KOSMICA Mexico 2015

KOSMICA is an international festival for earth-bound artists, space engineers, performers, astronomers, musicians and anyone interested in space

KOSMICA Mexico 2015 addressed a central theme of war and peace in space, and ethical issues facing space exploration. The program included more than 15 international guests to reflect upon these issues through workshops, performances, cinema, music and talks.

Kosmica Mexico 2015 is presented thanks to the support of: British Council México, Año Dual UK – Mexico, Fundación Telefónica, INBA / Laboratorio Arte Alameda. Associates: Arts Catalyst, Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Agencia Espacial Mexicana, Cine Tonalá, Otoño en Hiroshima, Ovnibus, ITACCUS and Ambulante. Media associates: Vice – The Creators Project, El Fanzine, Pijamasurf.
 

Programme of events

Thu 17 September, 7pm – 11pm

Chris Welch (GB) – Talk
Enrique Jezik (AR) – Performance
Aleksandra Mir (SE) – Talk
Music by: Alias 616, Radiador (MX)
 
Fri 18 September, 7pm – 12am
Jon Bonfiglio (GB) – Talk
Agencia Espacial Mexicana (MX) – Round table
Louise K Wilson (GB) – Talk
Music by: Rob Anaya + guest, Dolphin Star Temple, Monairem
 
Sat 19 September, 7pm – 11pm
Lizzie Wade (EUA) – Talk
Arcángel Constantini (MX) and 220 (MX) – Performance
Miguel Ángel Fernández Delgado (MX) – Talk
Music by: Isaac Soto, Un rêve
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Holoturian

A new commission by Ariel Guzik for Edinburgh Art Festival 2015. ‘Holoturian’ is an underwater resonance instrument designed by Guzik to communicate with whales and dolphins in the deep seas.

This new work is commissioned and produced by Arts Catalyst with Edinburgh Art Festival 2015.

For the last 10 years, the artist, musician, illustrator and inventor Ariel Guzik has searched for a way to communicate with whales and dolphins. Guzik’s project has encompassed the creation of underwater instruments, expeditions to contact whales and dolphins off the coasts of Baja California, Costa Rica and Scotland, sound recordings, and numerous fantastical drawings of this cetacean civilisation and underwater ships and gardens.

Guzik’s extraordinary vision is to build a manned underwater ship – the Narcisa - with the intention of enabling encounters between humans and cetaceans as inhabitants of parallel civilisations, free from hierarchies or intentions of domination or subordination, and devoid of utilitarian or practical research interests.

Commissioned by Arts Catalyst and Edinburgh Art Festival 2015, his new project brings the artist closer to his goal. For this show, his first exhibition in the UK, Guzik is constructing a beautiful capsule, the Holoturian, designed to send a living plant and a string instrument for a period of time into the depths of the sea. Imagined and re-imagined in extraordinary drawings made by Guzik over the past decade, this ship has instrumentation, which expresses life, space, harmony and brightness as primary messages, and is dedicated to sperm whales and other deep ocean creatures. 

The installation is part of Edinburgh Art Festival's 2015 commissions programme, presenting new work by leading Scottish and international emerging and established contemporary artists, and will be displayed at Edinburgh’s gothic kirk Trinity Apse.

The following events have now passed.
Location: Trinity Apse, Chalmers Close, 42 High St, EH1 1SS

Sat 1 August 2015, 11.30am
Ariel Guzik in conversation with environmental scientist and campaigner, Mark Simmonds OBE, chaired by Art Catalyst Director, Nicola Triscott.

Sat 1 August 2015, 7pm
Field recordings by Nature Expression and Resonance Research Laboratory Soundscape and performance by Ariel Guzik, Alejandro Colinas and Emilio Galvez.
A unique opportunity to hear Mexican artist Ariel Guzik perform live in a specially devised set combining electronic music with field recordings of whales and dolphins.

Soundscape and performance by Ariel Guzik, Alejandro Colinas and Emilio Galvez Field recordings by Nature Expression and Resonance Research Laboratory


'Holoturian’ is commissioned and produced by Arts Catalyst with Edinburgh Art Festival 2015.

Ariel Guzik designs and produces mechanisms and instruments to enquire into the various languages of nature. He is also a musician, draftsman and illustrator. He is the director of the Nature Expression and Resonance Research Laboratory in Mexico (Laboratorio Plasmaht de Investigación en Resonancia y Expresión de la Naturaleza, Asociación Civil), an organisation which explores natural resonance, mechanics, electricity and magnetism and how these phenomena can be applied to music and sound experiments.

Ariel Guzik is supported by Wellcome Trust, British Council, EventScotland, Museums Galleries Edinburgh, Arts Council England and the following Mexican institutions, as part of The Year of Mexico in the UK 2015: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) through the Mexican Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AMEXCID), the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA), the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA), and The Anglo Mexican Foundation.

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KOSMICA: Full Moon Party

KOSMICA: Full Moon Party celebration as part of the Republic of the Moon exhibition programme.

