SpacePlace: Art in the Age of Orbitization - Press Release (English) May 27, 2006.

SpacePlace: Art in the Age of Orbitization
An Art Satellite. A work in progress.

SpacePlace Bluetooth installationn simulated Screencast.

A project of the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, 2006
presented at the ZKMax, Munich, from 07 June to 31 December 2006

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SpacePlace [web] ::
SpacePlace [mobile] ::
SpacePlace [Bluetooth dual-screen public access] :: ZKMax, Munich, 07 June - 31 Dec. 2006
[Underpass Maximilianstrasse/ Altstadtring passage; accessible 24 hrs]

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 aeroplanes. 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 Orbital Art concepts should not be presented in a terrestrial museum. The adequate place for Space and Satellite Art would rather be 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 data 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 orbiting art. Such Space Art rotates in orbit, but is accessible for terrestrials via mobile screens. The technology required is presented in the scope of this cultural project for the first time as a prototype for consumer or 'prosumer' (poducer/consumer) devices.

Sorry you can't - for whatever reason - display this Flash Movie!

Sorry you can't - for whatever reason - display this Flash Movie!

«SpacePlace» is in Net vernacular, a 'Mashup,' (See:,) 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 art, 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, open to all SpacePlace member entries.

Both via the project's website and via mobile phones at, 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 many mobile phones with free public access Bluetooth protocol. The second projection syncs with selections made by the public on the first projection, and plays them as an «Audio Wobble Movie:» images and video 'wobbling' fluidly to the sound of incoming RSS newsfeeds from webblogs and Net sources concerning science and art in outer space. The soundtrack, the result of text-to-speech synthesis of online information, is narrated by an artificial computer-generated voice, over an added track of the 'sounds of space,' a radio feed that 'listens' to what scientists are studying with radio telescopes in real time. This audio controls the generation and spacial distortion of still photo and video sequences retrieved from the data pool by guests in ZKMax. The visitors experience the terrestrial simulation of an orbital artwork. This Bluetooth interface is local to ZKMax, yet simulates a sort of 'ground station' of inquiry into Space Art by guests acting as «orbitants.»

From 07-16 June 2006, the 49th session of the UN-Committee on the Uses of Outer Space will be held in Vienna []. The launch of the project ªSpacePlace: Art in the Age of Orbitization´ online and at the ZKMax in Munich on 07 June 2006 marking the day the United Nations convenes in Vienna to discuss the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

Production: ZKM Karlsruhe, 2006
Curators: Philip Pocock, Peter Weibel
Datatect: Axel Heide
Screen: onesandzeros
Archive: Heike Borowski
Gotchis: Heiko Hoos


ZKMax Munich
Underpass Maximilianstrasse/ Altstadtring passage; accessible 24 hrs

[SpacePlace web]
[SpacePlace mobile]
[SpacePlace feed]
[SpacePlace feedburner]
[SpacePlace social bookmarks]

Download SpacePlace Flyer pdf

Some SpacePlace Gotchis