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.



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


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.


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


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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.
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.
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


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.


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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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)


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


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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'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.


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

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

• Presentation of the work of critical artists Carey Young and Critical Art Ensemble (by Carey Young and Steve Kurts (CAE) or 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

Artist Biographies:

Carey Young's work centres on the growing influence of corporations and the legal sphere on individual and collective subjectivity, which she explores using a variety of media including photography, text, video and performance. She has exhibited in group exhibitions at venues including MoMA/PS1 (New York), the New Museum (New York), Hayward Gallery (London), ICA (London), Whitechapel Gallery (London), Neue Berliner Kunstverein (Berlin) and Secession (Vienna), as well as in the Taipei Biennial (2010), Moscow Biennale (2007) and the Sharjah Biennial (2005).

 Works in public collections include Tate Gallery, Arts Council England, Kadist Art Foundation and Centre Pompidou.

Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) is a collective of five tactical media practitioners of various specializations including computer graphics and web design, film/video, photography, text art, book art, and performance. Formed in 1987, CAE's focus has been on the exploration of the intersections between art, critical theory, technology, and political activism. The group has exhibited and performed at diverse venues internationally, ranging from the street, to the museum, to the internet. Museum exhibitions include the Whitney Museum and The New Museum in NYC; The Corcoran Museum in Washington D.C.; The ICA, London; The MCA, Chicago; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; and The London Museum of Natural History.





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Cybersalon series (guest events)

Cybersalon a series of guest events to discuss the impact of new media in London

Digital London Then & Now January 2013. These events launched the New Media Memory project which is dedicated to archiving and analysing the development of Net culture in the city over the past two decades. Due to the constant improvements in hardware and software, many of the digital artefacts which have shaped today's new media scene have not just been forgotten, but are no longer even accessible. Cybersalon's 2013 events revisit the recent past to inspire contemporary designers, entrepreneurs, techies, academics and activists to build a better and smarter future.

Cybersalon's goal is to create an active network of people interested in the project and to develop a process for crowd-sourcing of the assets for a New Media Memory archive.

The Digital London Then & Now events aimed to raise awareness of the New Media Memory project, develop a taxonomy for collating material and form alliances with academic institutions for the long-term maintenance of the completed archive.

26 June - 20 Years of 'On The Mobile' (1993–2013).  From Yuppies, Chalk Marks, Emotional Maps and Geo-Location media to Smartphones and Urban Protests, Wednesday 26 June from 7pm

The introduction of mobile phones in London in the late 80′s as the ultimate Yuppie icon has initiated our long journey to today’s ubiquitous mobile computing. The ‘mobile’ was initially a tool of currency traders, stockbrokers and merchant bankers, who were all exponents of Thatcher’s politics. Over the last two decades the mobile phone has made an incredible journey to a leading tool in our everyday lives. It has also successfully been used to facilitate street protests against authoritarian governments.

Looking at some elements of that journey and explore how this unexpected and unpredicted transformation happened and which critical components on the journey powered such a radical political shift.

William Gibson in his novel has discussed the birth of locative media in London (“Zero History”, 2010). We also acknowledge the head-start that London had in the mobile phone movement and the pioneering role of the early art collectives in the UK such as Blast Theory and Node London.
Christian Nold, Pete Gomes (Chalk Marks project) and Sophia Drakopoulou will look at the difference between Checking-in to a nightclub and Checking-in at a #blockupy protest event. They will examine what happens when this kind of collective data means the participants realise they are in a majority or at least a significant political power (Paolo Gerbaudo ‘The Tweets and the Streets‘, 2012).  Some murky aspects of the mobile phone will be examined, including the ‘hacking’ of mobile phones of celebrities and crime victims and the impact of the public outrage on the new Press legislation curbing the power of the old media empires.

The Cybersalon Series – Then and Now – is supported by Middlesex University and Cyberia Foundation.


Christian Nold is an artist, designer and researcher working to develop new participatory technologies for communcal representation. He has written the books “Mobile Vulgus” (2001) and “Internet of People for a Post-Oil World” (2011) with Rob van Kranenburg and edited “Emotional Cartographies – Technologies of the Self” (2009). He has led large scale participatory mapping projects, in particular “Bio-Mapping" which has been staged across the globe with thousands of participants. He has developed experimental currencies, the Biijlmer Euro (2010) and Suomenlinna Kuula (2012). Christian is releasing the book “The Participation Problem – Autopsy of an Island Currency” later this year. His is currently working on a PhD in the Extreme Citizen Science Group at UCL. christiannold.com, biomapping.net

Sophia Drakopoulou is a Senior Lecturer in Media, Culture and Communication at Middlesex University and runs the BA in Media and Cultural Studies. Her PhD title:  ’How Long Is Now? A study into the spatiotemporal qualities of mobile media in location-specific interaction 2001 to 2008′. Sophia publishes on locative media technologies, location-based games and mobile media in several international peer-reviewed journals. Sophia is a co-founder of Cybersalon.  Sophia's Writing: A Moment of Experimentation.
Pete Gomes mutantfilm.com

Read up before the event on




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Our monthly series of social galactic gatherings bringing together those interested in sharing cultural ideas about space comes to Z33 in Hassult as part of the programme for Space Odyssey 2.0

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.

