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The Great ballet in orbit




Space junk is man-made and left behind trash that floats aimlessly through space. Claessens used earthly waste to make these works and in doing so ascribed singular voices to them. She then brought these characters together in a new video work. The ballet of space debris is influenced by science fiction film (music), but is most inspired by a quote from the book “Sputnik Love” by Haruki Murakami: “Lonely metal souls in the unimpeded darkness of space, they meet, pass each other, and part, never to meet again. No words passing between them. No promises to keep.” Equally lonely are the satellites that hover around the earth as symbols of the intrinsically human lust for knowledge.


The study of the universe

Spans almost inconceivable extremes of size  and distance and time. From the vast island of stars we call a galaxy. To the tiny atom and the particles that comprise it. On cosmic events that occurred billions of years in the past, To microcosmic events in the present that endure for only billionth of a second. To explore the universe at these extremes the scientist build instruments that extend his reach and his vision. His great telescopic eye has a light gathering power of a million human eyes. It peers not only into the depths of space but far back in time. His telescopic ear is tuned to the invisible radio sky. It detects not objects but the radio regions associated with them. And at distances far beyond the range of the largest optical telescope.

But the radio waves and the visible light that passed through the earth’s atmosphere to these ground-based telescopes early part of a broad spectrum of radiation most of which is blocked by the atmosphere. So electronic instruments are lifted above this murky and turbulent layer. Airborne by rockets, by balloons,   in unmanned astronomical observatories, in manned laboratories. And in spacecraft orbiting the planet.

Instruments probe the near and distant environments of space. And open new windows on the universe.

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