republic of the Moon, London 2014

Sue Corke and Hagen Betzwieser met by chance in 2008 conducting artistic field work at a bus stop in Norway. Working for the last four years as WE COLONISED THE MOON their graphic art and installation projects have embodied a child-like wonder of the universe. Employing a range of DIY production techniques their partnership is rooted in absurdism and theatrical performance, characterised by slogans and catchphrases.  Together they seek to demonstrate that the future may indeed be frightening, but also highly entertaining.

Previous projects have included creating solutions for space waste elimination by disguising satellites as asteroids; building a solar powered solarium because ‘the sun dies anyway’ and synthesising the smell of the moon.  They presented a new commission, Enter At Own Risk and Crash - moonlanding workshops for young poeple for Republic of the Moon, Liverpool and have been involved in several Kosmica events at Arts Catalyst.

As artists in residence throughout Republic of the Moon, the residency will evolve in the space and includes a series of participatory events about religious, political and economic approaches to colonising the moon.

Lunar Exploitation Remonstration

Drop-in protest slogan and placard open studio.  Saturday 25 January 11am-3pm.  Free, not suitable for under-12s

Drop-in open studio day for visitors to meet artists-in-residence WE COLONISED THE MOON, continue to debate about the future of the Moon and to pitch their protest slogan for or against the exploitation of the Moon.  Seven solgans will be selected for the the Lunar Exploitation Remonstration and made into placards.

Open Think Tank Late Breakfast

Round table discussion about the concept of moon colonisation, asking: “Should We Colonise the Moon?”.  What's the future for the Moon – theme park or quarry? Saturday 11 January, 11am-1pm, free event

The discussion may act as the stimulus for further dialogue between participants later on in Republic of the Moon. It may be the seed of revolution, or the binding of consensus – the initiation of a movement towards rebellion or treatise.  On the panel are representatives of science, politics, theology, philosophy, and art.

Benedict Singleton describes himself as a strategist with a background in design and philosophy. He is the author of the forthcoming book The Long Con, an alternative history of design, and regularly writes on the politics and philosophy of technology for publications including Architectural Design and E-Flux. He has lectured at the Architectural Association, the Royal College of Art, the Bartlett School of Architecture, and internationally. His 2013 essay for E-Flux on space travel, Maximum Jailbreak, considers the earth as a trap, and asserts that the common project of philosophy, economics and design should be the formulation of the means to escape from it."

Ian Crawford is Professor of Planetary Science and Astrobiology at Birkbeck College, University of London. His research is mainly concerned with lunar science and exploration, and  he has a significant interest in the future of space exploration. He is currently Senior Secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society and a member of the Space Sciences Committee of the European Science Foundation. In 2003 he was a member of the European Space Agency's Human Spaceflight Vision Group, which recommended that ESA participates in  establishing an international moon base. He believes that space exploration should be an international, global, activity that can act as a unifying endeavour for humanity.“

Rev Dr Jeremy Law is the Dean of Chapel for Canterbury Christ Church University. He conducts theological research at the Department of Theology & Religious Studies. In 2013, he gave a lecture at Canterbury on The Redemption of Evolution at the conference on Wildlife and Society: Challenges for a Shared Future. The conference promoted the discussion of issues related to the relationships between people and wildlife in the context of sustainable living, education and professional development for a shared future.

Read more about the Open Think Tank Late Breakfast debate about colonising the Moon, in the 'We Make Money Not Art' Blog here.

Live moon smelling

part of Kosmica: Full Moon Party, Thursday 16 January 2014

WE COLONISED THE MOON have engineered a macro microencapsulation process to create a LIVE Moon Smelling experience.  Their concept is a massively scaled up version of the chemical process of microencapsulation - a technique that traps aromas in nanosized shell like capsules - first used for their MOON Scratch & Sniff prints in 2010. In this macro version the scent is encapsulated in helium filled balloons. The moment the balloons pop the smell of the moon explodes into the atmosphere creating an immersive transitory experience which rapidly dissipates, leaving only the memory of a place which is neither here nor there.

