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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Notes from the Field: Commoning Practices in Art and Science

Arts Catalyst launches its Centre for Art, Science and Technology with Notes from the Field: Commoning Practices in Art and Science

This multi-faceted project investigates the notion of art as a tool or tactic for action with communities, with a focus on projects involving science and technology or driven by ecological concerns.

Notes from the Field… presents aspects of Arts Catalyst’s ongoing art and citizen science project Wrecked! on the Intertidal Zone with lead artists YoHa, Critical Art Ensemble, Andy Freeman and Fran Gallardo, who are working with communities on the Thames estuary. Alongside this, it presents the Arte Útil archive, a project initiated by artist Tania Bruguera, which chronicles a history of art projects that create tactics to change how we act in society.

In an archive room designed by Collective Works and ConstructLab, housing physical copies of selected Arte Útil case studies, and through exploratory workshops and discussion events, visitors will be able to speak with invited resident guests, undertake their own research, or propose new Arte Útil case studies. Contributing artists, scientists and experts to Notes from the Field… include Alistair Hudson, Dimitri Launder, Lisa Ma, Sylvia Nagl, Graham Harwood and Veronica Ranner.

More information about the 2016 programme can be found on the Arts Catalyst Centre launch press release.

 

#NotesfromtheField
 

Event Listings; Talks, Workshops and Seminars
 

Wed 27 January
Introducing Notes from the Field - Alistair Hudson and Graham Harwood in conversation, chaired by Nicola Triscott
Fully Booked

Fri 29 January
Assembly on Useful Art, Science and Technology – with Veronica Ranner, Kit Jones (Centre for Alternative Technology), Dimitri Launder, Graham Harwood, Sylvia Nagl, Jonathan Rosenhead (British Society for Social Responsibility in Science), Gemma Medina Estupiñan, Alec Steadman and Nicola Triscott.
Booking details

Thu 4 February
Socialising Activism - a talk with Lisa Ma
Booking details

Sat 6 February
Sketch a Bioluddite - a science and activism workshop with Lisa Ma
Booking details

Thu 18 February
Inter-species Technologies for Peripheral Contexts (the Bionic Sheep project) - a workshop with Fernando Garcia Dory
Booking details

Thu 18 February
Agroecology a New Kind of Neo Pastorialism - a talk with Fernando Garcia Dory
Booking details

Sat 27 February
Walking and Sensing in the City – a citizen science workshop with Andy Freeman
Booking details

Across March
A Remedy for the City – a workshop with Dimitri Launder
Fully booked

Thu 3 March
Planting in Concrete – A talk with Dimitri Launder
Booking details

Thu 17 March
Invasive Ecology – a working group with Fran Gallardo
Booking details

Sat 19 March  
Explore the Thames Estuary with your Tongue – with Fran Gallardo
Drop in no booking required
 

Artists

YoHa is a partnership between UK artists Graham Harwood and Matsuko Yokokoji, which has established an international reputation for pioneering critical arts projects, including Tantalum Memorial, Coal Fired Computers, Invisible Airs and Endless War. Critical Art Ensemble is an acclaimed US-based collective of tactical media practitioners, focused on the exploration of the intersections between art, critical theory, technology and political activism. Their work has been shown in major museums and biennales internationally.

Fran Gallardo is an artist and engineer, whose background includes studies in biochemistry, computing and space systems engineering. He is an active member of the Environmental Art Activism movement.

Andy Freeman is an artist, educator, technologist and former oyster farmer, whose practice that involves the combination of open data tactics and community engagement.

Tania Bruguera is a Cuban installation and performance artist. Her work pivots around issues of power and control. Several of her works interrogate and re-present events in Cuban history. On 2 January 2015, she was freed having had three back-to-back detentions in three days, and after over a thousand artists worldwide signed an open letter to Raúl Castro calling for her release.
 

Support

This project is supported by The Arts Council England, with in-kind support from The Block.

