Path to Mars #955: Space Art Business

Space Coin

The upcoming call for space art for the Revolutions Space Art Exhibit has been extended until July 15th, 2013, so you have another week to apply for what looks to be an amazing space art exhibit, possibly the biggest space art event to date in Canada.

I’m skipping ahead a few blog posts (hey, artists love to break rules!) and sharing with you a more recent excerpt from There’s No Business Like Space Business, in which you can read all about Revolutions, and put it in the context of how and why space art is important to the general space industry economy:

The Canadian Space Society put out two seemingly disparate calls this week on their website. On one side of the coin, there is a request for space art submissions for their inaugural space art exhibition Revolutions: The inexorable evolution of Art. On the flip side is a call for papers on the topic of “Canada’s Space Economy”, to be presented at the more tried-and-true annual Canadian Space Summit. On the surface, these two invitations seem to have little in common, other than the two logos having an uncanny resemblance to a certain guitar pick-shaped recent mission patch.

It would be easy to assume that the separate calls subconsciously mirror a well-worn notion that artists wouldn’t be interested (or business-savvy enough) to attend a dullsville economic event, and that economists are surely too sensible to spend their time chasing a frivolous arty dream (creative hobbies take place on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons, thank you very much). The reality, however, is that nothing in the space industry is simple, including the complex relationship between Space Business and Management and Space Art.

A humble, vital position

The list of technical sessions on the CSS website page for the call for economy papers offers a small clue as to the public nature of this relationship. At the very bottom of the list, the very last phrase of the very last section reads “communication of space activities to the public”. While the humble placement of the topic may be happenstance, there is certainly nothing casual about the need for public support in the space economy arena. Public outreach and education has a vital role to play in communicating the societal value of space exploration. This in turn boosts public funding and sways votes in favour of space programs. More funding means more money for public outreach and education, and the cycle begins again. At the heart of public outreach lives the Arts.

It’s no shocker that the Arts has long been a vehicle for reeling in the public. In fact, the upcoming Revolutions exhibition, to be held in Calgary this September, does not shy away from this obvious mandate. The exhibition description states, “the purpose of the exhibition is to inspire and educate the public on space developments, and examine the impact these innovations are making via artistic expression.” The first part of this description makes excellent sense to space industry economists; it’s the latter that gives artists a room of their own in the relationship.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Blast Off!


About Renate Pohl

Theatre Designer, Space and Stained Glass Artist, Writer.
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