The smell itself is based on the reports of Apollo astronauts who on returning from the surface of the moon to the landing module experienced a unique odour for the very first time. Created for WCTM in 2010 by Steve Pearce of Omega Ingredients. The synthesised scent also formed a key element of the artists work, Enter At Own Risk, which was first exhibited for Republic of the Moon, FACT Liverpool, 2012, commissioned jointly by Arts Catalyst and FACT.

Support

Republic of the Moon is a touring exhibition, commissioned by The Arts Catalyst with FACT. The first version of the exhibition was presented at FACT Liverpool in winter 2012. The exhibition and residency has been made possible with Grants for the Arts support from Arts Council England and Science & Technology Facilities Council.

Bargehouse is owned and managed by social enterprise, Coin Street Community Builders: www.coinstreet.org

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Republic of the Moon, London

A major exhibition in which artists consider their visions for a Republic of the Moon.

It's four decades since humans walked on the Moon, but it now seems likely that we will return there this century – whether to mine for its minerals, as a ‘stepping stone’ to Mars, or simply to do scientific research. In a provocative pre-emptive action, a group of artists are declaring a Republic of the Moon here on Earth, to re-examine our relationship with our planet’s only natural satellite.

After two decades working with space dreamers from the European Space Agency to anarchist autonomous astronauts, The Arts Catalyst transformed Bargehouse into an Earth-based embassy for a Republic of the Moon, filled with artists’ fantastical imaginings. Presenting international artists including Liliane Lijn, Leonid Tishkov, Katie Paterson, Agnes Meyer Brandis and WE COLONISED THE MOON, the exhibition combined personal encounters, DIY space plans, imaginary expeditions and new myths for the next space age.

Marking the start of its twentieth anniversary year, The Arts Catalyst animated the exhibition with performances, workshops, music, talks, a pop-up moon shop by super/collider and playful protests against lunar exploitation.  A manifesto declaring the Moon a temporary autonomous zone, with responses from artists and scientists to novelist Tony White’s call to “Occupy the Moon!” was published in print and e-Book formats to coincide with the exhibition.

The artists in Republic of the Moon regard the Moon not as a resource to be exploited but as a heavenly body that belongs to us all. The exhibition asks: Who will be the first colonisers of the Moon? Perhaps it should be the artists.

The artists

Agnes Meyer-Brandis’ poetic-scientific investigations weave together fact, imagination, storytelling and myth, from past, present and future. In Moon Goose Analogue: Lunar Migration Bird Facility, the artist develops an ongoing narrative based on the book The Man in the Moone, written by English bishop Francis Godwin in the 1630s, in which the protagonist flies to the Moon in a chariot towed by ‘moon geese’. Meyer-Brandis has actualised this concept by raising eleven moon geese from birth in Italy, giving them astronauts’ names, imprinting them on herself as goose-mother, training them to fly and taking them on expeditions. The artist has built a remote Moon analogue habitat for the geese, which will be operated from a control room within the gallery. (* Neil, Svetlana, Gonzales, Valentina, Friede, Juri, Buzz, Kaguya-Anousheh, Irena, Rakesh, Konstantin-Hermann).  Moon Goose Analogue: Luna Bird Migration Facility the documentary film of this project was Ars Electronica award of distinction winner 2012.

Katie Paterson Second Moon and Earth–Moon–Earth.  Second Moon is Paterson's project tracking the cyclical journey of a small fragment of the Moon as it circles the Earth, via airfreight courier, on a man made commercial orbit.  Second Moon makes an anticlockwise journey; orbiting at approximately twice the speed of our Moon, it orbits Earth about 30 times in one year.  The journey could be followed on a free App. Earth–Moon–Earth (Moonlight Sonata Reflected from the Surface of the Moon) involved using a form of radio transmission whereby messages are sent in Morse code, from earth, reflected from the surface of the moon and then received back on earth. The moon reflects only part of the information back – some is absorbed in its shadows, ‘lost’ in its craters. For this work Paterson has translated Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata into Morse code and sent it to the moon via Earth-Moon-Earth (EME). Returning to earth fragmented by the moon's surface, it has been re-translated into a new score, the gaps and absences becoming intervals and rests. In the exhibition the moon–altered score is performed on a self-playing grand piano.

