Space Messengers

Space Messengers: An immersive and educational sci-art experience

October 15-17, 2021 (Dark- 11pm) Palacio do Marques de Pombal, Festival Internacional de Ciência

Space Messengers projects the collective  ‘space’ messages and voices of youth participants sharing their thoughts and wishes for a sustainable interplanetary future.  The messages are live mixed and projected along with their animated silhouettes on to buildings at international festivals. A virtual reality platform allows youth around the world to experience and send their space messages simultaneously in the virtual world.

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 an immersive and educational sci-art experience that is part of the BioSTEAM 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 a 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 and native science contributed their knowledge through the youth workshops and online curriculum tool. 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 visualizes data. The installation generates and projects text messages collected from students that participated in an international youth exchange between Oerias Portugal and Taos New Mexico. 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 from participating students.

Space Messengers is participatory. The live audience can tweet or text their own messages which appear on the wall in real time during the event. A virtual reality platform will include a live stream of the projection from the event.  Through this mixed reality experience participants at the site or at home where ever they are can become part of the experience  radiating their space messages out to the world!

Global Virtual Reality Youth Day. The culminating Space Messengers interactive projection will be inaugurated at the Festival Internacional de Ciencia in Oeiras Portugal (October 15-17,2021), and will be live streamed into a virtual reality platform as part of the Global Virtual Reality Youth Day (October 15, 2021 1-3pmMT).  Schools and community organizations that would like to participate as a VR Youth Day host must register by September 25, 2021.

This project 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, Taos Community Foundation, LANL Foundation and the MAE Foundation.

STEMarts Lab Team

Creative Director/Artist: Agnes Chavez

Lead Artist/Projection team: Markus Dorninger/OMAi

Sound design: David Novack with Joao Espada

Creative Coding/Artist: Roy McDonald

VR Platform design: Mathieu Castel

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

Videography: Malu Tavares; 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. STEAM Ambassadors: Dania Loya, New Mexico; Joana D’Arc Moreira, Brazil; Amina Abdrazakova, Canada; Amelia Martinez and Esie Clayton, Taos New Mexico