Sunday, May 29, 2016

Week 9 - Space + Art

This week's topic was the intersection of space and art. When I first looked at the course material for the week I was excited to see the famous 'Powers of Ten' video - I was fortunate enough to have seen it before in high school, and I always found it fascinating how much mankind knows about and yet cannot even see. I looked at the powers of ten blog and saw this image/infographic, which paints a similar but slightly more relatable picture:

Depth of Challenger Deep. Image credit: The Apricity - A European Cultural Community.

The principle here, of course, is that there are many incredibly tall (and deep) terrestrial forms that we are just barely beginning to discover. Space, however, is something entirely different. There is a level of complexity that most of us struggle to wrap our heads around, let alone actually begin to understand at a functional level. Just taking a look at the inside of a spacecraft's control room is enough to blow the mind:

Still, space is inspiring in many ways. I find it so incredibly impressive both that humans are able to study this vast, harsh region to such a great extent without leaving our own ground, and even more so that we have been able to actually break free of our planetary constraints and send some of our own up there. On the artistic side, though, space and space objects are just so wonderfully beautiful. NASA gives us an enormous number of images with all of their missions, both manned and unmanned. My favorite illustration is shown below, though - I find that not just the visuals are beautiful, but the idea that mankind has been able to convert the hostile, airless environment of space into a network that connects the entire planet even further is quite amazing and still makes me marvel no matter how much I think about it.


Image 1 - Marlow. "Challenger Deep." Powers of Ten Blog. Eames Office, 3 Jan. 2014. Web. 30 May 2016.

Image 2 - Hadfield, Chris. Shuttle Cab. Digital image. Reddit. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2016.

Image 3 - Epstein, Zach. "Every Single Satellite Orbiting Earth, in a Single Image."BGR. BGR, 06 Mar. 2014. Web. 29 May 2016.

EamesOffice. "Powers of Ten™ (1977)." YouTube. YouTube, 26 Aug. 2010. Web. 29 May 2016.

Vesna , Victoria, dir. Space Part 1. 2012. Film. 29 May 2016. <!>

“Leonardo Space Art Project Visioneers.” Leonardo Space Art Project. MIT Press, 1996. Web. 29 May 2016.

"Dancing on the Ceiling: Art & Zero Gravity Curated by Kathleen Forde : EMPAC Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center : Troy, NY USA." Dancing on the Ceiling: Art & Zero Gravity Curated by Kathleen Forde : EMPAC Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center : Troy, NY USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2016.

Gekelman, Walter. "Basic Plasma Science Facility at UCLA." BaPSF. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2016.

1 comment:

  1. You have such a great point of view of how the world and the surrounding universe could become some universal network for humanities next great journey. I can see how that could be possible with the way that NASA and SpaceX have been broadening the horizon for humanity with the Mission to Mars! The universe could become a network across the starts! The technology and complexity of even things like the control room for these manned and unmanned missions is incredible and just image where we will be in the future!