BEYOND is an ambitious project involving an eclectic mix of artists, curators, scientists and audiences to take advantage of its new on-site astronomical observatory and to consider the word BEYOND as an open ended starting point for discussion, research and the creation of new work.
The project will offer regional and international artists the opportunity to take part in a stimulating residency programme designed to generate a series of public outcomes including exhibitions, workshops, performances, screenings and symposia.
ACA is offering artists and audiences the resource and facilities of the new astronomical observatory on its premises. This will serve as a tool to explore distances which provoke our grasp of the universe and open up wider philosophical discussions.
By definition the word BEYOND lures us to a place that has not yet been arrived at or is further than we can currently reach. Through BEYOND we want artists to take their ideas and their practices to places not yet encountered.
Largely through striving to understand the stuff above us, we sapiens have given names to individual planetary elements and generated mythologies and belief systems from the complex starry configurations.
This has led to people making cultural and divine connections with the heavens. The Egyptians defined the sky as the god Horus, the Greeks named Zeus as the god of sky and thunder, the Romans god of sky and thunder was Jupiter, while in the southern hemisphere the Aborigines have Altjira (or Arrernte) the sky and creator god and in Christianity Jesus is said to have ascended to heaven where he now sits on the right of God.
Astronomy is claimed to be the oldest of sciences with people from prehistoric times finding function in the stars through navigation and agriculture, this can also be evidenced in certain animals.
During the 1960s, a study undertaken by New York's Cornell Lab of Ornithology demonstrated through use of planetarium simulations that the indigo bunting, a brilliantly blue bird, migrates at night using the stars for guidance. It learns its orientation to the night sky from its experience as a young bird observing the stars. https://www.space.com/5849-navigating-stars.html
As well as using the observatory to make astronomical observations this project aims to reflect philosophically on our our planetary situation and reconsider our relationship with the ever expanding BEYOND.