MIR presents new video and installation works commissioned by science-art agency The Arts Catalyst, by Stefan Gec (UK), Vadim Fishkin (Rus/Slo), Yuri Leiderman (Rus), Otolith Group: Kodwo Eshun, Anjalika Sagar and Richard Couzins (UK), and filmmaker Andrew Kötting (UK), with photographs by Evgeni Nesterov (Rus). MIR is a unique project that has facilitated artists’ work in conditions of zero gravity (weightlessness) and in high G-forces, with the collaboration of the Russian space programme. In such extreme and unstable circumstances, risk and the unknown have large parts to play. Such artistic experiments have become possible with the end of the Cold War and coincide with the search for a new rationale for space activities. As international political support for space programmes has weakened, so utopian cultural arguments for space exploration have begun to re-emerge, such as Russian cosmism, the artistic and philosophical idealism that Earth is the cradle for humankind and that sooner or later we will inevitably move into space. These utopian ideas dominated much earlier thinking about space, both in science-fiction literature and artistic expression, before the space age started and the Cold War context superseded these ideas with the ‘Space Race’ and ‘Star Wars’. At the dawn of a new millennium, it is timely that artists and independent cultural activists are reclaiming these territories, in a contemporary and very direct sense. The works in this exhibition emerge from recent MIR (Microgravity Interdisciplinary Research) campaigns which have enabled artists and scientists to undertake projects using the facilities – including ‘zero gravity’ flights and the giant centrifuge – at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City, the heart of the Russian space programme and one of the former ‘closed cities’ of the Soviet Union. The MIR Initiative is a collaboration between a group of international art organisations: the UK-based Arts Catalyst and Projekt Atol in Slovenia, with V2 in the Netherlands, Leonardo/OLATS in France and the US, and the Multimedia Complex for Actual Art in Russia. The MIR Initiative aims to open up space facilities by matching artistic processes and scientific research to give new impetus to space research and space art. http://www.artscatalyst.org/projects/space/Space_MIR_INDEX.html
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
Sat 8 Nov – Sat 29 Nov
Gallery One Ewen Chardronnet (Fr), media artist, researcher and writer, will be in residence for three weeks during the show at Cornerhouse, working in Gallery 1, initiating project and research work involving gallery visitors, communities, and other artist networks. Chardronnet is author of an anthology on the Association of Autonomous Astronauts (AAA), “Quitter la Gravité” (L’Eclat, 2001 – Escape from Gravity) and currently working within the Makrolab territory 2003, Campalto island operations in the Venice lagoon.
Want to find out more about Zero Gravity? What is happening? Throughout the exhibition Cornerhouse is offering informal introductions on Thursdays at 6.00pm and Saturdays at 2.00pm. The talks provide an open platform for questions and discussion around the work. Please meet at gallery reception. For group bookings please call 0161 228 7621.