Satellite Stories

A commissioned participatory activity led by artist Joanna Griffin in collaboration with scientists at Mullard Space Science Laboratory.

Joanna Griffin collaborated with the scientists at Mullard Space Science Laboratory, the UK's largest university-based space science research group, as part of her ongoing investigation into our connection to the orbiting built environment of satellites.

The event - held as part of a day of activities for the public - aimed to draw out stories of space science and create strong memories for participants so that science knowledge filters into local culture and the oral tradition of storytelling.

Participants joined in the exchange of stories while moving through the spaces of the house and gardens, where satellites are woven into the fabric of this extraordinary place. They experienced the voyages of spacecraft through the rooms, minds, garden, lanes, conversations, meetings, oceans, atmospheres, magnetospheres.... Each family was asked to bring along at least one 'satellite anecdote' or stargazing memory (or object) to share.

3:30: Welcome talk – tea + snacks in library
4:00:  Talks / guided tours, children's activities including lantern building workshop
5:00 – 6:00 (twilight): Satellite Stories
6:00: Satellite watching workshop, lights, music, conversation, 'Mullard' wine

An artist and educator based in the South West of England, Joanna Griffin's practice examines structures with political and scientific significance. Her work with Satellite Stories considers the complications around the control of the space of orbiting satellites, and what the technology is used for. What happens when individuals outside of this culture also want access to the view from above? This line of enquiry is detailed beautifully in her blog .



Admission to Satellite Stories was free.

Satellite Stories was produced in collaboration with the scientists of Mullard Space Science Laboratory, a department of University College London (UCL). The project was the first part of The Arts Catalyst's programme with UCL as a partner in their 'Beacons of Public Engagement' programme.

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Space Day

Arts Catalyst, in collaboration with the art and science departments at Lambeth Academy (a secondary school in Clapham), ran an art-science day focusing on Space

The whole school was taken off timetable (600 students) and all lessons delivered that day were hands-on and/or interactive and dealt with space topics.

Nicola Triscott, director of Arts Catalyst, delivered a talk on art, space and weightlessness to the whole school. Five artists ran workshops with students through the day: Artist Antony Hall worked with sound and podcasts, Joanna Griffin developed an orbital installation with the students using Google Earth and satellites; Mandinga Arts created alien masks and Dimitri Launder and Joel Grey landed a Space Pod in the school atrium that became a debating forum on the politics of space travel.

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