The influence of neighboring plants on plant reproduction in high stress environments

Category: Use of Astronomy and Space Exploration to Advance Art

Institution: Private Expedition

This project, based in the Arctic Circle, Alta, Finnmark, Norway, produced a series of images of the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, The Great Bear and The Little Bear, with the use of digital SLRs and telescopes. As these constellations sit within the Circumpolar Circle north of the Celestial Equator this project involved tracking and photographing these stellar bodies that are unable to set below the horizon from the perspective of the telescope within the Arctic Circle. In this way the project presented a celestial phenomenon in a non-scientific manner as a means of communicating this subject in a different language in the context of art.

The project instigated observational analysis of the slightly deviating axial precession of the Earth’s North Pole in relation to the North Star’s (Polaris α Umi Aa) position before appropriating this data into an interdisciplinary, collaborative art-science project. This collaboration is centred on the cartographical ‘survival’ iconography associated with the North Star in which the project was attempting to create a contemporary understanding of this narrative utilising this star’s visual Cepheid light, deviating position and time/ distance scales as the projects mediums; all of which is intended to instigate a new perspective of our species’ position within Earth’s extensive biosphere.
The project also did work to produce a documentary involving interviewing local Saami people to record telling regional myths/ legends about the celestial objects.

Unclimbed Kyrgyzstan

Category: Use of Space Technology to Maintain the Earth as an Oasis

Institution: University of Cambridge

The main objective of the project was to climb a number of unclimbed peaks in Kyrgyzstan and survey their heights using GPS. These include peaks at 5576, 5345, 5242 and 5063 m high peaks.

In addition to obtaining new accurate measurements of peak heights, the expedition also demonstrated the spirit of adventure in linking the climbing of previously unchallenged peaks with the use of satellite technology.