Liliane Lijn’s moonmeme explores the repeating cycle of the Moon’s phases, projecting the word 'SHE', an epithet for the Moon, onto the lunar surface so the letters slowly emerge and then disappear as it wanes. Since lunar projection is so challenging technically, Lijn has worked with an astronomer to present a real-time animation of the projection accompanied by a sound work and by quotations from sources including Pliny and the Talmud to illustrate the profound connections between the Moon and the feminine principal of transformation and renewal.

Leonid Tishkov’s Private Moon tells the story of a man who met the Moon and stayed with her for the rest of his life. In a series of intimate photographs, the artist pairs images of his private moon with verse which describes how the Moon helps us to overcome our loneliness in the universe by uniting us around it. Tishkov and his illuminated moon have travelled the world for almost ten years. He has a dream to fly with her to the Moon.

WE COLONISED THE MOON (Sue Corke and Hagen Betzwieser) were the Republic of the Moon’s artists in residence throughout the exhibition, creating work and running talks and workshops. Corke and Betzwieser’s graphic art and installation projects embody a child-like wonder at the universe. Employing a range of DIY production techniques, their partnership is rooted in absurdism and theatrical performance characterised by slogans and catchphrases. At the Bargehouse, they coordinated protests against the exploitation of the Moon and working with scientists to help us look afresh at our closest celestial neighbour.

Moon Vehicle (Joanna Griffin and ISRO scientist P Shreekumar) a presentation of a project devised by the students at Srishti School of Arts, Bangalore, India, with artist Joanna Griffin. Its focus was to reclaim a cultural connection with the Indian Chandrayaan space programme challenging the now-dominant scientific narrative of the Moon and reasserting other imaginaries inspired by Indian narratives of self-determination and agency.

Pop Rock Moon Shop designed by super/collider sold all manner of discerning lunar ephemera.

A Manifesto for the Republic of the Moon published to accompany the exhibition, edited by curator, Rob La Frenais and including Tony White's specially commissioned short fiction Occupy the Moon!, it is available in print, or for free download in .epub and .pdf formats.


Artists websites
Agnes Meyer-Brandis
Katie Paterson
Liliane Lijn
Leonid Tishkov
WE COLONISED THE MOON
super/collider
Support

Republic of the Moon is a touring exhibition, commissioned by The Arts Catalyst with FACT. The first version of the exhibition was presented at FACT Liverpool in winter 2012. The exhibition and residency has been made possible with Grants for the Arts support from Arts Council England and Science & Technology Facilities Council.

Moon Goose Analogue: Lunar Migration Bird Facility links directly to Meyer-Brandis's, Moon Goose Colony, 2011, a project during her residency at Pollinaria, Italy, the site of the remote analogue habitat where the artist has raised and houses the colony of moon geese.  With thanks to Z33 co-producers of Moon Goose Analogue, shown In Space Odyssey 2.0.

Second Moon has been commissioned by Locus+ in partnership with Newcastle University and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.  Supported by Arts Council England, Adelaide Festival and Newcastle City Council

Bargehouse is owned and managed by social enterprise, Coin Street Community Builders: www.coinstreet.org

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M-Blem: the train project

HeHe’s public art interventions are internationally renowned, from ‘Nuage Vert’, highlighting factory emissions with interactive laser light to 'Is there is a Horizon in the Deepwater', a miniaturised global disaster scenario satirising popular responses to ecological issues. Their ‘Toy Emissions’ video also lampooned American SUV (sports utility vehicle) culture and its critics at the same time.
 
HeHe (Heiko Hansen and Helen Evans) have been working on the ‘Train Project’ for a number of years, criticising the car as the only option for autonomous transport. They propose personal rail travel as a temporary imaginary prototype taking the problem of locomotion as a starting point. The notion of personal rail travel has been explored as an alternative to collective transportation since the 1930s, Bruno Latour for example, reflected on the failure of Aramis (Agencement en Rames Automatisées de Modules Indépendants dans les Stations), France's ambitious attempt to develop a personal rapid transit system in his book 'Aramis, or the Love of Technology'.