Each KOSMICA session is unique: bringing together the cosmically curious and culturally quirky space community for a social mix of art–space programmes - a film screening, performance or live concert with a short presentation, talk and debate about alternative and cultural uses of space.

KOSMICA: Full Moon Party celebration as part of the Republic of the Moon exhibition programme. 

The evening will offer visitors a chance to see the exhibition and enjoy talks by:

Lucie Green (space scientist)

Lucie is based at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL's Department of Space and Climate Physics. She sits on the board of the European Solar Physics Division (ESPD) of the European Physical Society and is a member of the Royal Society's Education Committee.  www.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/~lmg/Welcome.html

Tomas Saraceno (artist)

Trained as an architect, since 2002 Tomas Saraceno has been developing his ideas for cities built in the air. His ongoing project Air-Port-City imagines a network of biospheres (or habitable cells) in the sky, like clouds, constantly moving, changing shape, and merging with one another. www.tomassaraceno.com/

WE COLONISED THE MOON (artists)


This duo formed by Sue Corke and Hagen Betzwieser returns to KOSMICA to present the largest Moon smelling session ever done on our planet. 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. As well as projects and exhibitions the duo also give regular performance lectures and workshops.  www.wecolonisedthemoon.com/

Kevin Fong (space medicine expert)


Kevin is the co-director of the Centre for Aviation Space and Extreme Environment Medicine (CASE Medicine), at University College London. Also he has been the presenter of the BBC2 science programme, Horizon and of Extreme A&E at Channel 4. Walking on the Moon (article)

Jill Stuart (space politics specialist)
Dr Jill Stuart is Fellow in Global Politics at the London School of Economics, and reviews editor for the journal Global Policy. She researches law, politics and theory of outer space exploration and exploitation. Her interests extend to the way terrestrial politics and conceptualisations such as sovereignty are projected into outer space, and how outer space potentially plays a role in reconstituting how those politics and conceptualisations are understood in terrestrial politics.  www.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/Experts/profile, www.globalpolicyjournal.com/videos/dr-jill-stuart-outer-space-politics

Orchestra Elastique (music)
London based improvisation band will live score the film A trip to the Moon by Georges Méliès. Orchestra Elastique’s music takes influences from Minimalist Music, Free Jazz, Middle Eastern, South American, Krautrock, and various folkloric and tribal traditions. Ranging from subtle dreams to explosive psychedelia, Orchestra Elastique’s performances elasticate mind, senses and spacetime... www.orchestraelastique.com/

 

Support

Republic of the Moon is a touring exhibition, commissioned by 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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    KOSMICA Mexico 2013

    The second 3-day galactic gathering in Mexico - an off-the-planet mix of art, science, debate, music and film, exploring alternative and cultural uses of space.

    KOSMICA Mexico brings together earth-bound artists, astronomers, performers, space explorers and musicians from across the glob - UK, France, Lithuania, Slovenia, Australia and the US.  It is programmed by the artist Nahum and The Arts Catalyst (UK) in partnership with the Laboratorio Arte Alameda, INBA (Mexico).

    For its second edition in Mexico City KOSMICA saw international participants actively working in cultural and artistic aspects of space exploration.  This year’s programme is divided in four sessions:

    Thursday 8 August - Artists in the cosmos

    • Andy Gracie (UK)
    • Marko Peljhan (Slovenia)
    • Ariel Waldman (USA)
    • Daniela de Paulis (Italy)
    • Ale de la Puente (Mexico)

    Friday 9 August -  Space programmes and left-behind communities

    • Rob La Frenais (UK)
    • Jareh Das (UK)
    • Kerry Doyle (USA)
    • Willoh S. Weiland (Australia)
    • Mexican Space Collective (Mexico)

    Saturday 10 August - first session: Peaceful and open space

    • Nicola Triscott (UK)
    • Jill Stuart (USA)
    • Roger Malina (USA)

    Saturday 10 August - second session: Fantasy and magic in space

    Julijonas Urbonas (Lithuania)

    • Nick Campion (UK)
    • Miguel Alcubierre Moya (Mexico)
    • Nahum Mantra (Mexico)
    • Anais Tondeur (France)

    Support

    KOSMICA in Mexico has been made possible thanks to the support of the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA), Mexico through Laboratorio Arte Alameda.

    Partners

    KOSMICA is endorsed by ITACCUS, the International Astronautical Federation's Committee on the Cultural Utilisation of Space.

    For more details see http://kosmicamx.com/2013/

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    KOSMICA Mexico 2012

    KOSMICA Mexico brings together earth-bound artists, astronomers, performers, space explorers and musicians from Mexico, the UK, France, Germany and the US

    For its first edition in Mexico City, KOSMICA will showcase more than 15 participants actively working in cultural and artistic aspects of space exploration. Urban stargazing, cosmic music, zero gravity dance, armchair space exploration, science fiction and DIY rocket science collide in this unique and unmissable event. The ideas are fantastic but the stakes are real: reclaim space for all!

