KOSMICA March 2011

A monthly series of social galactic gatherings to bring together those interested in sharing cultural ideas about space

Every KOSMICA session will be unique: bringing together the cosmically curious and culturally quirky space community. Monthly KOSMICA evenings will bring together 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.

Agnes Meyer-Brandis whose lecture performance deals with art, science and weightlessness. Her starting point is an artistic project conducted under weightless conditions, entitled Cloud-Core-Scanner, involving a microgravity-generating flying manoeuvre carried out in collaboration with the DLR (German Aerospace Centre) in which she explores the boundaries separating fact and fiction, fantasy and technology.

We Colonised the Moon (Hagen Betzwieser and Sue Corke) explores an idiosyncratic world view based on popular science, flexible wikipedia knowledge, graphical illustrations and various display formates. Hagen Betzwieser will talk about his experience in The Institute of General Theory and Sue Corke will describe their projects Moon Scratch and Sniff and Lost in Space.

And a one-to-one performative encounter, Tinned Fingers take you into space. A short encounter for audience members (one at a time) that combines film, music and performance to give an experience of space travel in DIY style.

Partners

The series is programmed by Nahum Mantra.

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

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KOSMICA June 2012

Our monthly series of social galactic gatherings bringing together those interested in sharing cultural ideas about space.

KOSMICA - the Microgravity Sessions featured speakers who have floated in the air in zero gravity. We can guarantee that all participants have undergone at least 10 parabolas in a diving aircraft! Previously a resource solely available to trainee astronauts and scientists, pioneers Kitsou Dubois and Dragan Zivadinov opened the way in the 90s to artists flying in microgravity, and following a flight by The Arts Catalyst's curator Rob La Frenais with Zivadinov in 1999, over 50 artists and scientists flew in The Arts Catalyst's microgravity campaigns in Star City, Russia.

The evening was introduced by Nicola Triscott and Rob La Frenais, director and curator of The Arts Catalyst who have both enjoyed flying in Zero G in their own special ways... which is documented  in Gravitation Off.

Kevin Fong medical doctor, researcher in Space Medicine and Extreme Environments and presenter of the BBC's To Boldly Go

Louise K. Wilson, who researched motion sickness in Star City and whose work was recently featured a Tate publication.

Lyn Hagen, who, with flight director and artist Marko Peljhan, organised the most recent artists' flight at Star City.

Support

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.

The event will be held on the first floor and there is no lift; please contact The Arts Catalyst to discuss any specific access needs.

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.

Speakers' websites

Louise K Wilson

Flow Motion (Edward George and Anna Piva)

Lyn Hagen

Kevin Fong

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James Acord: A Life in the Nuclear Age "You Can't Make This Shit Up"

A tribute to James Acord, the nuclear scupltor

James Acord was the only private individual in the world licensed to own and handle radioactive materials. He is likely to remain so since the authorities closed the loopholes after he achieved his license. His work was a story of a 20-year performance, a cat and mouse game with the nuclear regulatory authorities, in which he pursued his dream of converting highly radioactive waste into inert metal for use in art. Along the way, he created sculpture and events that probed the history of nuclear engineering, often incorporating radioactive materials. His astonishing story shines light on the secrecy and security with which society cloaks the nuclear industry.

The evening will include an exhibit of work by James Acord, stories of his work, film clips, photos, and a reading from 'The Book of Ash', a novel based on Acord's life, by the author James Flint.

James Acord was a master storyteller, and we will also have an 'open mic' session, so that those of you who knew Jim can contribute your stories of him, or re-tell stories that he told you.

James Acord, the “nuclear sculptor”, passed away on the 8 January 2011. The Arts Catalyst worked closely with Acord over many years. We invite you to join us at this event to remember and celebrate his life and work.

