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Belfast Exposed Photography: Secret Satellites - 18 Mar 2011 to 30 Apr 2011

Current Exhibition


18 Mar 2011 to 30 Apr 2011
Gallery open Tuesday to Saturday – 11am to 4pm
Belfast Exposed Photography
The Exchange Place
23 Donegall Street
BT1 2FF
Belfast
United Kingdom
Europe
p: 44 028 90 23 09 65
m:
f:
w: www.belfastexposed.org











Geostationary Satellites Above the Sierra Nevada (2007) © Trevor Paglen
Courtesy Galerie Thomas Zander, Köln and Altman Siegel Gallery, San Francisco
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Artists in this exhibition: Simon Faithfull, Joanna Griffin, Aisling O’Beirn, Trevor Paglen


Secret Satellites

Artists: Simon Faithfull (UK), Joanna Griffin (UK), Aisling O’Beirn (NI), Trevor Paglen (US)
Exhibition runs from: 18 March – 30 April



Following the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing in 2009 and amidst debates surrounding the formation of the UK Space Agency and plans to build an International Space Innovation Centre, Belfast Exposed will exhibit work by 4 artists which explores our connection to space and the orbital environment. From the perspective of the lay enthusiast, Secret Satellites explores everything from contemporary physics’ more quirky theories to secret military satellites to homemade experiments in space exploration.

Every year billions of pounds is spent on space research - the UK spends approximately £270 million per year, while NASA’s budget in 2010 was approximately $18 billion dollars. Powerful technologies, including high-resolution observation satellites, are developed and employed in various ways; for scientific research, military and civilian observation, communications, navigation, forecasting weather etc. Since the launch of the first man-made satellite, Sputnik 1, in 1957, thousands of satellites have been launched into orbit around the Earth, making up a substantial orbital environment. Secret Satellites draws our attention to this sophisticated technological world beyond our world, and asks who controls it and for what purposes? Who has access to it and who doesn’t? How does it affect our lives, now and in the future?

It has been said that art functions as a ‘fuel’ for space exploration making ‘dreams desirable for engineers to achieve’. From astronomical illustrations to Star Trek, from 2001: A Space Odyssey to For All Mankind, from Brian Eno’s Apollo to Laurie Anderson’s The End of the Moon, art has played a significant role in stimulating the public imagination and interest in space exploration. Through astrophotography, video installation, animation and storytelling, Secret Satellites undertakes a critical role in understanding space research and its human dimension, exploring the new psychological experiences and philosophical conceptions it represents, while also questioning and challenging its politics of control.




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