The ‘Train Project’ has seen HeHe develop temporary autonomous vehicles in the form of performances on unused or abandoned rail tracks. The AND Festival 2012 commission 'M-blem' follows interventions in Istanbul – ‘Tapis Volant’, a battery-powered flying carpet, ‘H Line’ on New York’s abandoned High-Line and ‘Petite Ceinture’ on the little belt that encircles Paris. HeHe’s new vehicle celebrates the birthplace of the world’s first recognisable modern railway - the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (L&MR) - which opened in 1830.
 
Inspired by AB Clayton's painting of the inaugural journey of the L&MR which illustrates a series of small open-topped passenger carriages on the track outside Manchester's Liverpool Road station, HeHe will run their vehicle 'M-blem' on this historic track, now part of Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry. In a participatory project mixing past and future, HeHe will present their mobile, light-weight, electric wheel-set along with solar charging stations, platform, signs and passenger vehicle referencing the original carriages but using modern materials for AND Festival visitors and passengers.

‘Metronome’, a ‘Train Project’ prototype will also be shown in Paris during the Futur En Seine Festival 14-24 June 2012 and will be demonstrated on the abandoned Petite Ceinture track at the Jardins de Ruisseau on 1 July.

 

Websites

HeHe

AND Festival

Futur en Seine festival

 

Partnerships and Support

La Région Ile-de-France

Cap Digital & Futur en Seine

Ars Longa

HeHe Asso

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Fracking Futures

Fracking Futures - a spectacular artwork and mini-disaster by the Paris-based artist duo Hehe, (Helen Evans and Heiko Hansen)

In collaboration with Arts Catalyst, HeHe turned FACT Liverpool’s main gallery into an industrial landscape in a playful and provocative commentary on crises of global economy, threats of environmental catastrophe and struggles of public institutions in times of austerity.

The Prix Ars Electronica award-winners warn that drilling could result in unquantifiable subterranean noise as tectonic plates shift, minor ground tremors are a possibility, and diluted chemicals used during the fracking process will be sprayed into the air as they mischievously turned the gallery into a temporary, experimental drilling site for hydraulic fracturing on a micro scale.

HeHe use a language based on light, sound and image, their practice explores the relationship between the individual and their architectural, social and urban environment, often creating playful miniature representations of vehicles or intervening directly with light projections and large-scale visual interruptions. They make a provocative commentary on crises of global economy, threats of environmental catastrophes and struggles of public institutions in times of austerity.

They hope this multi-sensory installation will highlight the importance and current relevance of the debates surrounding the fracking process, which are not only significant environmentally, but also economically. The installation will refrain from making judgements for or against fracking, rather offering a platform on which discussion can begin.

Fracking Futures not only illustrates the potential dangers and disruptions of the process, but also considers fracking as an alternative source of energy and subsequent potential for commerce and growth. Whether this last point is genuine or tongue-in-cheek is for the visitor to decide….

Press coverage

The Guardian

New Internationalist

Nicola Triscott's blog

Partnership

Part of FACT’s 10th anniversary exhibition Turning FACT Inside Out programme, 2013.

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Cinema as Primatology Edinburgh Arts Festival panel discussion

A panel discussion about the development of Primate Cinema: Apes as Family being exhibited in the Sculpture Court at Edinburgh College of Art during the Edinburgh Art Festival 2012

DNA sequencing has placed humans firmly within the great apes, so how do our cognitive abilities differ from those of chimpanzees?  Creativity is considered to be a divide between humans and other species, but do we share basic preferences for novelty and perhaps even form and content with our closest relations? The symposium will explore similarities and differences in perception, cognition and socio-emotional behaviour between humans and chimpanzees, through the perspectives of artists Rachel Mayeri and Andrea Roe, and vet Andrew Gardiner who worked on a Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Project entitled 'Pedigree Chums: science, medicine and the remaking of the dog in the 20th century', collaborating with colleagues at CHSTM, Manchester. 

The panel discussion was chaired by Rob La Frenais, who commissioned Rachel Mayeri's video installation Primate Cinema: Apes as Family.

