Performing Astronautics: Following the Body's Natural Edge into the Abyss of Space

Australia Council Fellowship 2016 - 2018

The Performing Astronautics Fellowship project consists of experimental performance exploration to amplify the bodily phases of astronaut training and undersea missions as basis for extreme movement. I will conduct research over 2 years in parallel phases: 1) instrumental/speculative and 2) performative exploration, and will be participating in space analogue training and mission scenario simulations, designing prototype performance systems, producing speculative fiction short films, and producing a new work on performing astronautics. My artistic interest in 'Following the Body's Natural Edge into the Abyss of Space' is spiritual, visceral and poetic. By investigating my relationship to performing astronautics, I can also focus on countermeasures hardware and device development, and an evaluation of a commercial space life support system and future visions for space. Radical ideas, compelling performances, speculative fiction, and documentation of extreme art experiences will result through creative research, training, and collaboration with choreographers and designers.

Why will she succeed? Dr. Pell is the first artist astronaut candidate in history: selected for two citizen-scientist programs Project PoSSUM and Project PHeNOM. Her well-established experimental and emerging art practice builds on the success of Project MOONWALK EU: Human-robotic mission scenario and simulations underwater (2016), the failure of Bending Horizons: an earthquake-interrupted art-to-summit attempt of Mt. Everest (2013-2015) and renowned earlier artistic, research and commercial contributions to pioneer Aquabatics (2002-2012). Dr. Pell aims to premiere outcomes during Project POSEIDON: 100Day Undersea Mission to inspire and shape sea-space body art forms.

Moonwalk Suspension #3 iWait from Bending Horizons on Vimeo.

iWait preparing to wear the Gandolfi-2 EVA SIM Spacesuit during Project MOONWALK EU underwater Lunar EVA simulation analogue trials. Simulation Astronaut Artist Dr Sarah Jane Pell. Filmed on location at Comex, Marseille, FR 4 Jun 2016. @sarahjanepell @aquabatics #artistastronaut #projectmoonwalkeu All rights reserved.

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The 'Performing Astronautics' project is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

#PerformingAstronautics #AusCouncilArtsFellow #ArtistAstronaut @sarahjanepell @aquabatics


I am looking forward to new and strengthened partnerships with Dr. Jason Reimuller, Nikolay Moiseev, Annick Buread, Kitsui Dubois, Richard Move, Elizabeth Streb, Astronaut Paolo Nespoli, Astronaut Nicole Scott, Astronaut Dr. Don Pettit, Jamie Guied, Prof. Rachel Armstrong, Prof. Floyd Mueller, Prof. Roger Malina and collaborators.

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