Conference Spacecrafts and Alien Physics in Orbit

Monday 28 January 2019

HEAD – Genève
Bâtiment, Bd James-Fazy 15
Salle R10 
9h à 12h, 14h à 18h
Entrée libre
Plan d'accès

Conference #1 Spacecrafts and Alien Physics in Orbit
As part of the conference cycle  Distortion Series proposed by  Master Media Design

Among the many inspirations that feed the field of design, those of spatial conquest and research in physics occupy a special place. First because they refer to influential imaginaries from outer space and the discovery of new frontiers, but also because of the importance they give to multiple devices: experimental machines, control interfaces, robots, architectures, spatial combinations, data visualization, etc. These are objects that designers, in their different fields, may have to design. They are also representations that provide inspiration for their practice outside of space and physics.  

This conference will address the reciprocal influences between designers' productions and innovation projects related to the conquest of space or research in physics. More specifically, it will first question the imaginations of space and the machines that allow it: from the most outstanding ones (ISS, LHC), to post-colonial projects (Indian Space Research Organisation, Lebanese Rocket Society), reappropriations of all kinds (Sun Ra, Association des Astronautes Autonomes), and even to the current updating of these questions through digital entrepreneurs such as Jef Bezos or Elon Musk.  

This conference will also give a voice to designers and artists who capture these imaginaries in their practices in fields such as interaction design, architecture, product or fashion design. 

Invité-e-s :
Michael Doser,
Particles Physicist at CERN
Monica Bello, Head of the Arts at CERN program 
Edda Gschwendtner, Head of the AWAKE experiment at CERN 
Ewen Chardronnet, Artist, writer and curator
Nicolas Nova, Researcher in digital and new media practices 
Christophe Kihm, Researcher and curator 
Gilles Jobin, Director of dance company 
Laura Couto Rosado, Artist and media designer 
Joël Vacheron, Researcher and writer
Zara Arshad, Curatorial Research Assistant in the Design, Architecture and Digital department at the V&A. 


10h - 10h30 Nicolas Nova, Researcher in digital and new media practices
Spacecrafts x Interaction Design
Space station control panels, arduino-based DYI satellites, fictional interfaces of space opera movies, UX prototyping at NASA. Such examples highlight how interaction design and spatial exploration overlaps, despite their relative distance. The talk will discuss such intersections, and focus both on technologies and how the imaginaries about them influence digital culture for quite a long time.

10h30 - 11h Zara Arshad, Curatorial Research Assistant in the Design, Architecture and Digital department at the V&A.
Made in Space

New technologies are enabling designers to experiment and practice within the most extreme of scales - from the nanoscale to the outer edges of the universe. Focusing on the 3D-printing activities of US-based company Made In Space, as well as the speculative design approach of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), this talk will explore the possibilities and implications of designing in and for outer space.

11h - 11h30 Michael Doser, Particles Physicist at CERN
Antimatter as concept and reality

Antimatter is both an alien concept and a concrete reality. By focusing on its physical reality and the manipulations required to investigate it, antimatter’s role in the Universe at large but also in technological societies will be discussed.

11h30 - 12h Gilles Jobin, Director of Dance Company
Deconstruct and scale: choreography in the quantum space

Winner of the Collide Geneva Award in 2012, Gilles Jobin was invited for a 3-month residency at CERN for his proposal to explore through interventions and dance the relationship between mind and body at the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. This residency triggered for him an increasing and evolving fascination with science. After his residency he created in 2013 QUANTUM at CERN Open Days, a piece that toured extensively around the world. His most recent work involves collaboration with motion capture specialist Artanim with whom he created VR_I.  For the first time a choreographer combines dance with immersive virtual reality in a work that provides viewers with a unique sensory experience. In this lecture, Gilles Jobin will share his experience as a resident choreographer at CERN.

12h - 14h Lunch Break

14h - 14h30 Joel Vacheron, Researcher and writer
How the NASA JPL Computer Graphics Laboratory opened a new era in space exploration and planetary imagination
The NASA JPL Computer Graphics Laboratory existed from 1977 to 1990 and was tasked with bringing the then new field of 3D computer graphics into applicable areas of NASA spaceflight operations. Through an overview of pivotal contributions by computer scientist James Blinn and digital artist David Em, this presentation aims to question how CGI opened a new era in space exploration and planetary imagination. (L. Messeri).

14h30 - 15h Edda Gschwendtner, Head of the AWAKE experiment at CERN 
Plasma Wakefield Acceleration: A New Technology to Push the Particle Energy Frontier 
The construction of ever larger and costlier accelerator facilities has its limits, and new technologies will be needed to push the energy frontier. Plasma wakefield acceleration is a rapidly developing field which appears to be an auspicious candidate technology for future high-energy accelerators. This presentation introduces the plasma wakefield acceleration technology and shows the technological challenges and promising results on the example of the advanced proton driven plasma wakefield experiment, AWAKE, at CERN. 

15h - 16h Ewen Chardronnet, Artist, writer and curator
Roscosmoe aims to develop and design a series of experiences and bioregenerative life-support systems to assess the behavior of the photosymbiotic marine worm Symsagittifera roscoffensis in a variety of gravitational environments, including zero gravity conditions. The interdisciplinary project Roscosmoe aims to study the potential of terrestrial and marine biodiversity in the field of space research. It connects marine biology, design, anthropology of science and intermedia art.

16h - 16h20 Coffee Break

16h20 - 16h50 Laura Couto Rosado, Artist and media designer

Quantum Nuggets : Designing phenomena that are beyond us
CERN’s experiments in particle physics research are extraordinary references and ressources for designers. They can disrupt designer’s practice and lead them to explore new paradigms based on extreme phenomena that are beyond our imagination.

16h50 - 17h20 Christophe Kihm, Researcher and curator 
Alien perspectives (Conference in French)
L’exploration de l’espace extraterrestre dispose d’une histoire scientifique qui s’est précisée à la conjonction de plusieurs disciplines, de l’astronomie à l’exobiologie, dans la confection de projectiles et d’habitats spatiaux. Mais extraterrestre désigne aussi un concept qui dispose d’une histoire culturelle dont nous essaierons de retracer les contours et de dégager quelques perspectives à partir d’exemples issus des sciences humaines et des arts.

17h20 - 17h50 Monica Bello, Head of the Arts at CERN program 

18h Drinks

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Conférence Spacecrafts and Alien Physics in Orbit
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