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
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