Websites

www.edinburghartfestival.com
www.ed.ac.uk

 

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Dark Places: artists investigations of technological history

A session at the British Rocketry Oral History Project (BROHP) conference 2007

Arts Catalyst presented the work of contemporary artists who explore the cultural and architectural legacy of the Cold War nuclear and space programmes as part of the British Rocketry Oral History Project (BROHP) conference 2007.

Speakers included the novelist and journalist James Flint, artist Louise K Wilson, and curator Rob La Frenais. The session was chaired by Nicola Triscott, Director of Arts Catalyst.

James Flint discussed some of the issues raised in his novel The Book of Ash which wove American development of nuclear science into a gripping story of art, atoms, alchemy, politics and paranoia, and was inspired by the American “nuclear sculptor” James L. Acord. Louise K Wilson‘s artworks explore perceptual, social and cultural aspects of science and technology. In A Record of Fear, she created sound and video works for Orford Ness, Suffolk – formerly a secret military testing site. To create Spadeadam, she investigated a UK Cold War test site, now used by Britain's Royal Air Force as an electronic warfare training range. Rob La Frenais reviewed some of Arts Catalyst’s art projects in the fields of space research and nuclear science and its work negotiating artists’ access restricted sites of science and technology in the UK and abroad.

Speakers

James Flint is the author of the novels Habitus (1998); 52 Ways to Magic America (2002), which won the Amazon.co.uk Bursary Award for the year 2000; and The Book of Ash (2004), winner of a 2003 Arts Council Writers’ Award. He has also published a short story collection Soft Apocalypse – Twelve Tales from the Turn of the Millennium (2004). His short fiction has appeared in collections published by Penguin Books, the New English Library and the ICA. When it was published in France in 1992, Habitus was judged as in the top five foreign novels of that year's Rentrée Literaire. Time Out called it "probably the best British fiction début of the last five years". He has worked as a section editor for Wired UK and science editor of the technology and art periodical Mute, and has written features and reviews for many national newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, Time Out and Arena.

Louise K Wilson is a visual artist, whose work includes installations, sound pieces and video. Her recent work which springs from a curiosity into how the technology of flight affects our physiological states and psychological selves. To this end, she has participated in a movement experiment in zero gravity, co-opted a team of air traffic controllers in formation cycling on Newcastle Airport runway and been a passenger in an aerobatics plane repeatedly looping the loop. Previous associations have included the Montreal Neurological Institute, the Science Museum, London, the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, Russia, the RSPB and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. Exhibitions have included Artists Airshow, RAF Farnborough (2004); Arena, Baltic (2003); Blue Streak, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle (2003), Runway/ Spadeadam, Gallery TPW, Toronto (2003) and A Record of Fear, Orford Ness, for Commissions East (2005). Her video Spadeadam is in the Archive at the Imperial War Museum, London.

Rob La Frenais, Curator, Arts Catalyst

Nicola Triscott, Director, Arts Catalyst

 

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The Urpflanze (Part 2)

A new commissioned body of work and installation by Melanie Jackson, shown in Transformism at John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton in January 2013, and as a solo show at Flat-Time House, London, in March 2013.

In a series of moving image works and ceramic sculptures, Melanie Jackson continues her ongoing investigation into mutability and transformation, which takes its lead from Goethe’s concept of an imaginary primal plant, the Urpflanze, that contained coiled up within it the potential to unfurl all possible future forms. Contemporary science likewise imagines the potential to grow or print any form we can envisage, by recasting physical, chemical and biological function as an engineering substrate that can be programmed into being. These emerging technologies present new possibilities for the instrumentalisation of life on a previously unimagined scale.

In March 2013, Jackson's multifaceted work was installed throughout the ground floor of Flat Time House, the former home and studio of artist John Latham (1921-2006).

In the eighteenth century, the development of sophisticated techniques of ceramic production signified a victory of chemistry, culture and capital over formlessness. It pushed the capacity of the material to accommodate highly detailed representations, to radiate colour and sheen, to perform. Like clay, liquid crystals also have a visceral biological and mineral morphology that can collapse into formlessness, whilst harbouring the potential to assume (or emit the image of) any form. The mastery of the material is played out in a desire for the real in high definition, and a longing for the appearance of unknown and fantastical forms.

