Taking Control: Space Soon Symposium

Scientists, artists, psychologists and space architects met in this 2-day international symposium to explore the future of space exploration from the human perspective

Was the Apollo programme, its origins in Cold War posturing, ultimately the most successful art project in history? What do we really gain from human space exploration, culturally and scientifically? How do we design long-term space missions, such as the mooted trip to Mars, so that astronauts are able to have a humanising experience? In an unstable world, who should be the decision makers in the quest for space?

This 2-day international symposium was convened by Judith Palmer for The Arts Catalyst as part of the SPACE SOON: Art & Human Spaceflight event at the Roundhouse, London.

Sessions include, Habitat Design, Build Your Own Space Programme, the Human Body and Mind in Space, and Adapting to Alien Environments.

Download the programme, abstracts and participant biographies opposite.

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Monster Myths

Are writers demonising the new genetics? A debate with writers and scientists at the Wellcome Trust

Debate organised by The Arts Catalyst with the Wellcome Trust.

Panellists were Stephen Gallagher, author of Chimera, Maureen Duffy, author of Gorsaga, Paul Nurse, Director of Research at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, and Peter Goodfellow, Professor of Genetics at Cambridge University, Sheila McLean, Professor of Law and Ethics in Medicine at Glasgow University, and Jon Turney, Wellcome Fellow in Science Communication at University College London.

The panel chaired by Mark Lawson.

Sponsors

The Wellcome Trust. Media sponsor: The Independent

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Interspecies, Manchester - Symposia, Talks, Workshops

Can artists work with animals as equals? The Interspecies exhibition questions the sovereignty of the human species over the all other animal species. 

Kira O'Reilly presented an action/installed performance featuring herself and a sleeping female pig. Nicolas Primat's video installation explores how the animals' ‘natural’ communication skills can be extended into the realm of human/ape creative collaboration. Antony Hall encouraged the public to directly communicate with live electric fish in the gallery space, through mild electrical impulses. The Department of Eagles (Ruth Maclennan)'s work examined communications between falconers and falcons. Rachel Mayeri's Primate Cinema casts human actors in the roles of mating non-human primates, while Beatriz Da Costa's PigeonBlog investigated the military use of homing pigeons.

A series of talks and debates between the artists, writers, scientists and animal welfare experts accompanied the exhibition.

ESOL Exhibition Tour: This gallery tour of Interspecies provides an introduction to the artists and works on show with a discussion on the issues involved in the exhibition.

Artists' Open Forum: Antony Hall, Ruth Maclennan, Rachel Mayeri and Beatriz Da Costa: A two hour drop-in opportunity to meet the artists and discover more about the ideas behind Interspecies.

Artist's Talk: Kira O'Reilly in Conversation: Artist Kira O'Reilly and curator Rob La Frenais discuss Kira's exhibition piece in relation to her work on sleep and dream research with humans and pigs.

Workshop: Primate Cinema - How to Act Like an Animal Performance workshops led by Interspecies artist Rachel Mayeri, exploring how primates communicate, primatology and discussing animal behaviour in the wild and in cinema.

BSL Interpreted Exhibition Tour led by artist Andrew Bracey, BSL interpreted by Siobhan Rocks.

Open Forum: Animals in Art As Animal Studies continues to grow as a focal point of academic enquiry, this forum opens up discussion around the question of animals in art and delve deeper into the underlying concepts of Interspecies.

Interspecies Exhibition Tour: An informal tour of our current exhibition Interspecies.

Artist's Talk: Antony Hall An opportunity to hear artist Antony Hall discuss his Interspecies project in which he experiments with cross-species communication; allowing exhibition visitors and electric fish to communicate on the same level but avoiding the use of language.

Viva: and Interspecies present: How to Kill a Lobster: Capitalising on Non-Human Animal Slaughter  As artists continue to consider ethics in relation to the role of animals within their work, this talk explored the increasing presence of animals in theatre and performance art, addressing issues such as activism, reality and animal representation.

Exhibition supported by:

Arts Council England, Darwin 200

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Space Art Forum

The Arts Catalyst organised three UK Space Art Forums between 1999 and 2001.

3rd UK Space Art Forum 2001

Hull Time-Based Arts, Ferens Gallery, Hull, November 2001, Part of HTBA's ROOT Festival. 225 people attended.

2nd UK Space Art Forum 2000
Theme : Altered Gravity, Toynbee Hall, London, UK.

Guest speakers: Dragan Zivadinov (Slo) and Marko Peljhan (Slo). 64 people took part.

1st UK Space Art Forum 1999

Lux Centre, London. Speakers included Cornelia Parker (UK), Jean-Marc Phillippe (FR). 34 people took part.