 

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Exhibition

KOSMICA Mexico 2014

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

 

KOSMICA returns for the third time to Mexico from 18 to 21 November 2014 at the Center for Digital Culture, Laboratorio Arte Alameda and Multimedia Center of the National Arts Centre.
 
Artists, scientists, performers, scholars, space explorers, workshop leaders and musicians from Mexico, UK, France, Canada and USA among others, to explore the cultural and artistic aspects of space exploration, and topics including the history of alcohol in space, sex in zero gravity, and nostalgia for the Earth.
 
PARTNERSHIP
 
This festival is managed by the artist Nahum Mantra in association with The Arts Catalyst (London) and with support from the National Council for Culture and Arts and the National Institute of Fine Arts.
 
PROGRAMME
 
Planet Earth/Unknown Direction, November 18, Centro de Cultura Digital.
 
A Brief History of Alcohol in Outer Space, November 19, Centro de Cultura Digital.
 
Humans Phone Home, November 20, Laboratorio Arte Alameda.
 
After Barbarella, November 21, Laboratorio Arte Alameda.
 
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Making a universe

Making a Universe explores artistic and scientific practices that deal with contained and extreme environments.

Alistair McClymont creates poetic machines that contain 'natural' environments, making a universe of their own.  Scientists similarly create miniature stars that imitate the birth of stars.

Alistair McClymont recently completed a three-month residency at the Central Laser Facility.  Dr Ceri Brenner is a physicist who enjoys communicating the extreme and inspiring science that she and others carry out at CLF.

The CLF produces some of the world’s most powerful light beams, providing scientists with an unparalleled range of state-of-the-art laser technology. These high powered lasers are used to recreate the extreme conditions inside stars and planets, others can reveal intricate detail on a microscopic scale enabling scientists to build up a complex picture of the exact molecular interactions that lead to disease.  The CLF also uses laser beam 'tweezers' capable of holding individual micro-droplets that make up clouds helping scientists gain an insight into climate change.

Alistair's previous work has included making night-time rainbows, suspending raindrops in mid-air and creating 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.

He will be discussing his work, and time spent at the CLF, thinking about his work with scientists on experiments both as an outsider and insider, and how this has influenced his practice.

Making a Universe explores artistic and scientific practices that deal with contained and extreme environments

Book online here

Speakers

Dr Ceri Brenner is a Physicist who enjoys communicating the extreme and inspiring science that she and others carry out at the Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

Ceri’s role at the CLF spans research, innovation and communication. In particular, she is studying a form of micro-sized particle accelerator that is formed when the most intense laser light in the world strikes matter, for applications in medicine, manufacturing and security. Ceri will discuss her work, research interests and her experience of having an artist working amongst scientists. She has been closely involved in facilitating the artists' residency and will also give an introduction to the high energy density experiment on the Gemini laser that Alistair took part in during his residency.

Alistair McClymont as artist in residence has been following a team of scientists working with the Gemini Laser at the CLF studying different aspects of laser interaction. He describes the project, "My goal with this project is to investigate the strong similarity I see between scientists and artists, I wanted to do this by taking part in their experiment. My hypothesis is that both ultimately search for truth and both see beauty in that truth.

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Nuclear Culture Project

A curatorial research project led by Ele Carpenter, associate curator at Arts Catalyst, in partnership with Goldsmiths College, University of London

The Nuclear Culture Project is a curatorial exploration of nuclear culture, which began with considering the conceptual and cultural challenges of dismantling nuclear submarines in the UK, inviting artists to consider the aesthetic, conceptual, ethical and cultural concerns of nuclear submarines in conjunction with experts in the field. The project is bringing together scientists, engineers and community activists with artists and ethicists to develop new opportunities for creative practice investigating nuclear culture. Specific areas of enquiry include: the invisibility of the nuclear economy, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant meltdown, geological waste storage, the Anthropocene, and nuclear humanities.