Jackson’s exhibition extends fairytale themes of absurd disruptions in vegetal scale, from Zola's ‘revolutionary’ carrot to the fantasies of remediation that science may have in store for us. The work begins in the botanical garden and leads us to the laboratory, from the clay pits to the factory floor, from its own animated voxels to the interior of the screen, and the forms and processes of its own production.

Melanie Jackson has collaborated with writer Esther Leslie on the production of a text that has informed the work and a publication that will be distributed as part of the exhibition.

In her essay for the exhibition guide, Isobel Harbison describes: “Jackson’s is an expansive, ambitious and intuitive work not easily reducible to cursory description. Her attention to the illusory surface textures of protean forms is not solely attentive to liquid crystals but extends metaphorically to other social and scientific developments (a fictional Jack-and-the-Beanstalk becomes a modern genetic scientist, or crystals self-organise into a palace whose display function changes consumer society forever). Perhaps most interestingly, her work carries within it a reflection on the new nature and task of the contemporary artist. Jackson’s real enquiry seems to be about the modified face of representative sculpture in the digital age, from Greek mythology’s morphology to natural biology, and from the produce of the clay factory floor to the process of 3d printing.Significantly, her sculptural inquiry is brought forward in video in conjunction with three-dimensional form embodying both kinds of contemporary physical encounter, now as often on screen as in the flesh.”
 

Biographical information

Melanie Jackson inhabits different tropes of art making to interrogate possibilities of representation against the engaged practices of the world. She is interested in ways in which thought and affect is conducted through the material, and much of her work has explored this against the context of work, production and the flow of international capital.  She is currently investigating the relationships between nature and technology through a series of experiments with fauna and flora, and the technologies available to her. Melanie is a lecturer at Slade School of Fine Art, her solo exhibitions include The Urpflanze (Part 1), The Drawing Room, London (2010), Road Angel, Arnolfini, Bristol (2007), Made In China, Matt’s Gallery, London (2005).  She won the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2007.

Support

Melanie Jackson's commission has been supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award and the Slade School of Fine Art. The exhibition is supported by Arts Council England.

Website links

Melanie Jackson

Flat Time House

 

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Moon Goose Analogue: Lunar Migration Bird Facility

An ambitious commission that tells the story of the artist's project to raise and imprint her colony of Moon Geese and train them for life on the Moon

Agnes Meyer-Brandis’s poetic-scientific investigations weave fact, imagination, storytelling and myth, past, present and future. In Moon Goose Analogue: Lunar Migration Bird Facility, a major commission, the artist developed an ongoing narrative based on the book The Man in the Moone, written by the English bishop Francis Godwin in 1603, in which the protagonist flies to the Moon in a chariot towed by ‘moon geese’. Meyer-Brandis actualised this concept by raising eleven moon geese from birth within her project Moon Goose Colony at Pollinaria in Italy; giving them astronauts’ names*, imprinting them on herself as goose-mother, training them to fly and taking them on expeditions and housing them in a remote Moon analogue habitat. (* Neil, Svetlana, Gonzales, Valentina, Friede, Juri, Buzz, Kaguya-Anousheh, Irena, Rakesh, Konstantin-Hermann)

The remote analogue habitat simulates the conditions of the Moon and was accessed and operated from Meyer-Brandis’s control room installation within the gallery, where instructional videos, photographs and vitrines of the geese’s egg shells and footprints were displayed.

Meyer-Brandis developed the contested history of Godwin’s original fiction – posthumously and pseudonymously published as if the genuine account of the travels of Domingo Gonsales.  She wove a narrative that explores the observer’s understanding of the fictitious and the factual, with a nod to notions of the believably absurd.

Oxford academic, William Poole [1], in his Preface to the 2009 edition of The Man in the Moone [2], explains the importance of Godwin’s work, “First, it is a work of literary sophistication.  It is narrated by a slightly implausible figure who does a number of very implausible things, not least fly to the moon and back.…its supposed time-frame further heightens readerly problems about who and what to trust in this text, and why… its finely integrated discussion of various state-of-the-art ideas about astronomy and cosmology – magnetic attraction, diurnal rotation, and the possibility of interplanetary travel and extraterrestrial life.  The dramatisation of these discussions in The Man in the Moone is at once a form of popular science and also a form of popular fiction.  This is the age-old problem of fiction – the probable impossible intermingled with the possible improbable."