    We Colonised The Moon (Hagen Betzwieser and Sue Corke) explore an idiosyncratic world view based on popular science, flexible wikipedia knowledge, graphical illustrations and various display formates.

    Regina Peldszus asks - how will we actually live in space? Regina Peldszus’s work in space architecture and design explores the psychological challenges of isolation and monotony of space crew on extended exploration missions. And concerns human-technology-nature interaction in extreme environments, off-duty and medical design aspects in space and their spin-offs. She is based at the Design Research Centre and the Astronautics & Space Systems Group, Kingston University London.

    Ariel Guzik designs and produces mechanisms and instruments to enquire into the various languages of nature. He is also a musician, draftsman and illustrator. He is Director of the Laboratorio Plasmaht de Investigación en Resonancia y Expresión de la Naturaleza, Asociación Civil. Installations and individual exhibitions of his work have been presented in national and international institutions.

    Juan José Díaz Infante's Ulises is a nanosatellite being launched soon next year, conceptualised and developed by a Mexican group of artists during the past year: The Mexican Space Collective. Ulises is born out of the necessity of creation of parallel and alternate reality, explores the need of any citizen on Earth to be able to shape any future he wants not being dependant on the system.

    Nelly Ben Hayoun considers ‘Surreal Interactions’ and proposes how we could embed creativity in our daily lives. With creations like The Soyuz Chair, Royal College of Art Design Interactions MA graduate, Nelly explores the possibilities of space tourism, weightlessness and the thrill of the unknown.

    Roger Malina, astronomer, editor and Distinguished Professor of Art and Technology at the University of Texas, where he is developing Art-Science R and D and Experimental publishing research. Malina is the former Director of the Observatoire Astronomique de Marseille Provence and his specialty is in space instrumentation; he was the Principal Investigator for the NASA Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer Satellite at the University of California, Berkeley. He also has been involved for 25 years with the Leonardo organization whose mission is to promote and make visible work that explores the interaction of the arts and sciences and the arts and new technologies.

    Dr Jill Stuart is Fellow in Global Politics at the London School of Economics, and reviews editor for the journal Global Policy. She researches law, politics and theory of outer space exploration and exploitation. Her interests extend to the way terrestrial politics and conceptualisations such as how sovereignty is projected into outer space, and how outer space potentially plays a role in reconstituting how those politics and conceptualisations are understood in terrestrial politics.

    Antígona Segura wanted to be a rumba dancer but she was born too late. Her fascination with the skies and for the living world took her to pursue a career in astrobiology, the science that studies extraterrestrial life. She was hired by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to work at the Virtual Planetary Laboratory, an astrobiology project by NASA. Currently she is a researcher at the National Institute of Astrobiology and at the Institiute of Nuclear Sciences in Mexico City. She is the President of the Mexican Society of Astrobiology.

    Ale de la Puente is an artist, industrial designer, with MA in Naval Construction she deals with notions of time, memory and space by combining conceptualism with multimedia supports. Ale de la Puente has been actively working and collaborating with scientists from the National Insitute of Astronomy in Mexico where she is developing new work. She is a member of the National System of Art Makers in Mexico.

    Ulrike Kubatta will introduce her film She Should Have Gone To The Moon and will talk about the process of making it. The film documents Jerri Truhill's remarkable story of as a wife, mother and aviator, and her part in Mercury 13 to become one of the first women to be trained by NASA to go into space. The film is about Jerri Truhill's ambition to conquer the unknown and the Kubatta's fascination with a woman who dared to break down all barriers in aviation. Set against the historical background of the Space Race, the documentary both constructs an intimate portrait of Truhill and explores a unique chapter in American culture and society.

    Lyn Hagan is an artist and founding director of LifeInSpace. Her work principally tries to negotiate and transcend established ideas of theatricality and aesthetics. Hagan is currently developing a project with the European Space Agency for the next ExoMars Rover mission. Her suggestion is to choreograph a dance for the robot on Mars for when the scientific mission is over using its autonomous navigation system.

    Partnerships

    KOSMICA in Mexico has been made possible thanks to the support of the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA), Mexico through Laboratorio Arte Alameda.

    Laboratorio Arte Alameda promotes reflection and exchange of ideas between the different audiences and the electronic media art community in Mexico and worldwide, reinforcing cooperation links between learning institutions (both public and private), ministries of culture, governmental institutions in charge of science and technology, local and international cultural associations, and films and video festivals, among others.

    KOSMICA is endorsed by ITACCUS, the International Astronautical Federation's Committee on the Cultural Utilisation of Space.

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    Kosmos in Blue, Flow Motion

    Zero Gravity workshop and live performance of Hallucinator's Sun Ra remixes

    Taking place during The Arts Catalyst’s zero gravity flying workshop at the Gagarin Csmonaut Training Centre in Star City, Moscow, Kosmos In Blue was a three part work comprising a staging during a parabolic flight in zero gravity of a sound sculpture using Sun Ra’s music as its point of departure, a live performance of Hallucinator material, mixing the sounds of radio astronomy with remixes of Sun Ra material, and a CD of this material plus material gathered during our trip to Star City. 