Activities

The project involves artists’ field trips, commissioning new work and curating exhibitions, film screenings and interdisciplinary symposia, and public events and talks. Three groups of artists are developing new work in response to the culture of submarines, decay rates, and the architectures of decision-making: Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead; Nick Crowe & Ian Rawlinson; and Lise Autogena.

Key areas of the research are discussed in a report on the Nuclear Culture Symposium co-authored by Ele Carpenter & Jantine Schroeder, Antwerp Uni. 2013, available here

Nuclear Culture website

The Nuclear Culture website publishes research articles, reviews, interviews and information about creative research, field trips and art practice.

Public Exhibitions & Events

Actinium, exhibition & forum, S-AIR, OYOYO Sapporo, Japan, July 2014. Supported by the Daiwa Foundation
Panning for Atomic Gold, symposium, Arts Catalyst, 17 May 2014
Nuclear Culture, workshop and film screenings, Arts Catalyst, April 2013

Artists Field Trips

  • Tomari Nuclear Power Plant & Horonobe Underground Research Lab, Hokkaido, Japan, 2014
  • S-AIR Sapporo, Aichi Triennale, Japan, Ele Carpenter, 2013
  • LLW Ltd, Cumbria, UK, Jon Thomson, Alison Craighead, Ele Carpenter, 2013
  • Cove Park Residency, Rosneath Peninsula, Scotland, Ele Carpenter, 2013
  • HMS Courageous, Devonport Plymouth, UK. Nick Crowe, Ian Rawlinson, Susan Schuppli, Lucia Garavaglia, Ele Carpenter, 2013
  • MoDeRN Conference, EU Commission, Luxembourg, Nick Crowe, Ele Carpenter, 2013
  • Aldermaston Womens’ Peace Camp, UK, Lise Autogena, Ele Carpenter, 2012

Nuclear Culture Research Group

The Nuclear Culture Research Group is a an interdisciplinary group of artists, curators and scholars in the nuclear arts and humanities convened by Goldsmiths College, University of London, in partnership with Arts Catalyst.

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'Breaking Down Barriers: Law, Technoscience and Society'

The AHRC Network ‘Technoscience, Law and Society: Interrogating the Nexus’ in partnership with Arts Catalyst

The AHRC Network on ‘Technoscience, Law and Society’ held its inaugural event on the 6 June 2013, organised jointly with Arts Catalyst, providing an opportunity to explore some of the key aspects of the relationships between law, science and society that the Network seeks to interrogate. This discursive event was organised around displays of and introductions to the work of critical artists Carey Young and the Critical Art Ensemble, and academic presentations pertaining to debates in law and science.

Programme:

• Introduction to the AHRC Network by Dr. Emilie Cloatre and Dr. Martyn Pickersgill

• Presentations by Prof. Alain Pottage and Prof. Robert Dingwall

• Presentation by Graham Harwood, YoHa

• Presentation of the work of critical artists Carey Young and Critical Art Ensemble by Nicola Triscott (Arts Catalyst)

• Interactive explorations of the key theoretical, methodological and practical issues that arise when exploring the relationships between science, technology and legal processes

 

 

 

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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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    Global Lunar Day

    An afternoon symposium investigating international cultural approaches to the Moon

    Video of the talks is available on The Arts Catalyst YouTube channel

    Global Lunar Day, symposium

    The launch of India's Chandraayan-1 and the (projected) first soft landing on the moon since 1976 by the Chinese Space agency's Chang 'E-3 has shifted the global perspective on lunar exploration. What are the implications of the new wave of lunar missions by former developing countries? How does this affect the cultural perspective worldwide on the Moon and what does this mean to people who live in non-western countries? A panel of commentators from the science, engineering and art worlds give their opinions during the final weekend of The Arts Catalyst's Republic of the Moon exhibition.

