Artwork / VastWaste
- Abstract: Humans once perceived oceans as boundless, and thus impossible to pollute—until we created the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The same pattern is now repeating in outer space.
VastWaste is a data-driven, projection art installation that illuminates the parallels and interplay between marine pollution and space debris. It can also be experienced in Virtual Reality.
Human activities have scattered millions of objects into Earth’s orbit. Since there is no friction, debris travel at 18,000mph. Even tiny paint flecks can create explosive crashes.
Approximately 4,000 operational satellites are currently in Earth’s orbit and the amount of space debris is already at a critical point. US and European Space Agencies track space debris and maneuver spacecraft to avoid collisions.
SpaceX’s Starlink plans to add 40,000 satellites in the next decade. There is no known solution for mitigating the space debris.
If the amount of space debris passes a critical mass, each collision will lead to more collisions in a chain reaction, known as the Kessler Effect. Ultimately, future spacecraft launches from Earth may become impossible.
VastWaste generates an everchanging Kessler Effect in conjunction with a data-driven soundtrack.
In this installation, satellites spin based on the speed of marine debris. This is calculated by using ocean currents and ocean winds.
The number of fragments falling into the ocean is tied to human use of satellites, symbolized by number of tweets per second.
Generative music varies in each play based on collisions, number of fragments, their contact with the surface of the ocean and their descent into the ocean.
Humans observe marine pollution with satellites, and we bury dead satellites into our oceans. The future of two vast spaces is entangled.
- Biography: Özge Samanci, media artist and graphic novelist, is an associate professor in Northwestern University’s School of Communication. Her interactive installations have been exhibited internationally, including Siggraph Art Gallery, FILE festival, Currents New Media, The Tech Museum of Innovation, WRO Media Art Biennial, Athens International Festival of Digital Arts and New Media, Piksel Electronic Arts Festival, ISEA among others. Her autobiographical graphic novel Dare to Disappoint (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2015) received international press attention and was positively reviewed in The New York Times, The Guardian, Slate along with many other media outlets. Dare to Disappoint has been translated into five languages. Her drawings appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Slate Magazine, The Huffington Post, Airmail, Guernica, The Rumpus. In 2017, she received the Berlin Prize and she was the Holtzbrinck Visual Arts Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.
- CITM UPC - Campus UPC Terrassa
Carrer de la Igualtat 33, Terrassa
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