Space Messengers

Space Messengers: An immersive and educational sci-art experience

 Festival Internacional de Ciência
October 15-17, 2021 (7:30- 10:30pmGMT)
Palacio do Marques de Pombal

STEMarts Lab is excited to present, Space Messengers, a traveling immersive and educational sci-art installation that projects the collective ‘space’ messages and voices of youth participants sharing their thoughts and wishes for a sustainable interplanetary future. Using data visualization tools, the messages will be live mixed and projected along with silhouettes visualized from data and projected onto the courtyard walls of the Palacio do Marques de Pombal for the Festival Internacional de Ciencia (FICA) event. An immersive soundscape of collected natural sounds from earth and space will fill the courtyard. Space Messengers can also be experienced as an Avatar in a Virtual Reality (VR) environment within a 3D simulation of the courtyard. This immersive mixed reality installation will then travel to festivals around the world carrying the space messages of participating youth from each venue. Next stop…Guadalajara, Mexico in 2022!

The live audience can also send their own space messages in real time;  What message of hope would you like to share with the next generation? These messages become part of a permanent data bank that travels from city to city, radiating messages of hope to and from our future youth leaders.

We are living in an extraordinary time for scientific and technological advancements that are expanding our understanding of the universe. At the same time we are faced with the challenges of climate change and species extinction. We collaborate with youth around the world to raise awareness to the importance of scientific literacy and the ethical impacts of new technologies on nature and society. Exploring at the intersection of the arts, humanities and philosophy with science and technology we contemplate and re-imagine our humanity.

Space Messengers is part of the STEMarts International youth exchange program in partnership with the U.S Embassy of Portugal and the U.S. Consulate General of Guadalajara. This virtual collaboration connects middle/high school classrooms in New Mexico, USA with classrooms in Lisbon, Portugal and Guadalajara, Mexico (more countries to be added) through this shared sci-art installation that will tour around the world to encourage ambassadorship skills, intercultural respect, creative expression and scientific literacy. Experts in the field of astrophysics, particle physics, space science, philosophy of science and native science contribute their knowledge through the youth workshops and online curriculum tool. Using a custom-designed platform we call the Space Board, students co-write messages communicating the science they learned and sharing their thoughts and wishes for a sustainable interplanetary future. These messages are seen floating on the wall along with interactive video-captured silhouettes of the students. Our goal is to raise awareness to the importance of artistic, scientific and humanistic literacy to inspire our youth to become more informed and compassionate global citizens.

Space Messengers is made possible in part by the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund for U.S. Alumni; an opportunity sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by Partners of the Americas. Thanks also to our sponsors at the U.S. Embassy of Portugal, FIC.A, U.S.General Consulate of Guadalajara, Taos Community Foundation, LANL Foundation, NMArts and the MAE Foundation.

STEMarts is a 501(c)3 based in Taos, New Mexico


Space Messengers was created by the Projecting Particles Collective:

Creative Director: Agnes Chavez

Lead Artist/Projection team: Markus Dorninger/OMAi

Sound design: David Novack with Joao Espada

Creative Coding/Artist: Roy MacDonald

VR Platform design: Mathieu Castel

Interdisciplinary speakers/facilitators: CERN Physicists; Dr. Steven Goldfarb, University of Melbourne on the ATLAS Experiment, Dr. Johan Sebastian Bonilla, Postdoctoral Scholar for the University of California, Davis; Dr. Nicole Lloyd-Ronning, LANL astrophysicist; Steve Tamayo, Lakota Cultural Specialist; Dr. Catarina Pombo Nabais, Philosophy of Science/University of Lisbon; Frank Tavares, NASA Communication Specialist; Michelle Hanlon, Founder/Director, For all Moonkind

Videography: Malu Tavares; Photography: Julia Novack, Frank Dosu; Curriculum  Advisors: Shane Wood, Quarknet staff; Dr. Greg Cajete, Native-American Author/cultural specialist. Visual Program Designer: Estacia Huddleston. Multi-media/Tech development and support: OMAi/Tagtool team/Josef Dorninger and Matthias Fritz;  Enrico Trujillo, University of New Mexico (VR Youth Day). STEAM Ambassadors: Dania Loya, New Mexico; Joana D’Arc Moreira, Brazil; Amina Abdrazakova, Canada; Amelia Martinez and Elsie Clayton, Taos New Mexico.

Participating schools: Escola Secundária Sebastião e Silva: Profesora Ana Carvalho, Profesora, Cristina Pinho. Taos Integrated School of the Arts: Sally Greywolf, Alison Haney