The Moon Goose Colony

A film in 19 installments by Agnes Meyer-Brandis tells the story of the artist's project to raise and imprint her colony of Moon Geese and train them for life on the Moon, watch the introduction here.

Moon Goose Analogue: Lunar Migration Bird Facility, 2011 links directly to Meyer-Brandis's, Moon Goose Colony, 2011, a project during her residency at Pollinaria, Italy, the site of the remote analogue habitat where the artist has raised and houses the colony of moon geese. 

Notes


1 William Poole is John Galsworthy Fellow, New College, Oxford, and author of The World Makers: Scientists of the Restoration and the Search for the Origins of the Earth (2010).
2 The Man in the Moone (1638) (Broadview Editions) by Francis Godwin and William Poole (Paperback - 1 Nov 2009), preface

Reviews and blogs about the show

    The Rhizome

    Art Monthly (February 2012) review 

    Liverpool Daily Post, Moon Goose Analogye interview 

    BBC World Service - The Strand, Agnes Meyer-Brandis interview 

    Criticismim.com - Moon Goose Analogue 

      Partnership

      Commissioned with FACT and first shows in Republic of the Moon, Dec 2011-Feb 2012 at FACT, Liverpool

      Presented with AV Festival, Newcastle-Gateshead, 2012

      Pollinaria, Italy

      Supported by

      Arts Council England Grants for the Arts

      Artist's website

      Agnes Meyer-Brandis

       

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      Laboratory Life - Hong Kong

      The Arts Catalyst and Lighthouse presented Laboratory Life open lab projects at the Microwave International Festival exploring frontiers of art and biotechnology.

      As part of an international exhibition of art labs, the five art-science projects made by the artists, doctors and scientists, who transformed Lighthouse into a living science laboratory earlier in the year were presented in Hong Kong. The projects were led by Adam Zaretsky, Andy Gracie, Anna Dumitriu, Bruce Gilchrist and Kira O’Reilly.

      Laboratory Life was a unique, interactive art-science laboratory, organised by Lighthouse and The Arts Catalyst and open to the public. It took place February – March 2011. Conceived and led by artist Andy Gracie, a group of international artists and scientists from the UK, Spain and the US worked with doctors, scientists and artists, to create a series of projects exploring the cutting edge of medical technology in a living laboratory at Lighthouse. These projects were showcased in an exhibition at Lighthouse, shown as part of the Brighton Science Festival 2011.

      What made this project unique was its open nature. Laboratory Life adopted a radically open structure, inviting the public to come and visit the laboratory, meet the artists and scientists as they worked, and interact with them.

      During the laboratory, the artists and scientists created five art-science projects which formed the basis of a fascinating exhibition at Lighthouse, featuring DNA tattooing, astrobiology, microbiological textiles and much more.

      The projects are:

      Public Misunderstanding of Science - led by Bruce Gilchrist. Collaborators: Kate Genevieve, Simona Casonato, David Louwrier, Daksha Patel

      Infective Textiles - led by Anna Dumitriu. Collaborators: Rosie Sedgwick, Sarah Roberts, Brian Degger, Melissa Grant

      The Quest for Drosophila Titanus - led by Andy Gracie. Collaborators: Kuaishen Auson, Janine Fenton, Meredith Walsh

      Tattoo Traits - led by Adam Zaretsky. Collaborators: Zack Denfield, Helen Bullard, Simon Hall

      The Garden Shed Lab - led by Kira O’Reilly. Collaborators: Valerie Furnham, Columba Quigley, Genevieve Maxwell

      A combination of the artworks and artefacts created by the teams, and documentation of the laboratory was shown in the festival international exhibition. The exhibition also features work by leading international art labs, including which includes work by etoy, robotlab and Time’s Up.

      Lead artist Andy Gracie, and Lighthouse programme curator Jamie Wyld also took part in discussions about the project at the festival symposium.

      Partnership

      Lighthouse, Brighton

      Microwave Festival, Hong Kong

      Support

      The exhibition has been funded by Wellcome Trust.

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