Crafting Life: Materiality, Science and Technology Symposium

Crafting Life symposium explored how crafted life forms create an interplay between art, design, science and technology.

The symposium was part of the opening day programming around the Transformism exhibition of work by Melanie Jackson and Revital Cohen.

The cultivation and crafting of biological life has existed for centuries, both for aesthetic and practical purposes. Today, with the advancement of bioscientific tools, techniques and materials, these new forms are now not only produced by farms and individuals, but in laboratories and factories, with 'crafting' taking place on the molecular level.

In this symposium, we will begin to examine, from different disciplinary perspectives, some of the implications of applying new scientific and technological tools to the manipulation of living forms and systems, what this means for our relationship with non-human life, and the new realm of aesthetic and forms it opens up.

Prof Susanne Kuechler is head of Anthropology department at UCL, Director of Masters Programme in Culture, Materials and Design, and co-editor of the Journal of Material Culture. Her current research is in new material, new technologies and society: their innovation, take-up, classification and transmission, material-aesthetics and the anthropology of art, and she specialisises in pacific anthropology and ethnographic collections.

Dr Emma J Roe is a lecturer in Human Geography in Geography and Environment at the University of Southampton. She specialises in bodily cultural geographies, specialising in bodily cultural geographies of human-nonhuman relations, embodied material ethics and practical experience of consumption.

Prof Raymond Oliver is a lecturer in Interactive Materials in the P³i - D:STEM Interaction Studio Lab at Northumbria University, a chemical engineer with 20 years expertise through a variety of senior research and technology management posts in a global chemicals and materials company. P³i - D:STEM Interaction Studio Lab specialises in Synthetic Biology, Organic electronics, Sensors and Mircrofluidics, Nano materials and technologies into practical, usable, desirable solutions for tomorrow’s issues today.

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Panning for Atomic Gold

Panning for Atomic Gold explores artistic quests for sensory perceptions of deep time through atomic materials and nuclear culture.

The symposium will make connections between Arts Catalyst’s Atomic exhibition (1998), current artistic practices and future nuclear archives. In our twentieth anniversary year the event draws on Arts Catalyst’s archive of unique documents and artefacts – revisiting work by James Acord, Mark Aerial Waller and Carey Young – and makes public these archives for the first time.

Curated by Ele Carpenter, speakers include radiological protection advisor Shelly Mobbs; scholar of Cold War literature Dan Grausam; artists Thomson & Craighead, Karen Kramer, Mark Aerial Waller and Carey Young; curator Ele Carpenter; and Arts Catalyst’s archivist Z Richter-Welch and research engineer Lisa Haskel.

Full programme of events

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KOSMICA Sound Night

A social event for artists, scientists and the cosmically curious exploring sound and sonification of space.

KOSMICA bridges Earth and space through art and other cultural experiments out of this world. Our next informal gathering for the cosmically curious will bring together artists who explore the sounds and sonification of space and our planet: Yuri Suzuki, Honor Harger and Kaffe Matthews.

The Acts

Yuri Suzuki - a sound artist, designer and electronic musician who produces work that explores the realms of sound through exquisitely designed pieces.  Yuri will present The Sound of the Earth, a spherical record project, the grooves representing the outlines of the geographic land mass. Each country on the disc is engraved with a different sound, as the needle passes over it plays field recordings collected by Yuri Suzuki from around the world over the course of four years; traditional folk music, national anthems, popular music and spoken word broadcasts.

Honor Harger - a curator and artist from New Zealand. Harger has a particular interest in artistic uses of new technologies. She's the director of Lighthouse, an arts agency in Brighton, UK. Her artistic practice is produced under the name r a d i o q u a l i a together with collaborator Adam Hyde. One of their main projects is Radio Astronomy, a radio station broadcasting sounds from space.

Kaffe Matthews - Since 1990 Kaffe has been making and performing new electro-acoustic music worldwide with a variety of things and places such as violin, theremin, Scottish weather, desert stretched wires, NASA scientists, melting ice in Quebec and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Currently she is completing three Star Gazer chairs and album for ‘Yird, Muin, Starn,’ a vital spark collaboration with Mandy McIntosh, in the Galloway Forest, Scotland.

