Project concept: Exploration
Digital Curator: MiMi L.
In 2017, I created a work of art in collaboration with NASA Goddard to commemorate the James Webb Space Telescope being built. I called that piece Exploration.
Exploration. The sole purpose of the James Webb Space Telescope mission. To look back in time and see how our universe was formed. To raise questions we never thought to ask. To reach into the unknown. Exploration was created using 3D scans of John Cromwell Mather, astrophysicist, cosmologist and Nobel Prize in Physics laureate and Amber Straughn Astrophysicist; Deputy Project Scientist for JWST Science Communications. The arms are reaching out of the primary mirror of the JWST as though they are reaching through a portal to the ends of the universe. As they push through they are enveloped in information, formulas that have helped unlock the secrets of the universe. The third arm is my own; the arm of an artist. The abstract idea of studying what you don’t know is hard to grasp. This is a disconnect that art can help fill in. Art asks people every day to think about abstract ideas and opens a doorway for creative thinking. My hope is to apply this open-mindedness to science and in this way be better equipped to take in the universe in all its vastness and mystery.
Now in 2021, the telescope will finally launch, a culmination of human achievement, and I would like to feature those humans that made it happen. NASA Goddard has once again asked me to create a work but this time commemorating the launch of the JWST in October. I have been interviewing scientists and engineers at NASA to get the scoop on what they worked on, how it affects the overall mission, their personal stories and emotions, and why this mission is so monumental. My work of art will be a testament to the humans that worked on this project for over a decade. I am still in the interview process with scientists and engineers. I have interviewed 12 people from thermal engineers and astrophysicists to exoplanet experts and astronomers. I am still uncertain what form the artwork will take. As a conceptual artist, I like to let the idea grow into an appropriate medium. I do have a ton of footage and would like to make a video of some sort. Perhaps projected onto a sculpture.