Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Artist Project 2017 Chapter 4 - NASA's Announcement.

 Interacting with thousands of art appreciators over the course of a few days can be daunting. Fortunately, we had much to talk about regarding Trappist-1 and the "first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star."
 NASA's announcement of the discovery of these rocky worlds could not have come at a better time, and it was on the lips of a majority of people who visited my booth. The Belgian operated Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (Trappist) and the Spitzer Space Telescope with the assistance of ground-based telescopes have given us the intriguing data and the average art-lover is definitely on board. Most of the comments I heard were well informed; 'Three of the seven planets are in the habitable zone' was a constant and welcome refrain. Quite a few folks expressed eager anticipation regarding the James Webb Space Telescope, to be launched in 2018.
 It's never been easier for me to engage in fascinating conversations with so many total strangers, and to connect my art practice with something so huge. "The subject matter is practically infinite", I joked.
 Sometimes the subject of these chats would morph into philosophical topics like the illusory nature of perception and / or cybernetics and the theory of knowledge. Unlike (or perhaps very much like) the data, collected through sophisticated equipment, which we then look at in symbolic form on a screen, all that we can ever directly know of our immediate surroundings, is actually a reorganization of our own flesh. When the exhibition is over, and all the people have left the building, does any of it exist? I'd say, "No. The particles, waves and atoms continue to exist as before, Heisenberg's famous principle notwithstanding, but without the organizing organs of perception, their forms as we perceive them, do not."
 Interesting concepts. I wish I could have leveraged them so as to reduce the exorbitant cost of art shipping!

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