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Melinda Klayman on Thu, 4 Sep 2003 16:34:26 +0200 (CEST)

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Dear Leonardo Colleagues
I would like to bring to your attention this event co sponsored
by Leonado/OLATS

Symposium Art &and Zero Gravity

Visibility – Legibility of Space Art.
Art and Zero Gravity: The Experience of Parabolic Flights

October 4th and 5th 2003

International Festival  {AT} rt Outsiders
Maison Européenne de la Photographie
5/7 rue de Fourcy
75004 Paris
Métro : Saint-Paul

Curated by Annick Bureaud, the Visibility – Legibility of Space Art. Art and
Zero Gravity: The Experience of Parabolic Flights symposium is a joint
project between the  {AT} rt Outsiders International Festival
(http://www.art-outsiders.com) and Leonardo/Olats (http://www.olats.org).

The Visibility – Legibility of Space Art.  Art and Zero Gravity: The
Experience of Parabolic Flights symposium proposes to:

- present the details of parabolic flights and consider the main issues
outside of their spectacular nature;
- specify their different roles within the creative process.  Often
perceived as the space where creation takes place (site of performance
and exhibition), parabolic flights are first and foremost the space of
experimentation (a “studio” or creative workshop) as well as the
material for creation;
- conduct a preliminary aesthetic analysis of the works: what is their
form, what do they say, how do they relate to contemporary art and to
techno-scientific art in general, in what way are they “informed” by
weightlessness and the environment that constitutes the flight? etc.;
- highlight the importance of these works within a broader artistic process;
- raise questions regarding the “visibility” and “legibility” of the
work, to question art critic.

This symposium gathers artists, theorists as well as parabolic flight
Alex Adriaansens, director V2, Rotterdam
Marcel.li Antunez Roca, artist, Barcelona
Kitsou Dubois, artist, Paris
Kodwo Eshun, Anjalika Sagar, Richard Couzins, artists, London
Vadim Fishkin, artist, Ljubljana/Moscow
Flow Motion (Anna Piva & Edward George), artists, London
Jean-Pierre Haigneré, spationaut, Paris
Nicola Triscott & Rob LaFrenais, Arts Catalyst, London
Roger Malina, astronomer, director of Leonardo, Marseille
Takuro Osaka, artist, Tokyo
 Marko Peljhan, artist, director Projekt Atol, Ljubjana
Frank Pietronigro, artist, San Francisco
Thierry Pozzo, researcher, Dijon
Mikhail Ryklin, philosopher, Moscow,
Denis Thierion, parabolic flight director, CNES, Toulouse
Louise K. Wilson, artist, London

Whether it is in the scientific, commercial or artistic field, space
exploration introduces extremely diverse practices. This year, the Art
Outsiders International Festival 2003 proposes to investigate some of
these practices within the world of contemporary art.

The sensation of weightlessness, of floating, flying, freely in
three dimensions, of holding still without support and without fear of
falling, is one of the more tenacious dreams, desires, fantasies, and
surely one of the chief reasons human beings succumb to the urge to
venture outside of their native planet.  For many artists, creating work
in, with, for, or about this condition of zero gravity is an artistic
re-examination extending far beyond the dream.

With the exception of a few cosmonauts or astronauts who are also
painters, such as the Russian Alexei Leonov, to this day no artist has
been able to live weightlessness in a durable fashion aboard a space
station or the American shuttle.  On Earth, the parabolic flight remains
the sole means of experiencing this unique condition.

In a parabolic flight, a specially equipped plane describes a series of
parabolas in the air (bell-shaped curves with a 45° angle). In the
climbing phase, gravity goes from 1 G. (normal terrestrial gravity) to
2 G. for 20 seconds before attaining the weightless phase at the top of
the curve for approximately 25 seconds. During the descent phase of
the flight, the plane returns to the 2 G. phase for roughly 20 seconds.
The cycle is repeated.

Thus, the parabolic flight can be described as a succession of very
short periods (2 G. - 0 G. - 2 G. - 1 G) constituting a rather
exceptional environment, where the experience of weightlessness is
framed by moments of 2 G.

Although access to parabolic flights remains a challenge for artists, to
date 22 have been able to work with and within their unique environment.
Thus, we have a very diverse body of work and projects at our disposal
(ranging from dance to performance, sculpture, painting, sound/music,
video, etc.) by artists from different artistic horizons and diverse
cultures (France, Japan, Spain, Russia, United States, Great Britain, etc…).

Within the category of space art, creation during parabolic flights
constitutes a comprehensive subgroup that defines a common base from
which to conduct an artistic and aesthetic analysis of these practices.
This is the challenge of this symposium.

Melinda Klayman
Director of Development and Communications

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