Firmament / w.i.p.

Courtesy:  The Adler Planetarium, SVL.

Courtesy: The Adler Planetarium, SVL.

Firmament (2018, in progress) is a project comprising works in several different media (large-scale mark-makings, digital technology, artificial intelligence, text, performance, installation, and Teletext video), inspired by the ongoing collaboration with the Director of Space Visualization at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.   

It is focused on the process of devising new shapes and constellations out of a blank, new sky: the celestial vault as seen from planet Trappist -1e, an object located 40 light years away from us, and deemed “perfect for life” since its discovery in 2017. 
Such a view was made possible by the unique technology available at the Adler Planetarium’s Space Visualization Lab.

The project confronts themes of collective imagination, universal representation, the mental colonization of space, and the role of emotional contemplation in the understanding of science and information


These drawings, which I call firmaments, trace my first approaches toward this new sky, seeking a different kind of orientation, looking for geometries, and projecting myself upon a blank canvas - leaving along the mark of an arbitrary act such as dissecting the sky, in the form of suggested symmetries and shapes.
They are firmaments, although nothing in them will actually remain firm.

I used 20th Century navigation and bathymetric charts from all over the world and blacked out consistent portions of them with graphite.
Then, I placed the stars from a piece of the Trappist sky using white India ink.
Marks explore the field along with my gaze.
I calibrate for orientation. I create mental pictures that disappear as I advance in all directions.
I pin down points, stumble across geometries, and sense new narratives of navigation.