Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week 9: Space + Art

Human exploration of space has been revolutionary for societies all over the world. It has opened people's imaginations, causing artists to expand their horizons and fueled more scientific innovations to push the boundaries of space exploration. In her lectures, Professor Vesna discusses Copernicus' initial mathematical calculation of our universe, in which the sun was the center. It is amazing to think that we used to believe we were the center of our own universe and everything revolved around our own planet, when in reality we are part of a space that is unfathomably vast. The video "Powers of 10" visually describes this concept very well - as the camera zooms out from the earth, we realize just how small we are. Then as the camera zooms in by powers of 10 on the man's hand, we realize just how complex we are through our makeup of billions of atoms.

In another lecture, Professor Vesna discussed how the Space Race between the USA and Russia during the Cold War fueled major innovations in space exploration. From the first Russian spaceship Sputnik, to sending the first animal into space, to the first American to set foot on the moon, these big steps in space exploration only fueled our entire species' interest in what lies beyond our Earth. Professor Vesna also discusses that space exploration is moving into the private domain. Big multi-billion dollar companies are taking on space projects of their own. It seems to me that space exploration does not excite society nearly as much as it did in the past - perhaps as a society, we expect all of our technological advancements and innovations to become realities, almost making them less exciting.

I believe that space exploration can be an incredible platform for artistic creativity - this is because space is so mysterious. Due to the fact that the majority of us have never traveled past our earth's atmosphere and never experienced outer space with our own senses, our understanding of it is left up to scientific images provided by telescopes and our own imaginations. Annick Bureaud, a member of the Leonardo Space Art Project Working Group, states that artists have been the fuel for space exploration, embodying in their art the dreams of humankind, and making these dreams desirable for engineers to achieve. This a beautiful example of collaboration between art and science, and I hope we can keep taking steps to explore outer space and the opportunities it holds.

"An Eames Office Website." Powers of Ten Blog. Web. 25 May 2016."Leonardo Space Art Project Visioneers." Leonardo Space Art Project Visioneers. Web. 25 May 2016.
Vesna , Victoria, dir. Space Part 1. 2012. Film. 30 Nov 2012. 
Vesna , Victoria, dir. Space Part 2. 2012. Film. 30 Nov 2012. 
Vesna , Victoria, dir. Space Part 3. 2012. Film. 30 Nov 2012. 
Vesna , Victoria, dir. Space Part 4. 2012. Film. 30 Nov 2012. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post Kamila! I like how you said that space exploration can be a great platform for artistic creativity. I couldn't agree more. The vastness of space and the unknown is fascinating, and could inspire artists. I also agree that it is crazy that people used to believe that we were the centre of the universe before Copernicus' calculation! In reality we are just a spec in the universe. It is truly mind-blowing.