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August 23, 1966

Jiangang Hao, Brian Nord, Chris Peplin, John Walters
Adviser: Joe Trumpey, Art and Design
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The intellectual barrier to even a surface level understanding of the themes and ideas in astronomy and cosmology are intimidating, and for many people the challenge lacks incentive. The scientific exploration of cosmic origins is far removed from celestial folklore of the past. This project aims to return astronomy to a position of cultural importance through the organized presentation of scientifically gathered data in a way that highlights the importance of spatial and temporal awareness beyond this planet. We aim to construct self-guided experiences that allow for a clear understanding of astronomical phenomena, and that integrate the participant’s humanity with the project’s composition, thus transforming the observer into an actor.

As Mark Weiser writes, “The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” Astronomy gains meaning through personal contexts, and we will use visual and auditory aesthetic with technology to cement a connection between them. We target especially the accidental passerby, the person whose curiosity has not yet been piqued or has perhaps been doused. We will provide access to the hidden world that surrounds us so that participants may gain a deep appreciation for vastly disparate scales and find personal significance in our shared physical cosmology. Joseph Campbell claims that “Life has no meaning. We bring meaning to it.” This project is an effort to facilitate the infusion of meaning for the scientifically uninitiated. For the School of Art & Design’s astronomy themed show in May and for the GROCS showcase we will deploy an interactive installation that engages both physically and virtually through a combination of digital and non-electronic media.

Proposal: August 23, 1966 [.pdf]

Posted in Uncategorized by on the December 11th, 2008
GROCS: grant opportunities - collaborative spaces

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