(1) L’astronomie spectaculaire : explorations historiques et expérimentales de l’expérience visuelle et spatiale des planétariums (XIXe-XXIe siècles)

Statut : Projet iCAVS 2014-2015

Coordinateurs :
Charlotte Bigg, CR CNRS, Centre Alexandre Koyré/EHESS
Kurt Vanhoutte, PR Perfomance studies & Visual criticism, Univ. Anvers (B)

Reconstruction numérique expérimentale des planétariums, afin d’explorer l’expérience visuelle et spatiale, les cultures visuelles dans lesquelles ils s’insèrent et la manière dont ils rendent compte des évolutions scientifiques, techniques et culturelles.

The objective of this project is to bring together an international, interdisciplinary group of researchers from the human, social, and exact sciences as well as artists, visual technicians and planetarium professionals to investigate the history, present state and future of popular astronomical spectacles. Through an historical study and experimental digital reconstruction of planetarium performances since the early 19th century, we want to analyse a particularly important locus where spatial and visual cultures of modernity were elaborated and experienced at the intersection of science, technology and spectacle.

We look into the material and technological characteristics of these devices, their social and cultural context but also their perception and experience by different audiences. Thereby we also seek to develop new approaches and methodologies for studying visual cultures : science performances are a perfect object to initiate a conversation between history of science and performance studies. Integrating perspectives from art history, cultural studies and theory, communication and museum studies, this conversation will sharpen thinking about the performativity of images, how to analyse their experience and if and how they stimulate belief. The experimental component, realised by artist Eric Joris and CREW, explores the value of digital reconstructions of historical devices for academic investigation in fields related to visual studies and provides an opening to public thinking about these issues, including about their practical implementation for science communication in or as future planetariums.


Publications :
Kurt Vanhoutte et Charlotte Bigg, “On the border between performance, science and the digital: The embodied orrery”, International Journal of Performance Art and Digital Media, Vol. 10, n° 2, septembre 2014.

Manifestations :
17/12/15 : Performance immersive : L’astronomie spectaculaire
Workshop 10-11 juin 2015

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