The artist, astronaut, and avatar in space exploration

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Human expression and connection fuels our evolutionary humanity, curiosity and passion. So how far can we go? Pell is designing modes for following the body’s natural edge to the abyss of space. New works including the parallel design of human-robotic performance protocols undersea and human-cinematic robot performance onstage, have inspired new modes of trans-disciplinary dialogue to understand affective visualisation applications in performing astronautics. Technical concepts derived through play and performance on EVA (extra vehicular activities or spacewalks), have led to the development of technical configurations supporting the Spatial Performance Environment Command Transmission Realities for Astronauts SPECTRA (2018). Various SPECTRA experiments on Moon/Mars analogue missions have expanded protocols, for example the confined/isolated Lunar Station analogue mission simulations [LunAres 3 Crew] with transmission of LiDAR imaging and the choreographers’ moves for an artist-astronaut’s interpretation on the analogue Crater. Pell has demonstrated that interactions with SPECTRA systems have a direct impact on the artist-astronaut’s range of spatial awareness, orientation, geographic familiarisation, and remote and in-situ operational training for amplifying performance capabilities on EVA. The significance of these new approaches is the widening of the definition of both technical and cultural activities in astronautics through play and performance. Other research from cinematic robotics, and mixed realities including virtual reality, LiDAR projects and big data immersive visualisations platforms, to an astronaut dance is about designing systems for improved performance and cultural engagement for exploring the critical pathways, discourse and cultural practice surrounding space as inspiration for new works of art, and new ways of working with art and space, during a unique mission simulation. These opportunities also support safe forums for reflexive analysis of our human ambitions, and indeed our assumptions, about a human return to the Moon, and future extra-terrestrial culture. SPECTRA tools translate visions for architecting a new spaceflight era. Outcomes signal new research and impact pathways for the artist, astronaut and avatar in space exploration and discovery.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2018 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
EditorsZachary O. Toups, Peta Wyet
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356244
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play 2018 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 28 Oct 201831 Oct 2018
Conference number: 5th


ConferenceACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play 2018
Abbreviated titleCHI PLAY 2018
Internet address


  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Performance art
  • Immersive Visualization
  • Human spaceflight
  • Richard Move

    Sarah Jane Pell (Host)

    4 Sept 201812 Oct 2018

    Activity: Hosting a visitor types​Hosting an academic or industry visitor

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