 

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Radical DIY: artist-makers of extraordinary and poetic machines

An evening of talks with artists who make extraordinary and poetic machines.

From homemade satellites, rainbow and tornado generators, handmade particle accelerators, and weapons of mass amiability the talks covered their projects and ideas - Hojun Song, Owl Project, Alistair McClymont and Patrick Stevenson-Keating. Together, their work provides a quirky and compelling critique of the allure and production of technology. 

Korean artist Hojun Song has built a fully functioning satellite. His tiny satellite is a DIY engineering masterpiece: he hacked together a solar cell, a lithium-ion battery, an Arduino board, and four powerful LED lights. The cube will transmit Morse code messages that can be seen from back on Earth. He has set up the Open Source Satellite Initiative to ensure others can follow. In 2010, he made the Strongest Weapon in the World - I Love You. If you hit it – with an extremely large mallet - it says “I love you”. It can withstand a nuclear attack. His Radioactive Jewlry meanwhile is not for those wishing for long life.

Alistair McClymont makes night-time rainbows, suspends raindrops in mid-air and creates tornadoes with deceptively simple machines. A UK based artist working in sculpture, photography and video, McClymont describes these as ‘phenomena’ artworks, in which he tries to capture natural, often overlooked occurrences and evoke a sense of wonder.

Patrick Stevenson-Keating is a designer who is interested in the ways emerging technologies interface with the environment and everyday life. He has created the world’s first handcrafted glass particle accelerator, using hand blown glass bulbs.

Owl Project is a collaborative group of artists consisting of Simon Blackmore, Antony Hall and Steve Symons. They work with wood and electronics to fuse sculpture and sound art, creating music making machines, interfaces and objects, which intermix pre-steam and digital technologies, drawing on influences such as 70’s synthesiser culture, DIY woodworking and current digital crafts. Their Cultural Olympiad commission, Flow, with Ed Carter, is a tidemill - a floating building on the River Tyne that generates its own power using a tidal water wheel and houses electro acoustic musical machinery and instruments responding to the constantly changing environment of the river, generating sound and data.

Supported by

KiiCS

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Critical Art Ensemble: Disturbances book launch with Steve Kurtz

A joint event with Four Corners Books and introduction by Steve Kurtz to mark the launch of Critical Art Ensemble: Disturbances, a landmark handbook for activists in art, theory, science and politics.A joint event with Four Corners Books and introduction by Steve Kurtz to mark the launch of Critical Art Ensemble: Disturbances, a landmark handbook for activists in art, theory, science and politics.

Book lauch with introduction by Steve Kurtz.

Since its formation in 1987, Critical Art Ensemble has set out to explore the intersections between art, critical theory, technology and political activism. The award-winning collective of tactical media practitioners has exhibited and performed in a variety of venues internationally, from the street to the museum to the internet. Disturbances is the first book to assess the group’s 25-year history, examining the environmental, political, and bio-technological themes of their various initiatives.

In the publication, each project is presented by the group itself, from their early live multimedia productions; to their development of models of electronic civil disobedience, digital resistance, and contestational biology and ecology; to their most recent tactical media projects.

In 2006 Arts Catalyst commissioned Marching Plague, a complex multi-media project which revealed the farcical failures of governmental germ warfare programs.

Publication details

Disturbances is a landmark handbook for activists in art, theory, science and politics, published by Four Corners Books, $40.00, Pbk, 8 x 10.75 in., 272 pgs, 250 color, 60 b&w, publication 31/10/2012

Associated events

2pm Wednesday 3 October, free  public lecture by Steve Kurtz at New Academic Building (NAB) LG02, Goldsmiths College, University of London

5pm Saturday 6 October, short talk by Steve Kurtz at Marcus Campbell Art Books, 43 Holland Street, London SE1 9JR

Websites

Critical Art Ensemble

Disturbances

Four Corners Books

Marcus Campbell Books, London

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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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Novel Forms & New Materialities

Melanie Jackson, Philip Ball and Esther Leslie discuss the ‘invisible era’ of material culture

'Novel Forms & New Materialities’ explores the radical transformations to our material world provoked by contemporary science and technology. It asks how engagement with new forms and modes of material performance promises to conjure into existence unseen materialities, narratives and possibilities. An  evening of presentations, film extracts and discussion follows an afternoon creative writing workshop. You are invited to book for one or both.