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SymbioticA BioArt Workshop & Symposium, London

Oron Catts and Gary Cass from SymbioticA lead an intensive 5 day workshop for artists in using biological technologies and examining issues of biotechnology and genomics

Workshop: Mon 28th March - Fri 1st April 2005Symposium: Saturday 2nd April 2005Contemporary developments in life sciences are having a profound effect on society, its values, belief systems and treatments of individuals, groups and the environment. The interaction of art, science, industry and society is increasingly recognised as an essential avenue for innovation and invention, and as a way to explore, envision and critique possible futures.Continuing its interest in artists' practical and political engagement with biotechnology, The Arts Catalyst organised an intensive 5 day workshop for artists, led by artist Oron Catts and Gary Cass of SymbioticA: The Art & Science Collaborative Studio, School of Anatomy & Human Biology, The University of Western Australia.The workshop was a practical exploration of biological technologies and issues stemming from their use, serving as a theoretical and practical introduction to the creation of biotech art and aimed at educating artists from the UK and Europe in issues of biotechnology and genomics. The workshop taught hands-on engagement with these technologies to enable artists to carry out and critique manipulation of living systems from an informed practical perspective. The practical components included DNA extraction and fingerprinting, genetic engineering, selective breeding, plant and animal tissue culture and basic tissue engineering techniques.The workshop presented work of contemporary artists dealing with biotechnology. Scientists were also involved, discussing ethical issues raised by artists' work in this area and enabling fieldtrips to laboratories. At the end of the week, ideas explored in the workshop were opened out in a public discussion event.Participating artists:Franko BBrandon BallengeeHeather BarnettAnne Bean Jenny Boulboulle Laura CintiWim DelvoyeTony DunneJu GoslingSimon GouldAndy GracieAntony Hall Jens Hauser Verena KaminarzJose Eugenio MarchesiSana MurraniJane ProphetPaula RoushJill ScottHege Tapio

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Bangalore Culture & Space Symposium

The Bangalore Culture & Space Symposium was a gathering of philosophers, space scientists, educators, and artists in Bangalore, India

The symposium examined current themes at the intersection of space science, technology and arts from a cultural perspective.

By taking into account many perspectives involved in space research it attempted to lay the groundwork for future collaborations between symposium attendees and hosting organisations.

Partner

Srishti

 

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Extremophiles: Surviving in Space

An art-science conference on living in space, with performance by Marcel.li Antunez Roca

With the long journey to Mars and back increasingly preoccupying the space industry and space medicine, some of the debates within the art and technology world about the human body have become increasingly mirrored. For long-term space travel should we create artificial environments to cocoon the body? Or transform the body into a space faring cyborg, augmenting and converting it for weightlessness? In this compelling conference, artists, scientists and cosmonauts came together to widen the debate about long-term human spaceflight as a cultural as well as scientific issue.

Spanish electronic artist Marcel.li Antunez Roca gave a performance-presentation, Transpermia, of his Project Daedalus, which took place this year on zero gravity flights organised by The Arts Catalyst and Projekt Atol with the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Russia.

The outstanding line up of speakers included visionary technology artist Marko Peljhan, director of Projekt Atol, initiator of the Slovenian Space Agency and the Makrolab project (Venice Biennale 2003, Documenta X); president of the Mars Society Bo Maxwell, NASA advisor and Mars expert Dr Kevin Fong; science fiction writer Rachel Armstrong, author of ‘Gray’s Anatomy’; and Tracey Warr, author of ‘The Artist’s Body’. The event is chaired by BBC science correspondent, Pallab Ghosh.

A project of MIR Campaign 2003

Supported by:

Funded by a European Commission Culture 2000 award, Arts Council England and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

MIR (Microgravity Interdisciplinary Research) is a consortium of European based arts organisations, Arts Catalyst, V2, Projekt Atol and Leonardo-Olats, which was founded in 2001 to promote interdisciplinary and art/science research in microgravity and altered gravity conditions. Two campaigns, with a total of three parabolic flights and a centrifuge experiment were organised within the MIR framework in Zvezdny Gorodok (Star City), Russia

With thanks to the Zero G team at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre

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Apollo Astronaut Alan Bean (Space Soon)

Apollo astronaut Alan Bean, the 4th man on the moon, talks of space and art - A Secret Artist on the Moon

Legendary Apollo astronaut, Alan Bean, one of only nine men alive today who walked on the moon, visited London for the first time to discuss his experience of visiting the moon and the power of art with author Andrew Smith.

