Friday, January 18, 2008

About, above: project overview

Solar-powered cardboard planetarium - Hyde Park, Sydney, February '08
Cardboard, pinholes, sunlight, rivets, string. 90cm x 80cm x 90cm. Edition 1/6
© Kirsten Bradley 2008

About, above
is a project that considers the plausibility of making natural systems out of cardboard. Drawing on our enduring fascination with the night sky and the space beyond, About, above prods the viewer with gentle questions. The project explores ideas regarding our emotive reactions to natural systems, and investigate our relationship with natural pattern- recognition and our capacity for wonder, in the face of disbelief.

A project in two parts, About, above invites the viewer into a world of lo-fi nature through participatory sculpture and installation. The first aspect of the project are solar-powered cardboard planetaria, which are designed to be installed in parks and other public spaces within a city. The second aspect of the project is an installation in the form of a room or chamber containing a camera obscura starmap, which is 'powered' by exterior sunlight, and allows the viewer to experience both a glowing starchart and a mosaic version of the world outside the chamber, simultaneously.

Both aspects of this project draw in part on early texts and representations of the night sky, as well as ideas of pattern, navigation, simulation, geocentricism and the peculiar nature of light. The project aims to be a playful, welcoming and interactive opportunity for urban astronomy, in a simple and endearing form. About, above aims to consider how we choose to navigate through our worlds, and how we choose what it is that we see.

So far, About, above has had the following outcomes:

- 2008/02: Unsolicited Public Art: streets and parks of Sydney
- 2008/04: Exhibition: Firstdraft Gallery, Sydney
- 2008/07: Public Sculpture: Sydney Observatory 150th Anniversary
- 2008/07: Exhibition: Silvershot, Melbourne

- process diary for About, above project

- video of About, above project
- photos of About, above project

The Birds Path (after Herschel) - detail of installation
Cardboard, pinholes, sunlight, rear-projection screen, blacked-out room. Dimensions variable. Edition 1/1
© Kirsten Bradley 2008

Solar-powered cardboard planetarium - Belmore Park, Sydney, February '08
Cardboard, pinholes, sunlight, rivets, string. 230cm x 200cm 230cm. Edition 1/6
© Kirsten Bradley 2008

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