Our guest post this week is by South African artist Marcus Neustetter, whose work is featured in the African Cosmos exhibition. To see his work, visit: http://www.marcusneustetter.com/
In early 2012, Helene Smuts, director of the Africa meets Africa Project, invited a group of artists to join the production team of the latest in its series of educator resource books and films. The Africa meets Africa (AmA) project is an independent NGO which explores and documents southern African cultural heritage, seeking out solutions to contemporary learning problems in our schools by looking to the sophisticated visual language of traditional arts styles. An interdisciplinary research process has led to remarkably pragmatic learning solutions – such as presenting mathematical concepts in relation to the sophisticated symmetries of woven grass baskets and beaded adornments familiar to rural learners. The project stimulates critical thinking around the fluidity of ethnicity in its flow between urban and rural contexts
My Room at the Centre of the Universe is a 12 minute preview of a 60 minute film being directed by regular AmA film maker Guy Spiller. Together with a richly illustrated resource book, it departs from the act of sensitive and intensive observation common to the fields of astronomy, archaeology and the visual arts. A small Karoo farm outhouse becomes a space of contemplation and creativity for the main character, a 16 year old teenager from Sutherland. One small window in his room acts as a framing device through which he observes and contemplates the landscape, the skies, and ultimately the universe– much like telescopes used by physicists, or the views the Hubble telescope offers humankind.
- Cameroon has announced that it will begin using satellite imagery to monitor and protect the country’s forest reserves. It will be using use images from the SPOT satellite Earth Observation System to create baseline maps in order to track changes to forest cover.
- SpaceX, headed by South African born Elon Musk, has been awarded a $82 million contract with NASA for the launch of the national Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Jason-3 spacecraft, scheduled to launch in December 2014.
Teens at the Smithsonian’s ARTLAB+ produced and recorded a series of interviews with our own Chris Kreamer, curator of the African Cosmos exhibition, South African artist Willem Boshoff, and astrophysicists at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Check out the second in this series of interviews below, which highlights the astrophysicists involved in this exhibition:
Last Wednesday we celebrated both the summer solstice and the opening of African Cosmos: Stellar Arts. We hope you’ll stop by to visit–and share with us your thoughts!
Teens at the Smithsonian’s ARTLAB+ produced and recorded a series of interviews with our own Chris Kreamer, curator of the African Cosmos exhibition, South African artist Willem Boshoff, and astrophysicists at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Check out the first in this series of interviews below:
We are in the midst of installing African Cosmos: Stellar Arts. This has included putting together the massive Rainbow Serpent by artist Romuald Hazoumè, who lives and works in Benin, hanging a monumental painting by Ethiopian-born, New York-based artist Julie Mehretu, and installing the 18-foot high mask carved by a Bwa artist from Burkina Faso. As with every installation, there are the unanticipated snags…paintings hung too low that have to be rehung; objects brought in on loan that require the fabrication of a mount on site—but so far, things are going pretty well. Check out some photos from the installation process!