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 of science 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 at FICA in Oeiras Portugal 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-wrote 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 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 (VR Youth Day). STEAM Ambassadors: Dania Loya, New Mexico; Joana D’Arc Moreira, Brazil; Amina Abdrazakova, Canada; Amelia Martinez and Esie Clayton, Taos New Mexico
Fluidic Data is a floor-to-ceiling installation spanning the four levels of the CERN Data Centre stairwell. It utilizes the interplay of water and light to visualize the magnitude and flow of information coming from the four major LHC experiments. The installation consists of an array of transparent hoses that house colored fluid, symbolizing the data of each experiment, surrounded by a collection of diffractive "pods" representing the particles pivotal to each experiment. The organic fusion of art and science engenders a meditative environment, allowing the visitor time for reflection and curiosity.
The Fluidic Data installation is a cross department collaboration that incorporates materials and techniques used in the construction of the LHC and its experiments. The project brings together artists, engineers, science communicators and physicists with a common goal of communicating CERN's research and resources. The success of this collaboration exemplifies the effectiveness of working in diverse teams, both intellectually and culturally, to accomplish unique projects. https://indico.cern.ch/event/773049/contributions/3474847/
(x)trees is a dynamically generating forest of trees created from SMS and Tweets from the audience in real time. It is projected in real time on to buildings and large spaces, exploring our relationship to nature and technology. (x)trees tours around the world creating a participatory experience to raise awareness to ecological topics such as deforestation and climate change. By integrating data mining from SMS and social networks, people participate in the creation of the branches to form a virtual interactive forest of dynamically generating trees. The audience sends a tweet or text message and sees their message appear on the wall with a branch. Archived messages include articles from the Universal Declaration of Rights for Mother Earth and the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. (x)trees programmers: v.1: Jared Tarbell. Original concept and browser-based code written in Flash, v.2: Jeff Milton and Joe Roth, v.3: Alessandro Saccoia. Converted to OpenFrameWorks, v.4: Kamen Dimitrov, v.5: Roy MacDonald
Contact us to bring (x)trees to your festival or community event. Keywords can be customized to the topic or event.
Origination Point is a generative interactive projection installation originally exhibited at the 12th Havana Biennial in Havana, Cuba as part of the collective exhibit Entre, Dentro, Fuera/Between, Inside, Outside and in 2016 at The Harwood Museum, Taos, New Mexico.
As part of Agnes Chavez’s Projecting Particles series and inspired by her Educational Outreach research stay at ATLAS@CERN in Geneva Switzerland, this work explores spacetime, our origins in the universe and how matter was created after the big bang through the newly discovered Higgs field. In Origination Point, Chavez contemplates humanity’s shared subatomic origins in relation to her Cuban-American origins to express that we are more than the physical bodies and socio-cultural identities we construct.
Through a collaboration with artist Marcel Schwittlick, who programmed the code, Origination Point features images of self-generating ‘rocks’ that are transformed in real time exploring the evolution of matter and our wave/particle duality. The images are projected onto a wall of hanging fabric strips creating mesmerizing movements in rhythm with an interactive soundtrack. The interactive composition designed and programmed by sound designer Robert Schirmer includes sounds from NASA’s field recordings of outer space accompanied by terrestrial nature sounds. Through an interactive sensor the visitor moves rocks in and out of a circle on the ground. This process adds layers of water, space and earth sounds designed to shift one’s perception and emotional response to the projected visuals.
Collaborating Team: Artists: Agnes Chavez (artist/concept), Marcel Schwittlick (visual artist/coder), Robert Schirmer (interactive sound). Special thanks to UNM Art Graduate Student assistants in Havana: Abbey Hepner, Christine Posner, Julianne Aguilar, Adrian Pijoan
Origination Point is available for commission as a temporary indoor installation