Thursday, May 19, 2016

Space & Art

Space, the final topic of this course, is something that ties together a lot of the concepts that we have covered. From nanotechnology to biotechnology to math to robots, they are all seen and used in space. Carl Sagan, an American astronomer, writes a book called "The Pale Blue Dot" which describes humans place in this universe and visions of the future. In the "Pale Blue Dot" video, Sagan notes that everything that we have ever known takes place on this 'pale blue dot' while the video portrays the size of the earth in the vastness of the universe. This begins to put in perspective how minuscule we, and our so called problems are in relation to the universe. 


In the renaissance age, science was flourishing. Copernicus, renaissance mathematician and astronomer, suggested that the earth was the centre of the universe and he created a model proposing this idea. He was hesitant to go public with this in fear of being deemed 'heretic' by the Catholic church, as at this time there was a clear divide between the church and science. It was published after his death, and changed the way that people think scientifically as well as religiously. Copernicus was a significant and impactful figure who contributed to astronomical history and the future of space exploration. 


Like we have learned throughout the course, technological advancements have astronomical effects on art and science. They also have large effects on space exploration. A major technological advancement in the course of history is the invention of robots. R2's are the first humanoid robots that are currently being tested at the International Space Station. These robots have been invented to look and operate like humans, and to aid in current and future space explorations. 


The concept of space fascinates me. The idea that there could be millions of other universes out there and we have no idea. Astronomers and scientists are constantly trying to learn more about this unknown, and without technology, none of this would be possible. 


A lot of artists are also fascinated by space, and use it as inspiration for their work. An example of this is Katherine Forde's exhibition "Dancing on the Ceiling: Art & Zero Gravity". This is an exhibition where contemporary artists explore the condition of weightlessness on earth. 



Forde, Katherine. "Dancing on the Ceiling: Art & Zero Gravity". Dancing on the Ceiling. Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Centre, n.d. Web. 19 May. 2016.

Sagan, Carl. "Pale Blue Dot." Youtube. Youtube, 2 Apr. 2007. Web. 19 May. 2016. 

Vesna, Victoria. "Space Intro". Uconline. Youtube. Youtube, 26 Mar. 2012. Web. 19 May. 2016. 

Vesna, Victoria. "8 space pt 1". Uconline. Youtube. Youtube, 29 Jul. 2013. Web. 19 May. 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. "8 space pt 2". Uconline. Youtube. Youtube, 29 Jul. 2013. Web. 19 May. 2016. 

"What is Robonaut?" Nasa. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 16 Sept. 2015. Web. 19 May. 2016. 


  1. Hey Nicole, I really enjoyed your post this week! I also really like Carl Sagan's notion of "The Pale Blue Dot." Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we are quite insignificant compared to what the rest of the universe holds, which we might not be able to comprehend. I also like how you tied in the artistic exploration of zero gravity into your post. I always thought as a kid that I would be really lucky if I ever got to go into space or feel what it's like to float around. Maybe sometime in the future I will be able to do those things, and it won't be entirely impossible.

  2. Hi Nicole,

    Great post! I really like how you discussed "The Pale Blue Dot" in detail because I thought it connected well with the video about the "powers of ten". The powers of ten uses a more mathematical method to show us how small we are in comparison to the rest of the world while "The Pale Blue Dot" uses a more visual method. Because the galaxy is so immense, I'm really excited to see what else we will discover in the future!

  3. Hi Nicole!

    Great post this week! I liked how you mentioned that the notion of the "The Pale Blue Dot" and how this describes humans place in the universe. I think it's crazy to think that there is more life out in space that scientists have no idea about but are still continuing to discover more and more everyday.