[ISDC2006] Cultural Frontiers of Space Travel Presentation by the STUDIO For Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University

Frank Pietronigro zerogartist at mac.com
Sat Mar 18 19:59:12 EST 2006

Space Art: The Cultural Frontiers of Space Travel - A program by  
artists whose medium is outer space

When:  Thursday, March 23, 2006, 7 pm

Where:  H&SS Auditorium, Room A53 Baker Hall (lower level), Carnegie  
Mellon University

  Presented by the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry

In a time of extraordinary global cultural tensions, the global  
community needs to reach toward and express shared human feelings,  
feelings that all people have--in particular, those feelings  
associated with the universal surrounding sky with its starry cosmos  
from which we derive our very being.  Recently, in the middle of the  
last century, it became possible to displace the whole of humanity,  
mind, heart and body from the surface of the earth to venture into  
cosmic space and time.  From that moment, a limited number of artists  
have been engaged with this new context in the service of unfolding  
its broader meanings.

What do we see as the ultimate goal for human consciousness in the  
cosmos?  Or is everything we know and feel destined to vanish with  
the planet earth? To undertake such ontological and teleological  
exploration raises all the questions about those things that are most  
essentially human.  What are the capacities of the mind and body?  
Artists work at the forefront of this process of discovery and inquiry.

Distinguished fellow in the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and professor  
in the School of Art, Lowry Burgess, and collaborator Frank  
Pietronigro, an associate fellow in the STUDIO, will present their  
work. Burgess will discuss his efforts to gain support and  
acknowledgement for this pioneering work, and present an overview of  
his poetic work.

Frank Pietronigro will describe his experience of creating "drift  
paintings" in microgravity that he created as a part of "Research  
Project Number 33: Investigating the Creative Process in a  
Microgravity Environment."

The artists will also present an overview of their current project,  
the "Space Art Track" of the 25th International Space Development  
Conference (ISDC) co-sponsored by the National Space Society and the  
Planetary Society.

Pietronigro will present video of his work during a parabolic flight  
aboard NASA's KC135 turbojet, and discuss his role as project  
director and co-founder of the Zero Gravity Arts Consortium (ZGAC).  
ZGAC is a international organization, based in the United States,  
dedicated to fostering greater access for artists to space flight  
technology and zero gravity space through the creation of  
international partnerships with space agencies, arts organizations  
and universities.

About the artists

Lowry Burgess is an internationally renowned environmental artist/ 
poet and educator. He created the first official non-scientific  
payload, the "Boundless Cubic Lunar Aperture," taken into outer space  
by NASA in March of 1989. His major 35-year opus, the "Quiet Axis,"  
contains 8 major aspects, all containing celestial and cosmic  
elements. His artworks and documents are in museums, archives and  
collections in the US, Europe and Japan.

He is professor of art and former dean of the College of Fine Arts at  
Carnegie Mellon University. He is a distinguished fellow in the  
STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, which supports advanced research in the  
interdisciplinary arts. He is also a member of the Center for the  
Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon. He has held other distinguished  
chairs in Hartford and Montreal.

He has been a fellow and senior consultant at the Center for Advanced  
Visual Studies at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts for 25 years where  
he created and directed large collaborative projects in the US and  

He is the originator of the international New Year's arts festival  

"First Night." He originated the arts in the subways programs for the  
Department of Transportation. He has developed and advised in more  
than a dozen major city scale and national projects. He has been  
featured in television and radio broadcasts in the US, Europe and  
Japan, including NOVA, Smithsonian World and NPR.

His book, "Burgess, the Quiet Axis" received the prestigious  
Imperishable Gold Award from Le Devoir in Montreal. He has been  
honored with awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters,  
National Institute of Arts and Letters, Guggenheim Foundation,  
Rockefeller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts,  
Massachusetts Artist Foundation, and Kellogg Foundation.

Frank Pietronigro is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and  
author residing in San Francisco, California.

Pietronigro has achieved international recognition for projects he  
creates that build bridges between artists and space flight  
technology.  As a result of "Research Project Number 33:  
Investigating the Creative Process in a Microgravity Environment", on  
April 4, 1998, Frank became the first American painter to create  
three-dimensional "drift paintings" while floating in zero gravity  
aboard NASA's KC135 turbojet.

In 2004, Frank Pietronigro was appointed associate fellow at the  
STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at the College of Fine Arts, Carnegie  
Mellon University and currently serves as co-founder and project  
director of the Zero Gravity Arts Consortium (ZGAC), an international  
space arts organization dedicated to fostering greater access for  
artists to space exploration technology. Pietronigro also serves as  
co-chair for the Space Art Track of the 25th International Space  
Development Conference Co-Sponsored by the National Space Society and  
Planetary Society.  He will help facilitate a series of inspirational  
presentations and panels complimented by an exhibition, film  
screenings, and Zero Gravity Arts Consortium parabolic flight for  
artists and webcast direct from Zero Gravity Corporation's Boeing 727  

He was invited to participate in Paris's historic International Art  
Outsiders Festival: Space Arts Festival and was included in a  
symposium and presentation titled Visibility - Legibility of Space  
Art: Zero Gravity Art: The Experience of Parabolic Flight, that was  
held at the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie in March, 2003.   
Pietronigro's work has also been presented with museums and  
institutions including: the virtual Tate In Space, Tate Museum,  
London; Smart Project Space, Amsterdam; Museum Fur Gestaltung,  
Zurich; Galeria Ze Dos Bois, Lisbon; Castle Gallery, College of New  
Rochelle, NY; Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco; Blohard  
Gallery at Vox Populi, Philadelphia; the Mill Valley Film Festival  
and the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center. He was appointed by the San  
Francisco Art Commission to direct the 39th Annual San Francisco Arts  
Festival, a month long celebration of the visual and performing arts  
of the Bay Area.

Pietronigro received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the San Francisco  
Art Institute in Interdisciplinary Arts and also studied fine art at  
the Philadelphia College of Art.
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