As molecular biology and nanotechnology converge, promising a proliferation of new, designed biological entities and smart materials, how is our physical environment and visual culture affected? What is at stake in these manipulations of material at this this scale? How might this reshaped matter in turn shape our visual, tactile world, as well as our dreams?

Science writer Philip Ball sets the context and considers what cultural,sociological and scientific factors have enabled these technological advancements, and our changing relationship with materials in this new “invisible era”. 

Artist Melanie Jackson and writer Esther Leslie have been collaborating on an investigation into the impulse for transformation and novel forms. Contemporary science re-imagines biological and chemical function as an engineering substrate, a complex fully programmable animate object, opening up a potential for us to “grow” any form. Goethe's idea of the Urpflanze - a primordial plant that contains within itself an infinity of potential forms – recurs startlingly in the present moment when matter, from the molecule up, is coerced to adopt fantastical forms and exhibit new behaviours. They will present readings and extracts from a forthcoming film essay and exhibition The Urpflanze (Part 2).

Afternoon writing workshop, ‘Using Biological Themes to Engineer New Fiction’, with Rachel Rodman

Rachel Rodman demonstrates how existing literary works can be recreated using techniques from molecular biology. In this workshop, we will explore metaphors comparing texts and organisms, and examine how “genetically” altered works can serve as starting points in the composition of new fiction. 

Limited places. Early booking recommended. 

Rachel Rodman earned a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin in 2008 and has since worked to promote innovative collaborations between fiction writers and scientists. She has taught writing workshops at the University of Wisconsin, Birkbeck, and Middlesex University. Her writing work combine themes from the biological sciences and from literature/creative writing. She has presented her work at Kingston University and at the 2010 NAWE Conference. Examples of her work can be found at LabLit, PANK, and The Human Genre Project:
http://www.pankmagazine.com/author/rachel-rodman/
http://www.humangenreproject.com/page.php?id=117
http://www.lablit.com/article/713 
http://www.lablit.com/article/679 

Speakers' Biographies

Melanie Jackson is an artist and a lecturer at Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. Recent 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. Jackson's Urplanze (Part 2), commissioned by Arts Catalyst, will be presented at the John Hansard Gallery in 2013.
http://www.melaniejackson.net

Philip Ball is a science writer with a background in chemistry and physics. He worked for Nature magazine for 20 years and has release a succession of books including Made to Measure: New Materials for the 21st Century and Stories of the Invisible: A Guided Tour of Molecules.
http://www.philipball.co.uk/

Esther Leslie is Professor of Political Aesthetics in the Department of English and Humanities at Birkbeck. She is the author of Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry (2005). Leslie is collaborating with Melanie Jackson on her new work Urpflanze (Part 2).
www.militantesthetix.co.uk

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Labyrinth of Living Exhibits

Part of the Specimens to Superhumans series curated with Shape

Labyrinth of Living Exhibits considered specimens and curiosities through infiltrating and responding to the exotic and disturbing collection of London’s Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons. The audience had the chance to explore the displays while encountering four simultaneous site-specific performances curated by Aaron Williamson and commissioned by Shape and The Arts Catalyst to respond to the museum's permanent collection: Aaron Williamson - Specimen Mirror, Sinéad O'Donnell - Who's afraid of the big bad wolf, Brian Catling - Out of its Depth and Katherine Araniello - Bipap I (Living Experiment). This was followed by a panel discussion. Artists Aaron Williamson and Katherine Araniello, were joined on the panel by Brian Hurwitz, D’Oyly Carte Professor of Medicine and the Arts at Kings College, and Sam Alberti, Director of the Hunterian Museum, for a discussion about the historical representation of disability and contemporary approaches taken by the medical community, chaired by the Richard Hollingham.

Living Exhibits

The 'living exhibits' were performances by disabled artists commissioned expressly to respond to the museum's permanent collection and will be presented by Katherine Araniello, Brian Catling, Sinéad O'Donnell and Aaron Williamson.

