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P279


Making and transforming outer space with/through artistic interventions: alternative languages and narratives for (inter)planetary relations 
Convenors:
Zinaida Vasilyeva (Museum für Naturkunde (MfN) Berlin)
Juan Francisco Salazar (Western Sydney University)
Anne Johnson (Unviersidad Iberoamericana)
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Format:
Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This Combined Panel explores the ground between between STS and the arts with a focus on outer space. We approach artistic interventions and public engagement practices as forms of knowledge that produce and transform earth-space relations, (extra)planetary utopias, and ways of living in/with space.

Long Abstract:

With the recent surge in critical social studies of outer space (Alvares et al. 2019; Timko et al. 2022; Salazar and Gorman 2023), scholarship has emerged on the transformations wrought by the NewSpace, the colonial nature of Earth-space relations, and techno-optimist narratives that present space as a new reservoir of resources and opportunities and a solution to existing societal challenges. Much of this research focuses on the narratives and politics of large structures and actors, such as national and intergovernmental space agencies and charismatic businessmen. This panel aims to shift the focus and discuss the 'low-scale' politics and poetics of space, focusing on artistic interventions and their investigative and transformative potential. Such a focus is particularly warranted as recent STS scholarship points to the growing role of the arts in processes of narrating and reflecting on new technologies (Davies 2022; Perrotta 2012; Fraaije et al. 2022), and at the same time to the lack of understanding of how the arts contribute to public understandings of science, trajectories of technological change, and democracy. Furthermore, STS scholars have long argued for the participatory study of the arts as generators of new forms of knowledge, and these scholars have actively engaged in art-science research practices and collaborations with artists to discover new forms of knowledge at the intersection of art, social science, and new media (Marres, Guggenheim, Wilkie 2018; Salter, Burri, Dumit 2017).

This panel is envisaged as a Combined Format Open Panel consisting of two sessions: one with academic papers, and another in a workshop/roundtable format focusing on methodological issues around participatory collaborative practices with creatives. We invite empirically grounded contributions from scholars and artists exploring local expressions and grassroots initiatives (artistic interventions, public engagement practices) that interrogate earth-space relations, (extra)planetary utopias, and suggest new narratives and ways of living in/with space.

Accepted contributions: