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Paper: Emergence: A Planetarium and Art Gallery Collaboration Between Artist, Astronomer, and Musician
Volume: 443, Earth and Space Science: Making Connections in Education and Public Outreach
Page: 215
Authors: Beaver, J.; Waller, J. B.; Turner, M.
Abstract: We describe an unusual planetarium program and art gallery exhibition that premiered in Menasha, Wisconsin. Emergence combines fine art and improvisational music with astronomy and physics. The authors, Judith Baker Waller, John Beaver, and Matt Turner, are, respectively, artist, astronomer, and musician. All three acted as partners in planning and executing the final production. The overall goal of Emergence is to use art, music, and natural science each as a point of departure to learn about the others, and to explore the interaction between humans and the natural world and the differences and commonalities between art, science, and music. Of particular interest, the planetarium portion includes techniques that are, so far as we know, unique. Each night the show is different, the details chosen randomly, but always according to the same theoretical scheme. Various elements are parameterized, the show varying with time according to subroutines that dictate the overall pacing and look, but with details always chosen randomly according to prearranged probabilities. We believe that some of these techniques could be of interest to others who wish to explore the unique possibilities of the planetarium as educational performance space. We argue that this provides a useful format for collaborations between artist and scientist, as scientific content can be delivered in a way that is consistent with the concerns of the artist. We describe some of the approaches taken toward these ends in Emergence, and some of the lessons learned about the process of collaboration between a scientist, a visual artist and a performing artist.
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