PHILIP POCOCK documentary datatectures || Media INSTALLATION Index | The Orbitants 2005 | SpacePlace ZKMax Munich 2006 | Everyone, a Satellite 2006



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Art Presse 'Orbitant Issue'


What we see doing looks and feels nothing like This here. Send Art into space? Not at all. Exhibit Art in Space? No. par-abolic flying – weightlessness – No! No going up there to disappear. We like It down here and anyway we are sort of already gone. Surveilling Earth with a camera is just too military looking.

We intend to: PICTURE DATA FROM SPACE SOME SPACE. Use Orbit as the raw material for Sculpture. Digitally and architecturally polemicize the emergence of Orbitization with sensory data received by our Ground installation on handies on Earth where ever.
The Orbitants.

SpacePlace :: art in the age of orbitization :: mobile environment

spaceplace zkmax munich 2006

spaceplace zkmax munich 2006
[Bluetooth dual-screen public access] at ZKMax, Munich, 07 June - 31 Dec. 2006. (Underpass Maximilianstrasse/Altstadtring passage; accessible 24 hrs.)

SpacePlace Bluetooth installation simulated Screencast (640x240).

The SpacePlace project is made visible and audible on two large projectionscreens. One screen serves as a forum for interaction offering the possibility to explore the data pool as well as to add new information via many mobile phones with free public access Bluetooth protocol. The second projection syncs with selections made by the public on the first projection, and plays them as an «Audio Wobble Movie:» images and video ‘wobbling’ fluidly to the sound of incoming RSS newsfeeds from webblogs and Net sources concerning science and art in outer space. The soundtrack, the result of text-to-speech synthesis of online information, is narrated by an artificial computer-generated voice, over an added track of the ’sounds of space,’ a radio feed that ‘listens’ to what scientists are studying with radio telescopes in real time. This audio controls the generation and spacial distortion of still photo and video sequences retrieved from the data pool by guests in ZKMax. The visitors experience the terrestrial simulation of an orbital artwork. This Bluetooth interface is local to ZKMax, yet simulates a sort of ‘ground station’ of inquiry into Space Art by guests acting as «orbitants.»

spaceplace gotchis

Some Gotchis [see Hackergotchi : Wikipedia]

In 1924, inspired by his friend the Russian pioneer of space travel Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, who designed a manned space station in 1903, Kazimir Malevich published a series of architectural constructions modeled to resemble spacecrafts. These he called «Planits,» stating that those temporary abodes would - on Earth as well as in space - have to be adapted to aeroplanes. And it was Tsiolkovsky who proposed to call the first satellite launched on 04 October 1957 «travel companion,» which means «Sputnik» in Russian.

But Space Art and Orbital Art concepts should not be presented in a terrestrial museum. The adequate place for Space and Satellite Art would rather be orbit itself, respectively a satellite. This is why ZKM works towards acquiring an art satellite in which only Space Art would be presented. But how would this kind of art be visible for people on earth if the works themselves rotate in orbit? It is this very issue the Munich project «SpacePlace: Art in the Age of Orbitization» deals with. The project is a test bed to explore the idea that in the future, by means of their mobile phones serving also as PCs, people will have wireless access to all data stored - as far as these are not «classified matter,» i.e. censored, and also, of course, access to information stored in satellites.

In the future, information will be stored outside the Earth and people will be able to retrieve data from extraterrestrial sources at any time. The experiment at the ZKMax in Munich is a first step in that direction. The ZKM intends to develop a ZKM-satellite dedicated to the storage of and access to orbiting art. Such Space Art rotates in orbit, but is accessible for terrestrials via mobile screens. The technology required is presented in the scope of this cultural project for the first time as a prototype for consumer or ‘prosumer’ (producer/consumer) devices.
From 07-16 June 2006, the 49th session of the UN-Committee on the Uses of Outer Space will be held in Vienna
[]. The launch of the project ‘SpacePlace: Art in the Age of Orbitization’ online and at the ZKMax in Munich on 07 June 2006 marking the day the United Nations convenes in Vienna to discuss the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

spaceplace flyer
SpacePlace flyer [pdf]

Datatect: Axel Heide
Screen: Onesandzeros™
Archive: Heike Borowski
Gotchis: Heiko Hoos
Curators: Philip Pocock, Peter Weibel
A production by Prof. Philip Pocock for ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany 2006