A performance of Kosmos in Blue was also given at the Lilian Baylis Theatre, Sadlers Wells, London, as part of the 'Artists & Cosmonauts' event.

    With Kosmos In Blue, the artists in Flow Motion - Edward George, Trevor Mathison and Anna Piva - were concerned with questions of troubled subjectivity, of isolation and freedom, of melancholia; the focal figure was Sun Ra.

    "Sun Ra was without a doubt 20th century American music’s most consistent, significant advocate of a star bound earth based music. His heliocentric vision was rooted in a sense of unbelonging here on earth, a wistful, romantic but nonetheless very real sense of displacement; a kind of heightened, profound loneliness. 

Ra’s music always seemed to be aimed at, or searching for, potential fellow travellers, possible cosmonauts, disaffected earth dwellers, profoundly constrained by the lack of space - physical, political, existential, spiritual - here in their own home. It was in the light of the suggestions for sound art posed by Ra’s jazz, euro-avante garde, and electronic lo-fi, that we posed another kind of cosmic music, as a way of teasing out some of the affective components in Ra’s music and thought. 

We were interested in the idea of Sentics, a percussion based music technology, developed by Manfred Clynes, founder of cybernetics. Designed to make bearable the effect of protracted physical dislocation on the central nervous system of astronauts on increasingly long space flights, Sentics represented a science-based elaboration on the theme of alienation that characterised Ra’s work; space themed music as an expression of unbelonging here on earth, made here on earth, never quite imagined astronauts in their solitude or unease, producing their own cosmic music. 

And while Space restrictions during the parabolic flight rendered the sound sculpture impossible, we were nonetheless able to present the live performance, and compile sound materials from the flight for a future CD document.”

    Edited extract from: Edward George & Anna Piva: “Flow Motion: Out There”, in: ‘Space Art. Festival @rt Outsiders 2003’, Anomalie Digital_Arts N° 4 (Orléans: Editions Hys & Anomalie digital art, September 2003), pp. 125-129.

    Artists

    In 2001, Trevor Mathison was involved in MIR Flight 001 in which The Arts Catalyst took a group of London and Russian artists, scientists and philosophers to Star City, Russia, to undertake projects in zero gravity, utilising the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre's parabolic flight programme. Mathison was part of Flow Motion, a band of musicians and dancers who gave a free concert of electronic music for the people of Star City at the Cosmonauts Club.
    Also in 2001, Flow Motion created a three part work entitled “Kosmos in Blue”; a three part work comprising of a sound sculpture taking a parabolic flight in zero gravity, a live performance mixing the sounds of radio astronomy with Sun Ra's music and a CD of these recordings. The artists were concerned with questions of troubled subjectivity, isolation, freedom and melancholia, focusing on the figure of Sun Ra.
    Both films documenting MIR Flight 001 and Kosmos in Blue were screened at The Arts Catalyst's “Artists and Cosmonauts” film screening in 2002, included in the film, Gravitation Off! In 2004 and included in the publication “Zero Gravity: A Cultural User's Guide”.
    In 2011, Trevor Mathison was involved in the “Specimens to Superhumans” event “All That Happened To Us” at the Roehampton University Dance Faculty in London. “All That Happened To Us” explored the implications of biomechanics of ageing and contemporary dance practice.
    While traditional dance science looks at how to enable an elite dancer to achieve perfection in both performance and aesthetics, this participative event explored what we can learn from the science of ageing about how a disabled or older dancer’s body works and what they need in order to perform to full capacity and to unlock their body’s full potential.For both older and disabled dancers, achieving elite standards may be neither possible nor what they are striving for, and this event explored the nuances between the social model of disability and the medical model of ageing, to see what common ground emerges from.
     
    Flow Motion Anna Piva and Edward George’s interest in the cosmos has its autobiographical roots in the cold war space race of the 1960’s and the landing of the first man on the moon; in black music and its traditions of the exploration of space in sound; in metaphysical and scientific writing on the nature of our universe.
    These concerns with the cosmos have surfaced in a number of ways and in a variety of permutations, though their art as Flow Motion, and their music as Hallucinator. Running through their work is a constant weaving of different senses of space, which oscillate around and sometimes blur the line between sonic space and the space of the cosmos.
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    Astro Black Morphologies, Flow Motion

    Immersive sound and image installation using transformed x-ray data from a black hole

    Astro Black Morphologies is an immersive dub, techno, and avant garde electronic sound and image installation and sound performance, created using transformed x-ray data from the black hole Cygnus-XI

    In 2002, scientist Phil Uttley at the University of Southampton announced that data readings of X-ray detritus from black hole Cygnus X-1 showed variations which were implicitly musical in structure.

