On Friday 16th August, Icarus Interstellar is excited to have special guest speaker Dr. Sarah Jane Pell present during our “cocktail evening” event starting at 8pm. There will be a cash bar in the rear of the event room, allowing attendees to unwind and enjoy a thoroughly engaging and entertaining guest speaker.
Dr. Sarah Jane Pell is an independent Australian artist engaged in art and science research intersecting the performing arts, human movement, and underwater diving – with parallel interests in human spaceflight and exploration and extreme habitat technologies. Sarah holds a PhD in Visual Arts and a Masters in Human Movement and she has exhibited and published widely. An Alumna of the International Space University and Singularity University, NASA Ames, Sarah Jane regularly contributes to futurist think tanks and start-up initiatives. She is specifically interested in long-duration human-underwater interactions and how an interdisciplinary approach to design, and arts practice may inform radical new proposals and innovations for novel human-factors feedback and bio-tech-aquatic technologies for deep-ocean exploration and space analogue applications. Current honorary appointments include: the Maritime Union of Australia Representative to the Standards Australia Committee SF-017 Occupational Diving; Co-Chair of the European Space Agency Topical Team Arts & Science responsible for developing the ESA Arts Initiative; an RMIT University Visiting Researcher, developing underwater play interactions with the Exertion Games Lab, and Associate Researcher to the ARC Research Cluster AEGIS Art, Environment, Geography and the Interpretation of Science. She is an ADAS Occupational Diver with over 500 hours commercial dives logged – spent mostly in zero visibility imagining that she was on an artist-in-space residency. Dr. Pell is official aquanaut crew of the Atlantica Expeditions Undersea Habitat Mission and the only Australian awarded as TED Fellow. http://www.sarahjanepell.com/
Space Art Presentation and Videos:
“Black is the new Blue – from Blue Sky thinking to Black Sky tinkering”.
The leap from blue sky thinking to black sky tinkering requires a significant leap into unknown territories. To follow Franks White’s analogy of astronauts as ‘explorer fish’, our species must match gumption with state of the art, and school together to advance our evolution so radically.
“Black is the new blue” presents an interdisciplinary design approach to Black Sky Thinking to position one species of the school of ‘explorer fish’: the artist. Many space-related arts projects demonstrate that artists tinker in grand ideas, hack new technologies, and work in dynamic formats and contexts to support exploration. Many artists are also dual-purpose beings i.e. “artist-researchers”, “artist-collaborators”, “artist-explorers”, “artist-inventors” and so on. Such artists are bidding for tenders alongside, or with industry, establishing start-ups to hold individual contracts with space agencies, and/or commissioned or competing for project grants, prizes, residencies and fellowships in space and related domains. So too, artists are also involved in field-research, contributing new tools and approaches to science and exploration, and producing outputs as wide-ranging as peer-reviewed publications to patents, exhibitions to analogue environments, lab experiments to multi-media interactive systems.
Pell presents an overview of her practice as an “artist-researcher”. She details various projects from 2002-2012 that examine human exploration of extreme environments as a rite of passage and a broader metaphor for the human condition including new designs for future imaginings for the evolution of our species. Projects include installations and artworks comprising of experimental prototype life support systems, performances conducted as live-laboratory-style investigations; and trans-disciplinary projects with industry partners to design lunar habitat architecture and subsea habitat missions. Recently Pell also began researching interaction design and human computing in novel bodily interfaces suitable for exertion games.
Examination of these and other international artist-led projects, demonstrate that artists are not only illustrators of (space) science or engineering, rather they are fundamental enablers and disruptors, capable of provoking radical insight through poetics and aesthetics and potential catalysts for the adaptation of our species through disruption, imagination and invention. Furthermore, when artists engage in true collaboration and support skills transfer, research, experimentation, innovation and the pursuit of mutual discovery, they contribute new ways to leverage and enable the kinds of ‘visioneering’ essential for Interstellar Exploration.
ETTAS Space-related Art Showcase, 2013.
The arts offer alternative insights into reality – which is explored by science in general, and broadened by the activities conducted by the European Space Agency (ESA) and other space agencies. Similar to the way the members of ESA are ambassadors for spaceflight and science, artists and cultural professionals are ambassadors for human expression, experimentation and exploration.
ETTAS (2012) ‘Space Related Art Showcase’ presents a range of exemplary projects and artworks that have been implemented by space agencies (ESA, NASA, JAXA, NPO Energia / Roscosmos and CPK I Jurija A. Gagarina) or within a techno–scientific framework (National Science Foundation, Swiss Air Force, South African National Antarctic Program, International Polar Year).
Artists featured Bradley Pitts (US); Christian Woldvogel (CH); Ayako Ono (JP); Prof. Marko Peljhan (US/SL); Dr. Kirsten Johannsen (DE); Dr. Angelo Vermuelen (BE); Eva Schlegel (AS); Anna Hill (UK); Dr. Sarah Jane Pell (AU) and Tim Otto Roth (DE). http://www.esartscience.com
Moon Arts Documentary, 2012.
The Moon Arts Group envisions creative ways of establishing a link between the Earth and Moon, advances the presence of human culture in space, and facilitates never before realized opportunities for art and exploration.
In 2015, Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute will send a rover to the Moon in competition for the Google Lunar X Prize. Legendary roboticist and founder of Astrobotic inc., Red Whittaker, invited a team of artists to join this expedition. During this mission, the rover will deploy a suite of artworks on the lunar surface – the Moon Arts Project. Lowry Burgess renowned space artist and professor at Carnegie Mellon, has brought together a large group of international artists, scientists and engineers involved with emerging media, new and ancient technologies as well as hybrid processes. http://moonarts.org/
Gravity Well, 2013.
Prof. Melchiori Massali suggests that pioneering explorers and inventors like Pietro Vassena remind us that the aquatic domain – like the micro-gravity environment of space, is an inherently seductive but equally hostile space for exploration and habitation. To develop new models for motility and exploration of extreme environments, we learn that we cannot rely singularly on the development of new technologies to create such an arc, but we must also develop our capacity for imagination, art and daring to design for true adaptation.
Gravity Well, 2013 previews the development of concept and implementation of a bodily game that focuses on enhancing, and extending the human performance experience underwater. Pell hopes to demystify the role of the artist by presenting with a work-in-progress. She shares the thinking and tinkering that has produced interactive aquabotic “explorer fish” i.e. a prototype ROV system for real-time human-aquatic-movement mimicry by a fleet of marine robots. The project is presented as an open lab experiment to crowd-source ideas and ask: What would it take to leapfrog this project from blue sky thinking to black sky tinkering? Audience feedback will help to determine if this crude interactive system suitable for the aquatic environment of Earth is a viable first step towards the development of a ‘school’ of intelligent AUV ‘explorer fish’ capable of translating multiple altered-gravity domains for example. ‘With a little bit of imagination and flare, could we engineer a school of these virus-shaped ‘explorer fish’ to propel our biology and technology towards interstellar exploration?’