Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Art in Space : Open Thread

In a move that only seems obvious to me in hindsight, one of the central appeals of hosting a dialogue about art in cyberspace (i.e., that it is geographically, and thus historically and politically, more neutral than any dialogue in a loaded physical space)--something that I've been expecting (being admittedly too linear in most of my thinking) to push further into the ether somehow, has instead circled back round to take advantage of perhaps the last remaining "non-historical space" on this blue planet. The Art Newspaper explains:
A two-year initiative called Ex-Territory is being launched on 7 September in the extra-territorial waters outside of Tel Aviv. Using a privately donated vessel, organisers are screening a selection of Arab and Israeli videos projected onto its sails in politically neutral waters that are free from border disputes and territorial conflict.

According to Maayan Amir, one of four Israeli founders of the Ex-Territory group, “Arab artists will not exhibit art in Israel because of the political situation. We are trying to find a solution to this problem by meeting in extra-territorial waters, and offering a non-historical space for dialogue.” The group plans to travel throughout the Mediterranean to provide artists, filmmakers and writers with an independent floating platform for cultural exchange. Amir added: “We want this project to develop as an international group and we are looking for curators, art critics and artists to participate in our project.”

Obviously, the Internets are more practical for exhibiting and/or viewing art than the open seas, but I greatly appreciate how this plan seemingly frees the exhibition from the petty bickering that tends to consume we mindlessly territorial landlubbers. But it got me to wondering about moving beyond mother earth, and what art in space might mean. What if Cai Guo-Qiang could incorporate the moon into a performance, or Tara Donovan could somehow visually connect the stars? Or thinking past that...if space exploration beyond just the moon gave birth to new metaphors, new media, new meaning?

This week starts the beginning of a brand new art season, and, despite the bumpy road that last season saw, there's a renewed optimism in the air. Consider this an open thread on fresh starts and un-chartered territory.

Labels: art viewing, open thread, politics


Blogger zipthwung said...

What would extraterrestrial art look like? Would it remain human? OR would space change humanity until it returned to earth wholly changed, unable to recognize itself, going to war with the future!

Will the art become totally new, like seeing a play on TV for the first time, or shooting reality and turning it into a movie.

I am interested why Tara Donovan gets to connect the stars, surely there are more worthy? What about Damien Hirst, who's very name rhymes with first? And who will be the captain of the ark? What is the prize for spotting land? Who is in charge of scooping the poop?
Do we really need two elephants? My list of questions goes on longer than the opening of Star Wars.

9/08/2009 10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James Turrell, anyone?

9/08/2009 12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zip says: "My list of questions goes on longer than the opening of Star Wars."

Zip, your coments always go on longer than the opening of Star Wars.

9/08/2009 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

I cant hear you the surf is still ringing in my ears.

9/08/2009 03:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James Turrell. Contemplation, light. Yes, that seems like perfect ground for a new beginning.


9/08/2009 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Bromo Ivory said...

If we manage to expand our settlements into space, it will mean we have changed as a species and will be further changed, I think.

If we find intelligent life as well, our very concept of ourselves will be utterly altered - most of our cultural baggage, which rather depends upon our being the center of the universe - will be shattered into a million pieces and we will have to understand again what it means to be Human. And, yes, there will be some amazing art & philosphy in that era!

9/08/2009 04:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the difference between 'new', 'brand new'? I've always wondered. Then there's 'brand spankin' new'..


9/08/2009 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Stefano Pasquini said...

I think "brand new" only applies to shoes, apparel and other branded items.

Once I drew down the project of sending a church tower to the moon. Nobody sponsored it.


9/08/2009 07:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric C said...

Well, when the guy who created Ultima and Ultima Online decided to give up videogame to concentrate on spatial interests, a lot of people thought that was boring.

Is it better to explore the universe or create your own?

Cedric C

9/09/2009 01:26:00 AM  
Blogger tony said...

I've got enough trouble with the'space' between my ears & now you want to add to my problems ?

9/09/2009 03:39:00 AM  
Blogger arsadastra said...


The Cosmic Dancer on the Mir space station 1993


See also: ars astronautica


9/09/2009 03:48:00 AM  
Blogger Dalen said...

Perhaps we are already surrounded by life forms more intelligent than ourselves, but we are unable (not smart enough...) to perceive them or they elude us on purpose (would you blame them?). One of the most difficult things to do is convince the ignorant of their ignorance, and we may simply be too hubristic as a species to realize our ignorance.

Art, whether it's made on the Moon or Earth, is inseparable from our human-ness, because it's always about experiences from our point of view or interpretation, no matter what it is or what made it.

The painter Bill Guffey arguably already makes images from space (in a way) using Google Earth.

9/09/2009 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

i live among you.

9/09/2009 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Dalen said...

i live among you.

Oh, and did I mention that some humans have outsize egos as well? ;)

9/09/2009 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger CAP said...

Blame it on the moonlight.

9/10/2009 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Sarah Schmerler said...

Wow, Ed. liked this. sorry i haven't been looking in on discussions like these more often. But now I am, and here's my short rant:

In brief: The Internet is gonna be the answer -- I can't even imagine how differently i would have thought about being a painter (back when i was one) if there had been an Internet back when I was in college/grad school.
It's is a frontier, and it isn't limited by time (you can archive) or space -- though what we curatorial types exhibit on a 'wall' will have to take into account the medium of deliver. The Internet won't serve all art; but it will serve creativity. And you won't have to build a boat to get to that happy place.

9/10/2009 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Totally agree, Sarah. I was also pleasantly surprised though to learn the metaphor (this no man's place without the same geo-political constraints) could circle back and be realized outside cyberspace.

9/10/2009 03:19:00 PM  

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