    Working with Uttley and astronomer Tim O’Brien from Jodrell Bank Observatory, artists and musicians Flow Motion (Anna Piva and Eddie George) used X-ray data gathered by NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer satellite and, using technologies and techniques for subtracting, reshaping, and resounding sound sources particular to granular synthesis, Dub and electronica, Flow Motion have made audible the music of black hole Cygnus X-1. With generative design by Adrian Ward, the resulting installations transform Cygnus X-1’s data into a multi-sensory experience of colour, light and sound.

    A sound performance by Flow Motion took place at the Dana Centre on 8 June 2005

    The discussion event Deep Space Poetics was held at the Dana Centre on 16 June 2005 with Eddie George and Anna Piva (Flow Motion), astronomer Tim O'Brien and Doug Vakosh from SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), chaired by Nicola Triscott.

    Astro Black Morphologies was funded by Arts Council England and organised by The Arts Catalyst in association with John Hansard Gallery - with thanks to SCAN.

    Flow Motion Anna Piva and Edward George’s interest in the cosmos has its autobiographical roots in the cold war space race of the 1960’s and the landing of the first man on the moon; in black music and its traditions of the exploration of space in sound; in metaphysical and scientific writing on the nature of our universe.
    These concerns with the cosmos have surfaced in a number of ways and in a variety of permutations, though their art as Flow Motion, and their music as Hallucinator. Running through their work is a constant weaving of different senses of space, which oscillate around and sometimes blur the line between sonic space and the space of the cosmos.
     

    Links

    The Arts Catalyst

    Arts Council England

    SCAN

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    SPACE SOON: Art and Human Spaceflight

    "We are all already in Space... "

    Major new commissions by Aleksandra Mir, N55/Neal White, and London Fieldworks
    Projects by Michelle Griffiths, Jerry Dammers, Kodwo Eshun, Resonance FM and Laurie Anderson and a special appearance by Apollo astronaut Alan Bean.

    This was Buckminster Fuller's reported response to the first flight into space by Yuri Gagarin. Artists - caught between fascination and repulsion by the new millennial push to Mars and return to the Moon - are still trying to decode the manual to Spaceship Earth.

    For a short, intense period the Roundhouse was transformed into a rocket factory for a rocket going nowhere - Gravity by Aleksandra Mir. Outside, N55 and Neal White’s Space on Earth Station reversed into the future, while in the labyrinth of Roundhouse Studios, London Fieldworks investigated long-term space travel in SpaceBaby, while on the upper floors Michelle Griffiths constructed her Lunar Capsule. In the lead up to, and over the five days of its duration, Space Soon unfolded a spectacular succession of art and space events.

    Major new commissions:

    Gravity - Aleksandra Mir

    Sat 9 September 2006 - Wed 13 September 2006

    The Camden Roundhouse, London

    Gravity was a monumental, ephemeral scuplture, a 22-metre rocket of giant junk, reaching to the top of the Roundhouse main space, built and dismantled in just 5 days. It was constructed out of junk: steel, fibreglass, tractor tires, industrial fans and a discarded tank from a toothpaste factory.  It took two days of construction on site, stood erect for three days only and was dismantled in another two days.

    The rocket that effectively went nowhere is commemorated through a mixture of production stills, drawings, space ephemera and the artist’s own pin up photos taken in scrap yards around England during the search for old and dirty things to make the work. 
    SUPPORTED BY:
    The Arts Council of England, The Henry Moore Foundation
    Industrial Design & Fabrication - Cory Burr, C.Burr Design / Stratford Welding
    Engineering - Price Myers
    Rigging - MTec Freight Group
     

    Space on Earth Station - N55 / Neal White

    Sat 9 September 2006 - Tue 1 September 2009

    The Camden Roundhouse, London

    Radical Danish architects N55 and UK artist Neal White constructed and inhabited a Mars base-type series of microdwellings, taking over the entirety of the Roundhouse car park, in order to explore our terrestrial neighbourhood.

    Space on Earth Station is a space station on earth. It is an experiment that is inhabitable, fully functional, using a low-tech and low-economy architecture. It is concerned with the transfer of knowledge and exploration of bottom-up aesthetics. Space on Earth Station is foremost an experiment that aims to explore conditions for living, and experiment with our removal from and reconnection with what is natural. Natural in terms of nature, rights, relationships and our social structures. It was designed, set up and inhabited by Danish radical architect group N55 with UK artist Neal White. During the week, experiments and expeditions were conducted in collaboration with artists and the public. Collaborators included artists Marcus Ahlers and Kayle Brandon.
     

    SpaceBaby - London Fieldworks

    Sat 9 September 2006 - Mon 4 June 2007
    The Camden Roundhouse, London, in collaboration with the Department of Genetics, University of Leicester.
    Whitechapel Art Gallery, London

    A durational sleep experiment and installation by artists London Fieldworks, investating long-term sleep and hibernation, with the University of Leicester Department of Genetics.