    Saturday 1 February, 2-5pm

    Moderator: Dr Jill Stuart (Executive Editor of Space Policy)

    • Prof Bernard Foing (Executive Director, International Lunar Exploration Working Group)
    • Bijal (Bee) Thakore (engineer and member of Board of Directors, Planetary Society)
    • Dr Marek Kukula (Public Astronomer, Royal Observatory Greenwich)
    • Joanna Griffin (Artist, Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, India and Transtechnology Research Group, Plymouth University, UK).
    • Q&As moderated by Jill Stuart

    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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    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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    Exhibition

    KOSMICA x Astroculture

    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 x Astroculture - A night of performance and conversations with Kapwani Kiwanga and Dr Nick Campion

    Alexander CT Geppert describes Astroculture as a cultural history of outer space and extra-terrestrial life in the twentieth-century imagination. KOSMICA x Astroculture takes this as a point of departure, focusing on artistic practice centred on the cultural understanding of outer space. This research area brings together space enthusiasts who have wide-ranging interests that include performance, cosmology, Afrofuturism, science fiction literature, mythology and philosophy.

    Afrofuturism is a phrase coined in 1995 by cultural critic Mark Dery in his essay Black to the Future, where he links the African American use of science and technology to an examination of space, time, race and culture. He defines Afrofuturism as: "Speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of 20th century technoculture - and, more generally, African American signification that appropriates images of technology and a prosthetically enhanced future…".  As a movement, Afrofuturism began in earnest in the mid-1950s with musician Sun-Ra, whose music blended science fiction, mysticism, African culture (with a particular focus on Egypt) and jazz fusion, all of which coalesced in his 1972 film, Space is the Place.

    On Wednesday 15 May, KOSMICA x Astroculture's performance based lecture, short film screening followed by a conversation with artist Kapwani Kiwangs and Dr Nick Campion will further contextualise practice and cultural cosmology theories around Astroculture.

    Kapwani Kiwanga’s films and performance lectures speaks of “transcendent powers, beings and realms,” which she conceive in a scientific way. Her performance will be accompanied by a talk placing her artistic practice within wider debates around Astroculture, Afrofuturism, Magic and Space cultural theory.  Kapwani Kiwanga, a Canadian-born artist based in Paris, works primarily with video, sound and performance. Kiwanga studied Anthropology and Comparative Religions at McGill University, Canada. Her work has won a number of awards, and has been shown widely at film festivals, art institutions, and on international television. She has been an artist in residence at L’école nationale supérieure des Beaux-arts, Le Fresnoy: Studio national des arts contemporains and most recently at MU Foundation in the Netherlands.

    Dr Nick Campion is the director of the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.  His research interests include the nature of belief, the history and contemporary culture of astrology and astronomy, magic, pagan and New Age beliefs and practices, millenarian and apocalyptic ideas, and the sociology of new religious movements. Before joining Lampeter University in 2007, he was Senior Lecturer in the Study of Religions and Senior Lecturer in History at Bath Spa University. He is on the editorial boards of Correlation, the Journal of Research in Astrology and Archaeoastronomy, and the Journal of Astronomy in Culture. He speaks widely on the nature of belief, magic and cosmology and describes a recent space flight as an externalisation of the internal, imaginal journey to the stars undertaken in esoteric traditions.

    Programme

    6.30 Doors

    7pm Kapwani Kiwanga’s performance commences without introduction

    8pm Screening of Sun Ra Repatriation film (excerpt 15 mins)

    8.15pm A conversation between Kapwani Kiwanga and Nick Campion

    Partners

    This KOSMICA event is guest curated by Jareh Das.

    The KOSMICA series was conceived by Nahum Mantra and Arts Catalyst, and is endorsed by ITACCUS, the International Astronautical Federation's Committee on the Cultural Utilisation of Space.

    Speakers' websites

    Kapwani Kiwanga
    Dr Nick Campion and Trinity St David

     

     

     

     

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