Cosmonaut Alexander Polischuk and the Cosmic Dancer sculpture by Arthur Wood Mir space station 1993
Canadian Space Society invites artists to the space sector
An organization called the Canadian Space Society certainly sounds scientific; after all astronomers mathematicians and physicists are the dynamos who advance our knowledge of the galaxy and beyond. But the frontiers of space exploration aren’t just for scientists which is one reason the CSS has a director of art and culture Catherine Hazin.
“…We recognized that we needed to communicate some really important and also complicated concepts to a broad public audience and the fastest and most efficient way to do that is through artistic initiatives and cultural approaches” says Hazin. “There are a lot of cultural implications for a lot of our scientific development…. Artists do that better than anyone else that’s what they do — they philosophize they discuss they debate and they do it in a safe way.”
Take Cosmic Dancer a seminal space artwork by Arthur Woods. It’s a sculpture designed for zero gravity that orbited Earth inside Russia’s Mir space station. “It’s the first time that people thought of space art as being anything other than two-dimensional astronomical art” says Hazin. Even though space stations are designed for scientific inquiry Hazin says Woods “was the first person to say ‘Hey guys if we’re going take all of humankind into space we’re going to have to take our humanity with it.’ We need to develop our psychological capability as well as our technological capabilities — it’s not just about survival of your body it’s also survival of your mind.”
If you’re curious about space art (an astonishingly broad genre which includes art that evokes sensory experiences of space art designed for or viewed from space art created for celestial destinations art that uses materials and technologies created through space activities space architecture and interior design and much more) visit the international Revolutions: The Inexorable Evolution of Art exhibition at Endeavour Art Gallery a month-long show organized by CSS. The opening event on September 12 also includes space-inspired music dance fashion and a DJ party as part of Beakerhead.
At the end of the day it isn’t just artists that the CSS is inviting to take an interest in space. It’s for anyone who’s excited by art and by science and by the exploratory spirit that unites them both. “I think that all human beings are explorers; it’s innate it’s part of us that drive to want to explore” says Hazin. “We believe that space is for everyone it’s not for the elite; if we’re going to be making massive decisions that impact our entire planet we should be making them collectively and not by a specific group of people.”
She adds that the objective of CSS is “the betterment of humankind which I find very grandiose on one hand and really beautiful on the other. It’s a nice mixture of a lot of different things.”
Hard to argue with that.