Art and space enter a new dimension

February 20, 2017, European Space Agency
Paolo Nespoli and Michelangelo Pistoletto at the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leornardo da Vinci, Milan, 14 February 2017. Credit: ESA

ESA's involvement in the world of art is entering a new dimension, thanks to the cooperation with the Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, with the idea of making space activities as inclusive as possible for more of the public on Earth.

Michelangelo Pistoletto is acknowledged as one of the founding fathers of the Italian Arte Povera contemporary art movement and is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of his generation.

The Arte Povera movement grew throughout Italy between the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s. Literally meaning 'poor art', this vivid art movement is characterised by its use of found and unconventional materials.

Pistoletto's work mainly deals with the subject of the unification of art and everyday life, and his ongoing 'Third Paradise' project, conceived in 2003, envisions a third 'realm' that merges natural and artificial worlds and a society living in harmony with nature.

Pistoletto began his cooperation with ESA for the development of the official mission patch of Paolo Nespoli's VITA mission, which includes the artist's symbol of his Third Paradise concept in the artwork designed by ESA for ASI, the Italian agency.

A natural continuation of this cooperation is the brand-new 'Spac3' app, which will allow users to select and combine Paolo's images from space with their own photos. Developed by ESA and ASI in close cooperation with RAM radioartemobile and Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, the app will be launched at the same time as Paolo's launch into space later this year.

As a user of this Spac3 app, you'll be able to receive the photos taken by Paolo during his mission and then you'll be invited to generate a new image based on six different themes inspired by the UN's .

These themes are: Life on land; Good health and wellbeing; Industry, innovation and infrastructure; Climate action; Life below water, and Sustainable cities and communities.

Focusing on one of those themes, you'll create a unique and personal image that is an original combination of Paolo's space image and your Earth-based one. Your combination will be shaped into the Third Paradise symbol and then published as part of a larger interactive artwork by Pistoletto.

The VITA mission, provided by ASI through a barter agreement with NASA, will be Paolo's third spaceflight when he is launched later this year as flight engineer on Expeditions 52/53.

The symbol of the Spac3 project involving ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli and Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto. Credit: ESA

Paolo's first spaceflight was the two-week Esperia mission on the Space Shuttle STS-120 in 2007. He returned to the Station in 2010 for ESA's 160-day MagISStra as part of Expeditions 26/27.

Explore further: Vita: next Space Station mission name and logo

Related Stories

Vita: next Space Station mission name and logo

November 24, 2016

ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli will be launched to the International Space Station next year for his third spaceflight. The name and logo for his mission were announced today.

Third spaceflight for astronaut Paolo Nespoli

July 31, 2015

ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli will be heading for space a third time, as part of Expeditions 52 and 53 to the International Space Station. He will be launched on a Soyuz vehicle in May 2017 on a five-month mission.

NASA assigns crew for shuttle mission

June 19, 2006

NASA has assigned crew members to the space shuttle flight that will launch an Italian-built U.S. module for the International Space Station.

Image: Lightning over Brazil

May 16, 2011

The European Space Agency's Paolo Nespoli took this image of lightning over Brazil as seen from the International Space Station in January 2011.

Recommended for you

Fish-inspired material changes color using nanocolumns

March 20, 2019

Inspired by the flashing colors of the neon tetra fish, researchers have developed a technique for changing the color of a material by manipulating the orientation of nanostructured columns in the material.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.