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KOSMICA April 2011 - Yuri's Night

KOSMICA - Yuri Gagarin Night, celebrating 50 years of human spaceflight

Part of our series of galactic gatherings for earth-bound artists, space engineers, performers, astronomers, musicians and anyone interested in exploring and sharing space in original ways, the programme on this very special night included:

First Orbit - World Premiere of Christopher Riley's film (100mins)

In a unique collaboration with the European Space Agency, and the Expedition 26/27 crew of the International Space Station, filmmaker Christopher Riley created a new film of what Gagarin first witnessed fifty years ago. By matching the orbital path of the Space Station, as closely as possible, to that of Gagarin's Vostok 1 spaceship and filming the same vistas of the Earth through the new giant cupola window, astronaut Paolo Nespoli, and Christopher Riley, have captured a new digital high definition view of the Earth below, half a century after Gagarin first witnessed it. Weaving these new views together with historic, recordings of Gagarin from the time, (subtitled in Englsih) and an original score by composer Philip Sheppard, they created a spellbinding film to share with people around the world on this historic anniversary.
http://www.firstorbit.org

"Poyekhali" (Lets Go!) - Performance reading by Nick Edwards

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Gagarin's heroic flight, Nick Edwards will present a reading of the transcript of Gagarin’s conversation with ground control and the tape recording he made whilst in orbit. Using the original audio recording of Gagarin’s conversation with ground control and a transcript of the tape recording he made whilst in orbit, Nick Edwards will present a reading in real time of Gagarin’s historic first flight. `
www.poyekhali.net
www.nedwards.net

Dubmorphology - Live music by Trevor Mathison and Gary Stewart

Trevor Mathison is an artist primarily working with audio and digital media. He visited the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre at Star City, Moscow with The Arts Catalyst. He was a member of the noted artistic collective The Black Audio Film Collective and is currently part of Smoking Dogs. As 'Dubmorphology' he is teaming up with media artist Gary Stewart to present a short audio and visual  tribute to the first man in space.

Support

KOSMICA series is programmed by Nahum Mantra.

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

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Beatriz da Costa in conversation

A discussion about the installation which confronts visitors with the reality of British species threatened with extinction.

The Los Angeles-based artist Beatriz da Costa talks about creating A Memorial for the Still Living, with Rikke Hansen, host of Nature Calls: Animals in Visual Culture on Resonance 104.4 FM, London's arts radio station.

The installation, A Memorial for the Still Living, curated by The Arts Catalyst and John Hansard Gallery, was recently displayed at the Horniman Museum, London.

Beatriz da Costa  will discuss the inspiration and processes involved in creating the installation which confronts visitors with the reality of British species threatened with extinction, and how it relates to her other projects which explore the biopolitics of endangered species. She will also describe her latest participatory mobile and social media initiative - www.4thestillliving.net

The exhibition

A Memorial for the Still Living is a contemporary art installation which confronts visitors with the reality of British species threatened with extinction. It is a continuation of da Costa’s investigation into interspecies. Her interest here is to confront visitors with the only mode of encounter left once a species has grown extinct: the description, image, sound or taxidermed shell of a once thriving organism. However, rather than focusing on already extinct species, da Costa’s focus is on the ‘still living’; species that have been classified as being under threat, but which still stand a chance for survival if immediate action is taken.

www.4thestillliving.net

To coincide with the exhibition, da Costa has released the Endangered Species Finder, a mobile application that helps you to locate, identify, and submit sightings of endangered species in the UK.

A Memorial for the Still Living was commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and co-curated with the John Hansard Gallery, Office of Experiments and SCAN, for Dark Places in 2009.

Weblinks

Beatriz da Costa, John Hansard Gallery, Rikke Hansen, Horniman Museum

Related articles and events

A Memorial for the Still Living, Beatriz da Costa

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KOSMICA February 2011

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

Every KOSMICA session is unique: bringing together the cosmically curious and culturally quirky space community. Monthly KOSMICA evenings bring together 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.

Thursday 17 February 2011

‘Extended Mission Isolation and the Mind’, 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.

‘Surreal Interactions’, Nelly Ben Hayoun and Professor David Lee Wark, proposes how we could embed creativity in our daily lives. With creations like The Soyuz Chair, RCA Design Interactions MA graduate, Nelly explores the possibilities of space tourism, weightlessness and the thrill of the unknown.  Professor David Wark is an internationally renowned authority on neutrino physics and is distinguished for his work on a series of groundbreaking neutrino experiments, including SAGE the solar neutrino experiment.