Katherine Araniello uses subversive humour and wit in performances and films that address the social issues surrounding disability.  The majority of her work have been short films and video blogs. In addition to this, she has staged performance pieces as part of the collective the Disabled Avant-Garde with Aaron Williamson. Her works are continued investigative and experimental observations that either highlight the tragedy and pity implicit in medical model representations of disability or present a completely alternative picture of physical difference.  The prime focus is to subvert and parody complex contemporary issues which include assisted suicide, media representation and body aesthetics. Using a variety of media including film, performance and digital prints Araniello transforms these multifarious and serious issues to make works that are humorous and playful with a critical edge.

In 2010 she was awarded an Arts Admin bursary and is currently working on a one-act comedy performance as a potential vehicle in which to expand and develop her ongoing concern with the contemporary enthusiasm for Assisted Suicide. http://araniello-art.com

Brian Catling is a poet, sculptor and performance artist, who is currently working in video and live work. He has been commissioned to make solo installations and performances in many countries including; Spain, Japan, Iceland, Israel, Holland, Norway, Germany, Greenland and Australia. His recent solo show Antix at Matt’s Gallery drew much critical acclaim. Four years ago he founded the international performance group, The Wolf In The Winter, whose most recent manifestation was at The South London Gallery. His video work moves between gallery installation and narrative films made in collaboration with Tony Grisoni. Their most recent work, The Cutting, was released last year. They also produce the no holds barred Cabaret Melancolique.

Catling’s permanent monument for the site of execution at the Tower of London was unveiled in 2007. Eight books of Catling’s poetry have been published and his work has been included in many anthologies. He is professor of fine art at The Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Linacre College. http://briancatling.com 

Originally from Dublin and based in Belfast since 1995, Sinéad O'Donnell’s performance practice is nomadic and patterns of travel have broadened her cultural perceptions and influenced her artistic sensibilities regarding time and space. She is highly active in the Belfast performance art scene working with local organisations to foster performance art activity and support emerging artists. The critical and artistic core of her solo work explores identity through immediate and mediated encounters with territory and the territorial. Recent performances have been presented at the National Review of Live Art Glasgow 2010, Art No.11 experimental residency Japan 2010, ArTrend performance art festival Taiwan 2009, Shelter 209 Israel 09, My land performance art festival Croatia 09, Glassbox exhibition space University of Ulster Belfast 09, and Paves, Toynbee Studios London, 09.

O'Donnell has also applied her skills and experiences in the development of an international curatorial practice that enables exchange between local and international artists. Most recently, she has curated ‘CHAOS’ with the arts organisation Bbeyond, commissioning 10 Canadian artists to create and produce live work for a week long event in Belfast, 2010. http://www.sineadodonnell.com

Over the last 15 years Aaron Williamson has created over 200 performances and video works in many countries: in Greenland, Japan, US, China, South America, Taiwan and throughout Europe. He completed a Doctorate on performance and writing at the University of Sussex, (1997). His many Awards include a 3-Year AHRC Fellowship at the University Central England, (2004 - 07); the Helen Chadwick Fellowship at Oxford University and the British School at Rome, (2001 – 02); the Cocheme Fellowship at Byam Shaw, University of London (2008 – 09). He won the ‘Artist of the Year’ award from FACT in Liverpool, (2007) and was the Adam Reynolds Bursarist at Spike Island, Bristol for a residency between February to April 2010.

Profoundly deaf, Aaron Williamson is the founder of the disability artist’s collective 15mm Films and is one half of the satirical ‘Disabled Avant-Garde’ with Katherine Araniello. A retrospective of Williamson’s video works, ‘The Bell Clapper & Bestiary’, was exhibited by Spike Island, Bristol, in 2010. A monograph, ‘Aaron Williamson: Performance/ Video/ Collaboration’ was published by Live Art Development Agency in 2008 and a compilation DVD ‘Quick Clips and Short Cuts’ in 2011. http://www.aaronwilliamson.org

Partners

Shape,  Hunterian Museum

Funders

Funded by a Wellcome Trust People Award and Arts Council England.

 

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Republic of the Moon, Liverpool

A touring exhibition of artists' works that reimagine the future of the Moon. Combining lunar narratives, fantasies and futures, Republic  of the Moon reclaims the Moon for artists, idealists, and dreamers.

As the players in the new 21st century race for the Moon line up – the USA rejoining China, India and Russia and jostling with private corporations interested in exploiting the Moon’s resources – a group of artists are declaring a Republic of the Moon: a ‘micronation’ for alternative visions of lunar life.