12 April is Yuri's Night, or the day in 1961 that Yuri Gagarin was the first human to journey into outer space. Therefore, Z33 and Arts Catalyst are organizing a KOSMICA night at Z33 as part of the programme for Space Odyssey 2.0.   There will be presentations by and discussions with artists Frederik De Wilde, Agnes Meyer-Brandis, the Seeker community, stargazing, drinks and spacey music.

Agnes Meyer-Brandis

Agnes Meyer-Brandis will give a talk on how she started the Moon Goose project. The inspiration of this work is a proto science fiction story from 1638, The Man in the Moone, in which a man travels to the moon with a flight of Moon Geese. In a curious mix of science and fiction, experiment and narrative, past and present, Agnes Meyer-Brandis tries to turn this story into reality by raising eleven geese and training them as fully fledged astronauts. The geese are currently living in a simulation habitat in a crater field in Pollinaria, Italy. In Space Odyssey 2.0, live images of the habitat are shown in a control room where you can communicate with them.

Frederik De Wilde

Frederik De Wilde acts on the border area between science, technology and art. The conceptual crux of his artistic praxis are the notions of the intangible, inaudible, invisible. In Space Odyssey 2.0 he is presenting new work which focuses on the movements of small ghost-like particles that appear and disappear in the quantum vacuum of interstellar space. The work in the exhibition consists of different visualisations of these almost immaterial and intangible phenomena, based on a live stream of data captured by the Department of Quantum Science of the Australian National University. His work on the ‘nano-black’ also exemplifies how artistic research can influence science, leading to a collaboration with NASA who are interested in developing his research into more practical outcomes.

Seeker [HS²]

Seeker is a travelling and collaborative spaceship project which artist Angelo Vermeulen initiated. In Space Odyssey 2.0, he continued his work - together with an interdisciplinary team of artists, designers, engineers, students and enthusiasts. The work explores in an experimental way the integration of the technological, ecological and social systems that enable long-term survival in a spaceship. From April 2013, Angelo Vermeulen will act as crew commander for HI-SEAS, a new Mars mission simulation initiated by Cornell and Hawaii University in collaboration with NASA. Inspired by his preparatory research for this simulation mission he set up a similar two-day mission in the Seeker before the opening of the show. Members of the Seeker team will talk about their experience during this mission but also on the general development of the project. 

The local planetarium also set up a stargazing event in the garden, with movies, sounds from outer space and space music all in honour of Yuri's Night, a global event celebrating Yuri Gagarin’s first succesfull flight around the earth.


The KOSMICA series is organised by The Arts Catalyst, and is endorsed by ITACCUS, the International Astronautical Federation's Committee on the Cultural Utilisation of Space.  This event is produced in collaboration with Arts Catalyst and Cosmodrome.

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KOSMICA Paris 2013

Une réunion galactique pour les esprits à la curiosité cosmique

For the second time, we take our galactic gathering to Paris, bringing together those interested in sharing cultural ideas about space.

KOSMICA is an international series of galactic gatherings for earth-bound artists, space engineers, performers, astronomers, musicians and anyone interested in exploring and sharing space in original ways.

On this occasion the programme focused on the work by different members of ITACCUS, a technical committee for the cultural utilisations of space within the IAF.

Richard Clar

New media interdisciplinary artist, founded Art Technologies in 1987 as a liaison between the worlds of art and technology. His philosophically-oriented artwork turned towards art-in-space in 1982 with a NASA-approved art payload for the U.S. Space Shuttle. Richard Clar's current work encompasses site-specific environmental issues ranging from orbital debris to water-management on Earth; war and peace; and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).  www.arttechnologies.com

Daniela de Paulis

Daniela de Paulis is a visual artist and lecturer living and working between Italy and The Netherlands. Since October 2009 she has been artist in residence at Dwingeloo radio telescope (NL) where she developed, together with the CAMRAS and ASTRON team, a technology called Visual Moonbounce, which allows sending images to the Moon and back as radio signals. Since 2010 she has been collaborating with the international collective Astronomers Without Borders (AWB), as the Project Chair for the AstroArt programme. www.danieladepaulis.com

Roger Malina

ITACCUS co-chair, 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 speciality 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 organisation whose mission is to promote and make visible work that explores the interaction of the arts and sciences and the arts and new technologies. http://malina.diatrope.com

Rob La Frenais

Curator of The Arts Catalyst since 1997 who has curated and produced interdisciplinary and visual art projects since 1987. Before joining The Arts Catalyst, he was a freelance curator and organiser working in a European context in various countries. In 2012 he curated the exhibition Republic of the Moon, which challenged utilitarian plans of lunar mines and military bases with artists’ imaginings and interventions.


The KOSMICA series is curated by Nahum Mantra and The Arts Catalyst, and is endorsed by ITACCUS, the International Astronautical Federation's Committee on the Cultural Utilisation of Space. This event occurs before the annual ITACCUS meeting at the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), a worldwide federation of organisations active in space.


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