‘Sounds of the Stars’ – Live music performance by Nimble Fish and digital artist Tim Blazdell with pop-up multi-media installation incorporating cosmic recordings. Tonight’s performance includes a star projector and a mix of star and stellar body recordings from radio telescopes around the world, including signals from the globular cluster 47 Tuc. 

Partners

The series is programmed by Nahum Mantra. It is endorsed by ITACCUS, the International Astronautical Federation's Committee on the Cultural Utilisation of Space

Website links

Regina Peldszus www.spaceflightdesign.org
Nelly Ben Hayoun www.nellyben.com

Professor David Lee Wark
www.superksonic.com

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A Treetop Odyssey

A screening and discussion event focusing attention on the one of the world’s most inaccessible and under-explored areas - tropical rainforest canopies.

Some of the rarest plants and animals on earth are found in such locations, where undiscovered species live exclusively in these tree tops and never set foot on the forest floor. Until now, the rainforest canopy has been virtually inaccessible to scientists.

The event will start with a screening of Werner Herzog’s 2004 film, The White Diamond, which eloquently illustrates the complexity of human desire and our need to further explore the planet and its resources. Set in the Kaiteur Falls in the heart of Guyana, it features the efforts of one of the world’s leading dendronautics engineers, Dr Graham Dorrington, in his attempts to test his airship designed to explore the forest canopy.

The screening will be followed by presentations and discussions by a unique group of botanists, artists and engineers, all pioneering the use of airships and dirigibles to explore the rainforest canopy. They will discuss their work and its wider implication in areas as diverse as the future of medicine and culture.

Speakers

Dr Graham Dorrington (Queen Mary, University of London), Marion Laval-Jeantet and Benoît Mangin (Art Orienté Objet).

Partnership

This event is a partnership between The Arts Catalyst, Queen Mary, University of London and LCACE and has been developed as part of The Inside Out Festival at ICA.
 

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Arctic Perspective Open Space Conference

The Arctic Perspective Open Space conference, Dortmund, Germany gathered some of the most dynamic thinkers from and on the circumpolar regions and the open source technology and tactical media communities in an intense three-day situation involving critical debate and reflection.

Collectively, the conference served as working meeting to envision future strategies of circumpolar interconnectedness, exchange, strategies and tactics of autonomy, the landscape of current circumpolar geopolitics, mobility, open-source information sharing, citizen sensing strategies, ecology, culture and the arts.

Active members of indigenous circumpolar communities, thinkers, writers, architects, artists, and technologists took part in the open space. They were working towards making an inclusive statement regarding an autonomous, indigenous driven future of the global North as it relates to access to new technologies and infrastructures and a future, technologically mediated, ecologically sound mobility.

The open space conference was held in conjunction with the Arctic Perspective exhibition at the PHOENIX Halle Dortmund (18 June – 10 October 2010) in the context of the European Capital of Culture RUHR 2010.

The 3-day gathering of some of the most dynamic thinkers from and on the circumpolar regions and the open source technology and tactical media communities included some events open to the public.

Friday, 24 September 2010
PHOENIX Halle, Dortmund, Germany

19:30 David Turnbull, Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL), Architecture Faculty, Melbourne University (AU): Performativity: A Key to Autonomy, Mobility, and Working with Multiple Knowledges and Technologies in Distributed Systems (keynote)

Saturday, 25 September 2010
PHOENIX Halle, Dortmund, Germany

The Canadian Arctic Perspective: Inuit Culture, Technology, Autonomy

Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge (CA/UK): An Arctic Geopolitics without the Inside Out: Experiments in Autonomy (keynote)

Film screening: Inuuvunga – I Am Inuk, I Am Alive, CA 2004, 57 min 40 s

Partners

The Arctic Perspective Open Space Conference is funded by the Federal Center for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung). The program entitled "The Canadian Arctic Perspective: Inuit Culture, Technology, Autonomy" (25 Sept 2010) is organised in collaboration with the Embassy of Canada.