    SpaceBaby was a performance-installation and lab in action performed during Space Soon at the Roundhouse.
    SpaceBaby - performance installation and lab in action. A new video work Spacebaby: Guinea Pigs Don't Dream incorporated images from the experiment.
    SpaceBaby was the first in a trilogy of works by London Fieldworks exploring the theme of hibernation and suspended animation in the form of a performance installation and lab in action. The project referenced the vested interest of space agencies into the possibility of human hibernation and acknowledged fictional representations of human hibernation within science fiction writing and film. The artists inverted their sleeping patterns and slept within the installation during exhibition opening hours. In the context of SpaceBaby, a parallel was drawn between shiftworkers and astronauts on long haul space missions. The lab-in-action was manned by a team of geneticists who examinined the effects of disrupted sleep upon whole genome, gene expression, with a particular interest in individuals undertaking shiftwork. Blood samples were periodically extracted from the sleep inverted artists and processed within the installation using Affymetrix gene chip Technology. The processing of the samples resulted in a series of images depicting the gene expression of disrupted sleep and were incorporated into the video work, SPACEBABY: Guinea Pigs Don’t Dream.
     
    SPACEBABY: GUINEA PIGS DON'T DREAM - VIDEO WORK
    SpaceBaby is a 20-minute semi-fictional video journey into genetic space. It is the latest addition to London Fieldworks’ Hibernator, a trilogy of installation and video works connecting myth and science, environmental cues and technological control, the virtual worlds we imagine and the real world we cannot escape. It mixes laboratory procedure with physical performance, CGI, narrative and sound. Human guinea pigs, fruit flies and lab rats are seen inhabiting a hallucinatory 24-hour world where night and day are interchangeable.
    Working with writer Ken Hollings and composer Dugal McKinnon, London Fieldworks artists Jo Joelson and Bruce Gilchrist have used documentary footage of the live SpaceBaby experiment, along with resulting data and footage shot around the capital. The narrative is played out in a world where everyone on earth appears to have fallen into a sleep-like trance. Has the whole planet stopped moving or merely its inhabitants?
    The film was premiered at Whitechapel Art Gallery, 4 June 2008
     
    FUNDERS & SPONSORS
    The SpaceBaby experiment and installation at Space Soon was funded by Arts Council England and supported by AHRC, University of Leicester, Affymetrix and Ambion
    The SpaceBaby video work was Funded by Arts & Business (New Partners Award), AHRC and Arts Council England and sponsored by Affymextrix, Ambion, with collaborative support from Department of Genetics at University of Leicester.
     

    Lunar Capsule - Michelle Griffiths

    Lunar Capsule was a whimsical Victorian butterfly-powered spaceship reminiscent of that in Jules Verne’s Earth to the Moon. The module was hinged with a clasp like a jewellery box and the instruments in the plush velour upholstered interior were unreliable. Mrs Bloom had a lot of time on her hands while she waited for touchdown on the moon.

    Events:

    Taking Control

    Symposium exploring the future of space exploration from the human perspective.

    Cosmic Engineers: Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA Orchestra - Tribute to Sun Ra + Special Screening of Out of the Present

    Sat 9 September 2006

    The Camden Roundhouse, London

    The premiere of Jerry Dammers' new Spatial AKA Orchestra, presenting a tribute to the legendary jazz composer Sun Ra, and special screening of Andrei Ujica’s cult Russian space film Out of the Present.

    Space Soon was proud to present the premiere gig of Jerry Dammers' new band, The Spatial AKA Orchestra.

    Songwriter and keyboardist Jerry Dammers (founder of The Specials and the 2 Tone Record label) and his 18-piece orchestra paid tribute to the cosmic jazz of Sun Ra, the prolific space-jazz explorer who famously claimed to have gained his musical purpose on a trip to Saturn. Costumes, theatrics and visuals mixed with ska, reggae, hip-hop, dub-step, rock and outer-spatial sounds created an unforgettable ride across the galaxies.

    Jeremy Dammers and Kodwo Eshun also made a special screening of' Andrei Ujica's cult Russian space movie Out of the Present.

     

    Secret Artist on the Moon: Apollo astronaut Alan Bean

    7.00pm, Sun 10 September 2006
    The Camden Roundhouse, London

    Legendary Apollo astronaut, Alan Bean, discussed his experience of being on the moon, the impact of spaceflight on the human mind, and the power of art.

    Apollo astronaut Alan Bean, the 4th man on the moon, talks of space and art - A Secret Artist on the Moon
    Legendary Apollo astronaut, Alan Bean, one of only nine men alive today who walked on the moon, visited London for the first time to discuss his experience of visiting the moon and the power of art with author Andrew Smith.
    Alan Bean, moonwalker and artist, was captured perfectly in Andrew Smith's best-selling book Moondust evoking the rawness of that moment 37 years back when he grabbed hold of something solid and looked up: "This is the Moon, that's the Earth, I'm really here, I'm really here."
    In Secret Artist on the Moon, Alan Bean - who now makes paintings that attempt to bring to life that elusive experience - brings a uniquely human insight to that rare moment, never repeated, when humans for a few years left the earth's orbit to voyage to our nearest neighbour. We have never returned.
    A uniquely human perspective on voyaging further away from home than any other person has ever been. 
     

