Science Gallery (2018) Trinity College Dublin, RoI

Rock Stars

360 Virtual Reality & 180 DOME Cinema

A commissioned collaboration between Sarah Jane Pell and David G. Barnes. Co-Produced by Monash Immersive Visualisation Platform.

The cinematic work titled “Rock Stars” is part of a suite of immersive visualization experiences featuring choreographed extra-vehicular activities (EVAs) led by Crew 188 Artist-in-residence during spacewalk simulations at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in 2018. It shows the crew dressed in red flights suits and protective astronaut bubble-shaped helmets walking across an ancient dried up riverbed of the Utah desert. The scale makes them look at once like giant soldier ants, and then tiny figures in a dinosaur’s backyard. They are seen picking up black boulders and stones, shifting them across the landscape to create land-art patterns. The 360-degree footage is mirrored and, like the trickery of desert mirages, the crew’s shadows and forms, move across the landscape in kaleidoscopic geometries. Will future Mars crews create patterns in the landscape, and monoliths like our ancestors? Will the spark of inspiration for cultural and site-specific installations drive such labour and shape our new worlds? This piece is viewed in Virtual Reality and projected along a curved or flat wall so that it is possible to view the work end-to-end within a single line of sight. Also see 'Bending Horizons 360' series Mars Olympiad. Total run time 07:11 mins.

Rock Stars VR by Sarah Jane Pell and MIVP. MDRS Crew 188, 2018. All rights reserved. Rock Stars 2 VR by Sarah Jane Pell and MIVP. MDRS Crew 188, 2018. All rights reserved.

Writer/Director/Producer: SARAH JANE PELL. Starring: SARAH JANE PELL, ZAC TROLLEY, JULIA DE MARINES. Post Production: DAVID BARNES, SARAH JANE PELL. Score: MOBI Gratis. World premiere VR: Life at the Edges Exhibition, Science Gallery Dublin. Rock Stars is one outcome of the 'Bending Horizons 360' experiments devised by Sarah Jane Pell and David G Barnes for the Mars Desert Research Station Crew 188 Analogue Mission 2018.
Aspiring astronauts will be mesmerised by this video. It will spark inspiration and imagination for creating and inhabiting new worlds. Audiences can experience the piece as a large-scale projected installation, with an epic landscape and choreography by the Mars Analogue Astronauts. Alternatively, they can QR the URL to view 360 Vimeo video file to view on Google Cardboard. For adults, the piece coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing and reminds us of our innate human curiosity for exploration. For children it is sublimely alien and inviting of wonderment. It was the first 360VR art ever filmed during a space analogue mission on Earth. The original file is 6K. It is part of a suite of works exploring speculative fiction and creative tools in operational training environments. Perceptions of time, space, and place are curiously interwoven. Audiences often gasp with delight.

Australia Council Logo

This work is part of the Performing Astronautics project assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

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