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Philip Pocock, Peter Weibel:
»SpacePlace: Art in the Age of Orbitization«
An art satellite. A work in progress.

SpacePlace [web] :: http://www.orbit.zkm.de
SpacePlace [mobil] :: http://mobile.orbit.zkm.de
SpacePlace [presentation] :: ZKMax, Munich, 07 June - 14 July 2006; 03 August 2006 - 07 January 2007 [Underpass Maximilianstrasse/ Altstadtring passage; accessible 24 hrs]

[-> Information auf deutsch]
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In 1924, inspired by his friend the Russian pioneer of space travel Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, who designed a manned space station in 1903, Kazimir Malevich published a series of architectural constructions modeled to resemble spacecrafts. These he called »Planits«, stating that those temporary abodes would - on earth as well as in space - have to be adapted to aero planes. And it was Tsiolkovsky who proposed to call the first satellite launched on 04 October 1957 »travel companion«, which means »Sputnik« in Russian.

But Space Art and Space Art concepts should not be presented in a terrestrial museum. The adequate place for Space and Satellite Art would rather be the orbit itself, respectively a satellite. This is why ZKM works towards acquiring an art satellite in which only Space Art would be presented. But how would this kind of art be visible for people on earth if the works themselves rotate in orbit? It is this very issue the Munich project SpacePlace: Art in the Age of Orbitization deals with. The project is a test bed to explore the idea that in the future, by means of their mobile phones serving also as PCs, people will have wireless access to all data stored - as far as these are not »classified matter«, i.e. censored-, and also, of course, access to information stored in satellites. In the future, information will be stored outside the earth and people will be able to retrieve them from extraterrestrial sources at any time. The experiment at the ZKMax in Munich is a first step in that direction. The ZKM intends to develop a ZKM-satellite dedicated to the storage of and access to Space Art. Orbit Art rotates in orbit, but is accessible for terrestrials via mobile screens. The technology required is presented in the scope of this project for the first time as a prototype for consumer devices.

SpacePlace is a 'Web2 mash-up', a collection of data configured by Philip Pocock that is based on Web2.0 applications and strategies and that contains information from different spheres of artistic production relating to notions of »orbit«. The database of the project comprises contents from fields such as Fine Arts, architecture, Science Fiction, film, music, digital arts or media. Currently, more than 400 entries on Orbit Art, ranging from, for example, projects by artists such as Marina Abramovic, Nam June Paik, Woody Vasulka or Arthur Woods, can be accessed in this constantly growing data pool.

Both via the project's website http://www.orbit.zkm.de and via a Bluetooth interface for mobile phones on site http://mobile.orbit.zkm.de, users can navigate the database or upload texts and images to this universe and thus collectively create its contents and structure.

The ZKMax functions as display and space of interaction as the current status of the SpacePlace-project is made visible and audible on two large projections screens: One screen serves as a forum for interaction offering the possibility to explore the data pool as well as to add new information via a mobile phone with Bluetooth protocol. The second projection shows an audio-wobble movie: The current status of the forum is displayed by employing text-to-speech-processing to convert the incoming text messages and newsfeeds from different blogs in real-time. The resulting soundtrack, an artificial computer-generated voice, controls the generation of still photo and video sequences retrieved from the database. The visitors experience the terrestrial simulation of an orbital artwork.

From 07-16 June 2006, the 49th session of the UN-Committee on the Uses of Outer Space will be held in Vienna [http://www.unoosa.org]. The launch of the project »SpacePlace: Art in the Age of Orbitization« online and at the ZKMax in Munich on 07 June 2006 commemorates the UN doctrine in support of cultural, peaceful and shared uses of orbital space.
SpacePlace is a test station for the exploration of the participatory potential of Web-'curating' in the age of Consumer Generated Content and it offers an orbital orientation, respectively access to orbital information as Peter Weibel proposed in his essay »The Orbital Age« in 1986.

SpacePlace: Art in The Age of Orbitization
Production: ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, 2006
Curators: Philip Pocock, Peter Weibel
Datatect: Axel Heide
Screen: onesandzeros
Archive: Heike Borowski
Gotchis: Heiko Hoos

SpacePlace [web] :: http://www.orbit.zkm.de
SpacePlace [mobile] :: http://mobile.orbit.zkm.de
SpacePlace [presentation] :: ZKMax Munich, 07 June - 14 July 2006; 03 August - 31 December 2006

A project of the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, 2006

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