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Indepth Arts News:

"2nd UK Space Art Forum: Call for participation - ideas for zero gravity"
2000-10-26 until 2000-11-21
Arts Catalyst, the Science-Art Agency
London, , UK United Kingdom

The UK Space Art Forum is a meeting point for artists who have made or want to make work for Space (that is, not on Earth or in similar conditions) and scientists, museum staff or curators who want to collaborate with them. Last year's Space Art Forum, organised at the Lux Centre, London, by the Arts Catalyst was a great success and many alliances were formed. Speakers included Jean-Marc Phillippe, whose Mars project is near fruition, Cornelia Parker, whose work can be seen in Tate Modern and who is trying to send a meteorite back into space, and the Association for Autonomous Astronauts. Institutions represented included the National Space Science Centre, Leicester, Jodrell Bank, Manchester, Kingston University Department of Aeronautics and Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine.

This year's Space Art Forum will be around a specific theme: performances and objects that could be made for different states of gravity, such as earth orbit or parabolic flight (see below).

Dancers, choreographers, circus and theatre practitioners are welcome as well as visual artists.

Scientists and engineers involved in space and interested in these ideas are also invited to speak about their work.

A parabolic flight creates the conditions of zero gravity - otherwise only experienced for any length of time in orbit or space travel - by putting an aircraft into a series of diving manoeuvres. Parabolic flights require a specially adapted aircraft and a highly specialised team of flight crew, trained instructors and doctors. They are undertaken by a handful of space agencies around the world specifically for astronaut/cosmonaut training and scientific experiments. During each parabola, bodies and objects inside the aircraft float freely for 25 - 30 seconds. A flight will have between 10 and 30 parabolas. Many people experience severe discomfort in zero gravity - nausea, disorientation and sickness are common. But it is becoming feasible for artistic activities to take place in this environment and we will be focusing on these in this forum.

How to attend - send by email or fax the following information: 50 words on your ideas, work, or a proposed project for altered gravity.

Your audio-visual requirements.

Up to 30 delegates will be asked to make a 10 minute presentation. If more than 30 apply we will select participants based on closeness to our criteria. We will accept submissions right up to the date of the forum, if there is room.

You are also welcome to attend as a non-participating member, for which a UKú 10.00 charge will be made.

There will be a basic buffet lunch including wine and soft drinks.

Guest Speakers:

Dragan Zhivadinov was a founder member of NSK (Neue Slovenische Kunst) and is now the Director of Noordung. In August and December of 1999 he presented the first theatrical performance in zero gravity with his company in the Yuri Gagarin Training Centre, Star City, Moscow. He has undertaken cosmonaut training at Baikonur, the Russian launch pad in Kazakstan. With Peljhan, he aims to set up a national Space Agency in Slovenia in collaboration with the Russians with art as its main aim.

Marko Peljhan set up Makrolab, an art-science autonomous research station resembling Mir Space Station. It was first shown in at Documenta in 1997 and then on the remote Rottnest Island off Australia. He intends eventually to install Makrolab in Antarctica. In 1998 he set up a live radio phone-in with the cosmonauts on Mir. He was responsible for arranging Noordung's Russian parabolic flights and the recent flight for the Arts Catalyst.

The Arts Catalyst, who will chair the forum, recently organised a parabolic flight for choreographer Kitsou Dubois, the first ever artist in zero gravity, with her dancers from Star City, Russia. They are facilitating a collaborative project between Dubois and the Biodynamics Group at Imperial College with the European Space Agency. Also onboard the Russian flight, as well as the dance company, were a video artist, a physicist, a broadcaster, a space technologist and a climber. The Arts Catalyst is investigating organising further parabolic flights. Nicola Triscott and Rob La Frenais, chairing the forum, both have zero gravity experience.

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