Picture the Sky: Cosmic Code, Images, and Imaginaries is a practice-based artistic PhD project by Nanna Debois Buhl in which she investigates depictions of space explorations across astronomical, computational, aesthetic and speculative realms to rethink well-known (hi)stories of space research and nurture attentiveness to more complex understandings of materials and historical textures.
A central strand of the project is to consider the image as a tool for mapping and speculating. Through production of and reflection upon images, the aim of the project is to examine the following questions:
- How can we become more attentive to the complexities of history if we look at the work and people that were omitted in traditional histories of astronomy and space travel?
- How can we, through studies of their photography, coding and weaving, conceive of new ways of thinking about relationships between art, craft and science, between the analogue and the digital?
- How can we, with astro-photography as a prism, consider the mechanisms that render things visible or invisible, known or unknown?
- And how can we, through these images that make the world visible in new ways, imagine different futures?
These questions are being examined through three investigations that interweave historical references, artistic experiments and new scientific studies. Picture the Sky will be materialised through photographs, films, weavings, installations, algorithm-based works, writings and artist’s books. The project thus combines production of artworks, thinking through them and a meta-reflection on what their materials and technologies signify (at different times).
The project is being developed at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.