Alan Bean, moonwalker and artist, was captured perfectly in Andrew Smith's best-selling book Moondust evoking the rawness of that moment 37 years back when he grabbed hold of something solid and looked up: "This is the Moon, that's the Earth, I'm really here, I'm really here."

In Secret Artist on the Moon, Alan Bean - who now makes paintings that attempt to bring to life that elusive experience - brings a uniquely human insight to that rare moment, never repeated, when humans for a few years left the earth's orbit to voyage to our nearest neighbour. We have never returned.

A uniquely human perspective on voyaging further away from home than any other person has ever been. 

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Interspecies London - Symposia, Workshops, Family Day

Interspecies uses artistic and participatory strategies to stimulate dialogue and debate, showing artists in contact with real animals and negotiating a new power relationship, questioning the way we view our interactions with animals during Darwin's anniversary year

Interspecies asks: Can artists work with animals as equals? If not, what is the current state of the human-animal relationship?

The exhibition and programme of related events centres around a durational work by Kira O'Reilly and draws together projects by Nicolas Primat and other artists who explore playful speculations on relations between species. Antony Hall Enki Experiment 4 encourages visitors to communicate with an electric fish on the same level.  Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson's Radio Animal* invites visitors to consider ‘unwelcome’ visitors but have for whatever reason found their way into what we may consider our own territories. Work includes: Nicolas Primat Portrait de Famille, The Making of Les Petits Hommes VersKira O'Reilly Falling Asleep With A Pig. Ruth Maclennan Harry and Three short films on Hawks and Men. Rachel Mayeri Primate Cinema: Baboons as Friends. Beatriz da Costa PigeonBlog.

Talks & Symposia

Exhibition tour with curator Rob La Frenais, 6pm Friday 2 October 2009

Non-Human Primates symposium with Sarah-Jane Vick - primatologist and psychologist; Patrick Munck - artist, videographer and collaborator with Nicolas Primat; Rachel Mayeri - artist, chaired by Rob La Frenais, 7-9pm Friday 2 October 2009

Tour of ENKI Experiment 4 with artist Antony Hall, 2pm Saturday 3 october 2009

Animals, Humans and Power symposium with Giovanni Aloi - editor Antennae; Ruth Maclennan - artist; Helen Macdonald, author of Falcon; Bryndis Snæbjörnsdóttir; Karen Knorr - artist and photographer, chaired by Rob La Frenais, 3-6pm Saturday 3 October 2009

Workshops

Primate Cinema workshops on How to Act like an Animal with artist Rachel Mayeri, 1-3 and 3.30-5.30pm Saturday 3 October 2009

Family day

Becoming Bowerbirds workshop with artist Sally Hampson (based on an Arts Catalyst project at Zoological Society London), 2-5pm Sunday 4 October 2009

Interspecies Tales with poet and storyteller Shamin Azad, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm Sunday 4 October 2009

Links to artists' websites

Kira O'Reilly, Antony Hall, Ruth Maclennan, Rachel Mayeri, Beatriz da Costa, Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson

Exhibition supported by

Arts Council England, Darwin 200, A Foundation

*Animal Radio is a Story Gallery, Lancaster commission funded by the Henry Moore Foundation.

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Eye of the Storm 2

Two-day symposium debating how artists are responding to today's hot issues of belief and experiment, dissent and discord, big science, high finance, geopolitics and the legislation of uncertainty around subjects including climate change, biotechnology, genetics and astrophysics.

From esoteric arguments over the structure of the universe to highly charged public controversies around the use of stem cells, Eye of the Storm brought together an extraordinary international group of artists, scientists, and other experts to spark two days of dynamic conversations. Speakers included artist Eduardo Kac, Sheila Jasanoff, one of the major voices in science and technology studies, artist Rod Dickinson, Oron Catts, pioneer in the use of bioscience as a medium for artistic expression, Helen and Newton Mayer Harrison, pioneers of environmental art, astronomer Roger Malina, and science sociologist Harry Collins.

Podcast of the Conference

Audio files of the entire conference available on the Tate Podcast Feed

or on iTunes U podcast directory

Selection Committee

Chair: Nicola Triscott, Director, The Arts Catalyst
Michael Bravo, Senior Lecturer, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
Bernadette Buckley, Programme Convenor, MA Art & Politics, Goldsmiths, University of London
Sian Ede, Director of Arts, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Madeleine Keep, Education Department, Tate Britain
Rob La Frenais, Curator, The Arts Catalyst
Roger Malina, Chairman Emeritus, Leonardo, Director of Research, CNRS

Organisers & Support

Organised by The Arts Catalyst and Tate Britain, in association with Leonardo/OLATS. Suppported by Arts Council England and SymbioticA at the University of Western Australia.

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