By Foteini Vergidou.
The new art exhibition Cosmonauts of Inner Space that has opened last Friday night in Athens, develops around the notion of internal space. The curator and visual artist, Spyros Verykios used as the concept’s initial trigger the film Fantastic Voyage (1966), for focusing on the explorers of the “inner space” and their journeys within humans, which are an integral part of the human exploration in the seek of acquiring knowledge.
The film recounts the adventures of a submarine crew, which shrinks and becomes tiny so that it can enter the body of an injured scientist and fix the damage that his brain has suffered. The film directed by Richard Fleischer, was considered original in its time and won two Oscar Awards.
Cosmonauts of Inner Space features Greek, Belgian and international artists, scientists and researchers, covering a wide media spectrum, including Interactive Installations, Artificial Intelligence, Painting, Sculpture and more. The show wishes to explore and discuss all the viewpoints and approaches of the internal travel in any way the artists seem fit, as for example in relation to biology, philosophy, psychology, sociology and technology.
Ferocious Urbanites spoke with the curator of the show on how the movie inspired each artist to develop their own idea of what constitutes “internal space” without the limitation of an a priori narrow distinction. Spyros Verykios acknowledges that this perception differs from one another and gave the artists the liberty to interpret this idea in relation to their own problematic and field of research.
We also discussed how a science fiction movie of the sixties serves now as a figurative statement, given the rapid technological development and how it serves as a contemporary and a fruitful place for dialogue between artists and researchers.
In the film Fantastic Voyage, a scientist is nearly assassinated. In order to save him, a submarine is shrunken to microscopic size and injected into his bloodstream with a small crew. Today, we have nanotechnology and robots in medicine performing the exact same role. While in the movie, problems arise almost as soon as the crew enters the bloodstream, the nature of nano-robotics leave almost no chance to accidents.
The work of Kyriaki Goni, “Counting craters on the moon. A deep dream” (ongoing), composed by a Deep Dream, drawings and archival material, explores a hypothetical dialogue between Julius Schmidt, director of the National Observatory of Athens (1858 – 1884) and an AI, that scientists used in March 2018 to discover 6,000 new craters on the moon, as a way to look at each part’s possibilities, successes and limitations.
The discussion in AI’s Deep Dream, demonstrates the astronomer and geophysicist’s success (and errors) of a 34-year period of large topographic map of the Moon that calculated its craters to about 30,000, while the AI in 2018, tackled flawlessly and restlessly the task but lacks on the emotional aspect of its achievements.
The exhibition takes place in three different cities, connecting Athens as its starting point with Brussels and Tokyo.
Manolis Aggelakis, Angelos Antonopoulos, Nikos Arvanitis, Zaharias Arvanitis, Isidora Avraam, Dimitris Baboulis, Emmanouil Bitsakis, Manos Chrisovergis, Rory O'Connor, Kyriaki Goni,Ioanna Gouma, Juliano Kaglis, Antonis Kapnisis, Apostolos Karakatsanis, George Kazazis, Thanos Klonaris, Kiki Kolympari, Panayiotis Lamprou,Varvara Liakounakou, Maria Mavropoulou,Christos Michaelides, Tassos Missouras, Vasilis Papatsarouhas, Marios Pavlou, Stefanos Rokos,George Tourlas, Giorgos Tserionis, Marios Fournaris, Spyros Verykios, Hadassah Emmerich, Harlinde De Mol, YJ Lih, Luna Haertjens, Mikael Groc, Chantal Pollier, Robert B. Lisek.
ph: 1. ©Kyriaki Goni, COUNTING CRATERS ON THE MOON. A DEEP DREAM. (ongoing). Courtesy of the artist.
2. © IMDb
3.© Cocmonauts of Inner Space
National Observatory of Athens
Lofos Nymphon - Thissio,11810, Athens, Greece
t: +30 2103490000, w: http://www.noa.gr
Opening 8 June 2018, 20:00 – 22:00
Exhibition from 8 June to 30 June 2018
16 Herakleidon Str, Thissio, 118 51, Athens, Greece
t: +30 210 34 61 981, w: http://herakleidon-art.gr/en-us/
Opening 8 June 2018, 19:00 – 21:00
Exhibition from 8 June to 30 June 2018
Boulevard Guillaume Van Haelen 132, 1190 Forest.
Opening 14 June 2018, 18:00 – 22:00
Exhibition from 14 June to 25 June 2018
Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Intermedia Art, Studio
209, 5000 Omonma, Toride, IBARAKI Prefecture 302-0001 JAPAN
Performance: 8, 12, 21, 29 June 2018