Kosmica, a gathering of artists, space engineers, performers and astronomers usually takes place in London but was brought to Liverpool for a special edition as part of FACT’s Republic of the Moon programme.
Described as ‘An evening for anyone interested sharing ideas about space in original ways’, I wasn’t really sure what I’d make of it. I can’t say I show a particular interest in space, but on the other hand, who is not intrigued by the great unknown?
FACT’s Kosmika, curated by artists Sue Corke (UK), Hagen Betzwieser (Germany) and Nahum Mantra, offered presentations from an all-female line up, Hilde de Bruijn of the Moon Life Foundation, Dr Iya Whiteley, Space Psychologist (IACE Ltd, Director; UCL Centre for Space Medicine Consultant), Bee Thakore of the Planetary Society. It ended with a screening of Ulrike Kubatta’s film She Should Have Gone To The Moon, a documentary portrait of the NASA trained American pilot Jerri Truhill.
FACT provided a perfect setting for this event with an intimate room and comfy purple two seater sofa chairs, creating an informal atmosphere but with an air of professionalism none the less. The presentations were interesting to say the least. Hagen Betzwieser spoke about the research she has carried out around predicting the potential psychological state of astronauts attempting a long mission and the factors that can have an impact on this.
A more creative aspect of Kosmica was shown in Hilde ‘de Bruijn’s presentation on behalf of the Moon Life Foundation, an organisation that speculates on the possibility that humans will live in space in the future. With this in mind the project is a stimulus for artists, architects and designers to create futuristic, radical, political but humane concepts for living in a lunar environment. ‘De Bruijn described Moon Life’s Concept Store, a pop up shop and art exhibition which presents creations made by designers, with a life on the moon in mind. She used the example of Velcro which was originally designed for use in space, to demonstrate that if we think to the future when designing objects we will come across ideas that benefit us on earth right now.
Bee Thakore, a woman with a real passion for space exploration, spoke about the women that inspired her in her career and the idea that when you are in space you are from earth and representing earth, not divided by country or culture. At this point I remembered we were at a special edition of Kosmica with an all-female line up, but the final offering, showing Ulrike Kubatta’s film She Should Have Gone To The Moon really brought home the significance of this. This documentary was beautifully made, captivating and would strike a cord in the heart of any woman whether she has an interest in space travel or not. Kubatta uses telephone and filmed interviews with pilot Jerri Truhill, an incredible female role model who just oozes charisma, to tell Truhill’s story. Kubatta’s imagery subtly transports you to a place where you can just feel Truhill’s ambition. I’d like to describe more but I feel like a synopsis would give something away so all I can say is the title says it all, Jerri Truhill should have done to the moon and it’s a travesty that she didn’t.
This was an excellent evening of science and art from Fact and the Kosmica team. I wonder if Fact can give an independent showing of ‘She Should have gone to the Moon’ for those who missed it? If not you can buy it on DVD from the website http://sheshouldhavegonetothemoon.com/