Inke Arns, Matthew Biederman, Marko Peljhan, Nicola Triscott and Open Space Facilitator: Dick Robertson

 

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Contemporary Nomadism: Autonomy & Technology in the North

Arctic Perspective Initiative international partners talk about the project that has lead to the exhibition

Introducing the international project behind the Arctic Perspective exhibition, a panel of artists, academics and architects explore its cultural, historical and political contexts. The Arctic Perspective Initiative  aims to support a thoroughly contemporary nomadism via open and free media, environmental monitoring and communications technologies.

Panel

Marko Peljhan, artist and instigator of Arctic Perspective Initiative (Slovenia)
David Turnbull, science sociologist (New Zealand)
Richard Carbonnier, architect (Canada)
Inke Arns, curator (HMKV Germany)
Chair: Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute (Canada)

Arctic Perspective highlights the cultural, geopolitical and ecological significance of the Arctic and its indigenous cultures. In collaboration with the people of Igloolik, Kinngait, Iqaluit, Mittimatalik and Kanngiqtugaapik in Nunavut, Canada and other Arctic communities, artists and architects are devising a mobile media and living unit and infrastructure, powered by renewable energy sources. The unit will be used by Inuit and other Arctic peoples for creative media production such as film-making, communications and monitoring the environment, while moving, living and working on the land. The exhibition includes architectural models of winning designs from the Arctic Perspective open architecture competition by Richard Carbonnier (Canada), Catherine Rannou (France) and Giuseppe Mecca (Italy), with photographs, videos and maps from the project.
The Arctic Perspective Initiative is led by artists Marko Peljhan (Slovenia) and Matthew Biederman (US/Canada). The exhibition has been curated by The Arts Catalyst. Collaborators: Miha Bratina, Ziga Testen.

Partners and funders

Arctic Perspective Initiative
Canadian High Commission, London
HMKV, Dortmund
Projekt Atol, Slovenia
Lorna, Iceland
C-TASC, Canada
Arts Council England
Cultural Programme of the European Union
City of Dortmund
Federal Centre for Civic Education
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia

 

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Destination Moon at transmediale

Salon Talk hosted by Curator, Rob La Frenais

The recent discovery of water on the moon has refocused society's imagination on our nearest celestial neighbour. The title of the panel refers to the seminal 1958 novel Destination Moon by Robert Heinlein, which helped develop the popular mythology of the Moon, something which is also Russian filmmaker Pavel Medvedev explores, whose new work Ascension is shown in the tm.10 Film & Video programme. Also showing in that programme, is Agnes Meyer Brandis' The Moon Goose Experiment which can be read a form of bio-poetic science fiction. transmediale Award nominee, Wang Yuyang and curator Li Zhenhua will discuss the monumental sculpture Artificial Moon which draws attention to the collision between the 'natural' and the 'artificial' conceptions of the moon.

This Salon Talk features presentations by artists shown in transmediale.10 whose work engages with the past, present and future of the moon. This Salon Talk is hosted by Rob La Frenais, curator of The Arts Catalyst. Their future exhibition project Republic of the Moon (2010) will investigate humanity’s relationship with the moon, both in terms of cultural meaning and the possible return by humans in spacecraft to the moon in a new global space race.

Salon talk:

Moderator: Rob La Frenais (uk)

Participants: Pavel Medvedev (ru), Agnes Meyer-Brandis (de), Wang Yuyang (cn), Li Zhenhua (cn)

The Long Conversation:

The Arts Catalyst Director, Nicola Triscott will be taking part in The Long Conversation on Friday 5 February between 13:00-22:00.  The Long Conversion is a world première especially crafted for transmediale.10 by transmediale Award nominees Sosolimited.

Transmediale Video Archive:

Stephen Kovats introduces Destination Moon

Rob La Frenais introduces Destination Moon

Pavel Medvedev, Ru, Destination Moon

Agnes Meyer Brandis, De, Destination Moon

Wang Yuyang, Cn, and Li Zhenhua, Cn, Destination Moon

Discussion Session, Destination Moon

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