    Brilliant Noise - Glorious Soviet Cosmos

    Sat 9 September 2006
    The Camden Roundhouse, London

    Film night with Alexei Federchenko's First on the Moon, Jane & Louise Wilson's Dream Time, and Semiconductor's Brilliant Noise.

    The astonishing Russian documentary First on the Moon by Alexei Fedorchenko shakes our understanding of the history of human spaceflight. 
    Dream Time by Jane and Louise Wilson shows the lingering power of the Russian space programme in the cash-strapped post-Soviet era.
    In Semiconductor’s Brilliant Noise, untouched images of our sun, captured by the SoHo satellite, present an alternative aesthetic of space.
     

    Laurie Anderson in conversation

    Tue 12 September 2006

    The Camden Roundhouse, London

    Laurie Anderson, NASA's former artist-in-residence returned to the UK, after the success of her show End of the Moon, to reflect on her NASA experience and her visit with The Arts Catalyst to Russia’s space programme with the writer and theorist Kodwo Eshun.

    When NASA appointed the musician and artist, Laurie Anderson, as their first official artist-in-residence, they probably had in mind a celebratory and hi-tec output – perhaps lasers bouncing off the moon. But Anderson, disturbed by NASA’s revived plans to revisit and exploit the moon, created the performance piece The End of the Moon. NASA swiftly decided that there would be no further artists-in-residence.
    In 2005, Anderson visited Russia’s space programme – the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre and mission control – with The Arts Catalyst and saw a very different side of the human spaceflight story, where the post-Soviet cash-strapped Russian space agency sells flights into space to Japanese dotcom billionaires at $20 million a time.
    Anderson paid a special flying visit to London to take part in The Arts Catalyst's Space Soon event at the Roundhouse on Tuesday 12 September to reflect on her experiences, show her photographs and videos from her visit to Star City, in conversation with the author and critic Kodwo Eshun.

     

    We're All Going to Die

    Resonance FM's operatic, radiophonic concatenation of space ephemera and near-Earth collision paranoia. Featuring the divergent talents of Ken Hollings, DJ Original Bear, Tom McCarthy, Johny Trunk, DJ Rocket 88, Resonance Radio Orchestra and Lembit Opik MP.
    Resonance FM
    broadcasted live from the Roundhouse throughout Space Soon.

    Near Earth: a week of space creation

    Mon 21 August 2006 - Fri 25 August 2006
    The Camden Roundhouse, London

    In the lead up to Space Soon, The Arts Catalyst and Roundhouse Studios organised a week-long workshop for young people aged 14-19 years, taking them on a journey exploring space through digital photography, animation, sound and music, drama and the performing arts.

    Workshops were led by Semiconductor, Luke Jerram, Kate Tierney, Tony Hall, Trevor Mathison, Mat Fox, Marcus Ahlers, Hilary Westlake and Morag Wightman, with the input of scientists Chris Welch, Kevin Fong and Mark Lythgoe.
    SPACE ANIMATION
    Led by Semiconductor - animation artists Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhadt - participants took snapshots produced from satelites orbiting the earth and explored how to create time-lapse digital animation sequences.
    SPACE DIGITAL FILM & PHOTOGRAPHY
    Led by arist Luke Jerram, participants explored the tricks of film and photography and learned how experts manipulate images from space. 
    SPACE RADIO
    Led by artists Kate Tierney and Antony Hall, participants worked to decode and transmit sound from space.
    SPACE MUSIC 1 - RECORDED
    Led by musician Trevor Mathison, participants experimented with panning, overlaps, fades, dissolves, delay and reverbs to record their journey to space.
    SPACE MUSIC 2 - LIVE
    Led by Mat Fox. Participants joined an out-of-this world band and created some cosmic sounds and recorded their own live sessions.
    EXPLORING ENERGY
    Led by Marcus Ahlers, participants collected electricity from sunlight, built hydrogen fuel cells and became energy technologists of the future.
    SPACE DRAMA
    Led by theatre maker ilary Westlake. Participants explored outer space themes using iconic music and images and created a striking theatrical performance.
    SPACE MOVEMENT
    Led by dancer Morag Wightman. Participants worked suspended off the floor and explored aerial dance with Morag Wightman, one of the very few dancers to experience zero gravity first hand, to create a new piece exploring gravity.
     

    Artists

    Aleksandra Mir studied a BFA in Media Arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York and Cultural Anthropology at The New School for Social Research in New York. Much of Aleksandra's work explores social norms and human interactions with space. As part of Arts Catalyst's SPACE SOON event in 2006, Aleksandra Mir created a rocket made out of junk entitled “Gravity”. The artist explored scrap yards and found steel, fibreglass, tractor tires, industrial fans and a discarded tank from a toothpaste factory to make her work in the former engine shed of The Roundhouse, London. When finished, the “rocket” scaled 20 metres high, took two days of construction on site and stood erect for only three days. The work is intended to highlight failures and resistance in the history of space exploration – a catalogue of various failures, disasters, minor mishaps and political hurdles. The construction and dismantling of 'Gravity' was published as a calendar Gravity: The Eternal Countdown.