Republic of the Moon challenges utilitarian plans of lunar mines and military bases with artists’ imaginings and interventions. Combining beguiling fantasies, personal encounters, and playful appropriations of space habitats and scientific technologies, Republic of the Moon reclaims the Moon for artists, idealists, and dreamers.

The last race to the Moon was driven by the political impulses of the Cold War, but shaped by extraordinary visions of space created by writers, film-makers, and artists, from Jules Verne, Lucien Rudaux, and Vasily Levshin, to HG Wells, Stanislav Lem and Stanley Kubrick. Can artists’ quixotic visions reconcile our romantic notions of the Moon with its colonised future, and help us to reimagine our relationship with our natural satellite in the new space age?

Curated by Arts Catalyst and FACT, Republic of the Moon includes major new commissions by Agnes Meyer-Brandis and WE COLONISED THE MOON, and works by Leonid Tishkov, Andy Gracie, Liliane Lijn and Sharon Houkema.

The Moon Goose Analogue: Lunar Migration Bird Facility, Agnes Meyer-Brandis’ poetic-scientific investigations weave fact, imagination, storytelling and myth, past, present and future. In this major new work  the artist develops 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 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 will build 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).

Luring us onto the surface of the Moon, WE COLONISED THE MOON (Sue Corke and Hagen Betzwieser) will create an immersive audience experience, Enter At Own Risk. For this new commission, the artists will create an intimate immersive installation in the form of a laboratory-like room in which a lone astronaut tenderly gardens a group of rocks, spraying them periodically with the smell of the Moon - a scent the artists have had synthesised based on reports from the Apollo crew.  The artists question what is real and what is imagined? the nature of the fake and the authentic object, the art of showmanship and illusion through this experimental performance piece, drawing on the entertainment iconography of early astronaut training.

Leonid Tishkov’s Private Moon, by contrast, brings the Moon down to us. Tishkov tells the story of a man who met the Moon and stayed with her for the rest of his life. In a series of 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.

Transforming the everyday into the mesmerisingly beautiful, Sharon Houkema’s M3, created with characteristic simplicity with an overhead projector and a bucket of water, conjures a moon so tantalisingly close you can almost hold it.

Interweaving artistic metaphor and scientific rigour, Andy Gracie‘s DIY-astrobiology experiment Drosophila Titanus attempts to select and breed an organism – a new strain of fruit fly – that might survive on Titan, a moon of Saturn. The artist recreates the environmental and atmospheric conditions found on Titan using everyday materials such as vodka, smoke alarms and a bicycle pump. The first iteration of the experiment was performed by Gracie with Kuaishen Auson, Janine Fenton and Meredith Walsh, in Laboratory Life co-commissioned by Arts Catalyst and Lighthouse earlier this year.

In Liliane Lijn’s moonmeme, the artist reveals her concept to write on the Moon from the Earth using a laser beam. The word ‘SHE' is projected onto the surface of the moon, the meaning of this word being gradually transformed as the Moon moves through its phases, the work combines territorial appropriation, the technological extension of human consciousness and mythologies. moonmeme is a symbolic union of opposites and an homage to the feminine principal of transformation and renewal.

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

Occupy the Moon

To coincide with the opening of Republic of the Moon, Arts Catalyst has commissioned Tony White to write a short fiction Occupy the Moon.

Supported by

Republic of the Moon is a touring exhibition and programme curated by Arts Catalyst and FACT. It has been made possible with Grants for the Arts support from Arts Council England.

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. Pollinaria, Italy

FACT, AV Festival 2012, Arts Council England

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KOSMICA

The Arts Catalyst presents KOSMICA - a regular series of galactic gatherings bring together people from across art, science and society interested in sharing cultural ideas about space. 

Every KOSMICA is unique: bringing together the cosmically curious and culturally quirky space community for a social mix of art–space programmes.  The evening might include a film screening, performance or live music alongside an informal presentation, short talk or debate about 'alternative' and cultural uses of space.
KOSMICA events are usually held at The Arts Catalyst in London, but are sometimes held elsewhere, including Liverpool, Paris and beyond.  To find out more about future events and watch archive video footage checkout www.artscatalyst.org/kosmica or look us up on Facebook.

 

 

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