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The astronautical Art Initiative is on a mission to build the most comprehensive archive of art in outer space, aiming to provide a historic overview of all artistic artefacts and interventions that operate beyond the boundary of space.

Mission

The Astronautical Art Initiative embarks on a cosmic journey where art and space intersect, unlocking the mysteries of the universe through artistic expression. We are dedicated to the exploration, preservation, and celebration of art in outer space.

 

Inspiring Wonder, advancing knowledge:

Our mission is twofold: to inspire wonder by showcasing the creative spirit of humanity as it ventures beyond Earth's boundaries and to advance knowledge by conducting rigorous research into the impact and significance of space art. Through our work, we aim to bridge the realms of art and science, cultivating a deeper understanding of our place in the cosmos.

 

Why Art in Space matters:

Art in space transcends boundaries, encapsulating the essence of exploration, innovation, and the human spirit. It reflects our insatiable curiosity and our quest for beauty in the unknown. We recognise the profound value of art in outer space as both a cultural treasure and a source of inspiration for generations to come.

What we do:

Archiving & Documentation:

We curate a comprehensive archive of art sent into space, preserving these masterpieces for posterity and sharing their stories.

Research & Education:

We conduct research to unravel the artistic, scientific, and philosophical dimensions of space art, and we provide educational resources to inspire future generations.

Creation & Curation:
We create and curate group art projects in outer space, giving artists and the public direct access to space infrastructure as a source of inspiration and creation.

Rationale

1. Cultural and Historical Preservation:
Space art represents an important facet of human culture and history. Preserving and documenting these works ensures that future generations can learn about the cultural significance of art in space exploration.
 

2. Artistic Expression in Extreme Environments:
Art created for space missions often faces unique challenges, such as zero gravity, vacuum, and extreme temperatures. Studying these artworks can provide insights into how artists adapt to extreme environments and the impact of such environments on the creative process.
 

3. Reflection of Human Spirit:
Sending art into space symbolises humanity's curiosity, ambition, and desire to explore the cosmos. The archive serves as a testament to the human spirit and our relentless pursuit of knowledge and beauty.
 

4. Cross-Disciplinary Insights:
Space art can bridge the gap between science and the arts, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration. The archive aids to a better understanding of the intersection between science, technology, and artistic expression.
 

5. Inspirational Value:
The archive serves as a source of inspiration for future artists, scientists, and space enthusiasts. It encourages creativity and innovation by showcasing what is possible when art and space exploration converge.
 

6. Documentation of Milestones:
Space art often accompanies significant space missions and scientific discoveries. The archive documents these milestones and helps researchers and historians track the evolution of space exploration.
 

7. Cultural Diplomacy:
Art sent into space can represent not only the culture of one nation but also the collective culture of humanity. It can be a tool for cultural diplomacy, fostering international cooperation and understanding.
 

8. Educational Resource:
The archive serves as an educational resource, providing materials for schools, museums, and research institutions to explore the relationship between art, science, and space.
 

9. Ethical and Philosophical Considerations:
Space art can raise ethical and philosophical questions about the role of art in the cosmos and its potential impact on extraterrestrial life, making it a subject of intellectual inquiry.

Team

Arno Geens FRSA

Founder, Curator

Arno is a Belgian multiversal creative explorer. He is the founder and curator of The Astronautical Art Initiative and co-founder of The Spacecraft Agency: two organisations dedicated to creating and curating art programs in outer space to actively engage artists and the public in the development of space exploration. His current research interests lie in the history, current practice and collective imaginaries of artistic artefacts in the extraterrestrial space environment. He previously worked as a visiting researcher and visual strategist at NASA JPL where he helped scientists and engineers imagine the future and give people an sense of awe about the universe. He was the media lead at the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) and vice-president of the European Young Innovators Forum (EYIF): a non-profit organisation fostering youth innovation. In addition to this, he was a program director, lecturer and researcher on design and new media technologies, and ran a human-driven creative agency and experimental art gallery. He enjoys helping individuals uncover moments of awe and wonder, nurturing their curiosity, inspiring them to dream, and empowering them to bring their ideas to life. Currently, Arno serves as the co-chair of the Space Renaissance International Academy's Art Chapter and on the program committee of the ‘School of Thinking’ - CLEA Center for Transdisciplinary Research at the Free University of Brussels. He holds a MA in Graphic Design, a MSc in Space Studies, and a PG in Philosophy and Cognitive Science. He is an alumnus of the US Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), an artist member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA), and has been honoured for his contributions to the Red Cross. He has been passionate about space ever since he was awestruck by the Pillars of Creation as a kid.

Headshot of Arno Geens, curator

Ann Goossens

Co-founder, Financial Advisor

Ann is an experienced financial and business advisor with a strong focus on the Arts, Circular Economy and Creative Industries. Currently she runs her own consultancy business where she advises and assists cultural organisations with a.o. business management, grant writing and financial reporting. She has been the business director for several Belgian art organisations, the Assistant General Director for Beursschouwburg Arts Center in Brussels and Financial Manager at Groot Eiland, a major circular economy and social entrepreneurship player in the Brussels region. She was Co-editor and Back Office Manager at two art auction houses. She was an advisory board member at Aifoon Arts Organisation and Brussels Kunstenoverleg, the Brussels consultative body for the arts. Ann has a MA in History, a Master in Cultural Studies, a degree in Arts Management and a Postgraduate degree in Finance and Financial Controlling. She is a passionate photographer and general curious mind.

headshot of ann goosens, financial advisor
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