    For over 20 years, Neal White has critically explored art in relation to new ideas, forms and technologies. As part of numerous collaborative endeavours – he has been developing projects, research and artworks, publications, archives, fieldworks, critical excursions as bus tours and exhibitions with academics, architects and activists. His current work explores situated practices and knowledge - drawing together environmental and ecological matters of concern with marine biologists, ecologists, coders, architects and volunteers in Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island, Dorset for Arts Catalyst's Test Sites programme.

    London Fieldworks was formed by the artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson. London Fieldworks aims to enable creative research and collaboration at the art, science and technology interesection. Typically, their projects deal with issues relating to complex relationships existing between social, natural and technological worlds. In 2006, London Fieldworks collaborated with The Arts Catalyst and the Department of Genetics at The University of Leicester to create “SpaceBaby” at the event SPACE SOON.

    Laurie Anderson is an experimental performance artist and musician who plays violin and keyboards and sings in a variety of experimental music and art rock styles. Initially trained as a sculptor, Anderson did her first performance-art piece in the late 1960’s. Anderson is a pioneer in electronic music and has invented several devices that she has used in her recordings and performance art shows. NASA appointed Laurie Anderson in 2005, as their first official artist-in-residence. NASA probably had in mind a celebratory and hi-tec output – but Anderson, disturbed by NASA’s revived plans to revisit and exploit the moon, created the performance piece The End of the Moon. After the success of Anderson’s show End of the Moon, Anderson paid a special flying visit to London to take part in The Arts Catalyst’s Space Soon event at the Roundhouse on Tuesday 12 September 2006 to reflect on her experiences, show her photographs and videos from her visit to Star City, in conversation with the author and critic Kodwo Eshun. Also in 2005, Anderson visited The Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre (Russia’s space programme) and mission control. This project was in collaboration with The Arts Catalyst and saw a very different side of the human spaceflight story, where the post-Soviet cash-strapped Russian space agency sold flights into space to Japanese dotcom billionaires at $20 million a time.

    Kodwo Eshun is a writer, theorist, filmmaker and co-founder of The Otolith Group with Anjalika Sagar, 2002. Their practice includes curating, publishing and production of artists work. Their research into aural and visual cultures is informed by the legacy and potential of the moving image and the archive. In 2012 The Otolith Group made the film ‘The Radiant’ exploring the aftermath of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and the partial meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    Links to artists' websites:

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    Near Earth: A Week of Space Creation

    A week of Space Creation at the Roundhouse, London, with artists and scientists took 100 young people on a journey that explored space through digital photography, animation, sound and music, drama and the performing arts. Part of SPACE SOON.

    Workshops were led by Semiconductor, Luke Jerram, Kate Tierney, Tony Hall, Trevor Mathison, Mat Fox, Marcus Ahlers, Hilary Westlake and Morag Wightman, with the input of scientists Chris Welch, Kevin Fong and Mark Lythgoe.

    Part of the international art and space event Space Soon.

    Space Animation

    Led by Semiconductor - animation artists Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhadt - participants took snapshots produced from satelites orbiting the earth and explored how to create time-lapse digital animation sequences.

    Space Digital Film & Photography

    Led by arist Luke Jerram, participants explored the tricks of film and photography and learned how experts manipulate images from space. 

    Space Radio

    Led by artists Kate Tierney and Antony Hall, participants worked to decode and transmit sound from space.

    Space Music 1 - Recorded

    Led by musician Trevor Mathison, participants experimented with panning, overlaps, fades, dissolves, delay and reverbs to record their journey to space.

    Space Music 2 - Live

    Led by Mat Fox. Participants joined an out-of-this world band and created some cosmic sounds and recorded their own live sessions.

    Exploring Energy

    Led by Marcus Ahlers, participants collected electricity from sunlight, built hydrogen fuel cells and became energy technologists of the future.

    Space Drama

    Led by theatre maker ilary Westlake. Participants explored outer space themes using iconic music and images and created a striking theatrical performance.

    Space Movement

    Led by dancer Morag Wightman. Participants worked suspended off the floor and explored aerial dance with Morag Wightman, one of the very few dancers to experience zero gravity first hand, to create a new piece exploring gravity.

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    Event

    We're All Going To Die (Space Soon)

    SPACE SOON A special concert curated by Resonance FM

    Is it possible to have a clean death in a vacuum? We're All Going To Die was an operatic, radiophonic concatentation of space ephemera and near-Earth collision paranoia, hosted by Resonance104.4fm. It featured The Bohman Brothers, Ken Hollings, Tom McCarthy, DJ Original Bear, the Resonance Radio Orchestra, DJ Rocket 88, Jonny Trunk and Lembit Opik MP. Resonance FM broadcast live from the Roundhouse throughout Space Soon.

     

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