31 July 2021
By Tom Collins
The National Space Centre at Elfordstown Earthstation outside Midleton, in partnership with Killagh neighbour Greywood Arts has announced an open call for a unique Space Waste artist residency. The one-month sculptural project examines the debris produced by the acceleration of space technology and is supported by Cork County Council.
“The residency is a unique chance to re-purpose technological components that can’t be recycled and see what emerges creatively from space waste,” explained Jessica Bonenfant, Artistic Director at Greywood. “This collaboration will give an artist working three-dimensionally the chance to visit the National Space Centre to collect materials and investigate the other-worldly campus environment.”
The NSC is set to share space communications components including circuit boards, assemblies and data subframes with the artist, as well as preserved panels from their recently dismantled 11-metre EU-5B4 satellite ground communications dish. The selected artist will then have a month in residence at Greywood Arts to develop the work that emerges.
“This is a pivotal time in space exploration,” explained NSC CEO Rory Fitzpatrick. “We’re looking at manned Martian exploration in the near future, while Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson have launched space tourism as a viable industry. At the same time, there are more than 125 million pieces of space garbage orbiting our planet. It’s an ideal moment to examine questions around our responsibility to live sustainably not only on Earth, but beyond it.”
The international invitation to artists is open until 22 August and the residency will run through November. The project concludes with an exhibition and discussion at the National Space Centre in early December to showcase the work created during the residency, and to launch the NSC’s 10th Birthday celebrations.
Applications and more information: https://greywoodarts.org/space-waste/
Image 1: Jessica Bonenfant, Artistic Director at Greywood Arts, shows off some of the junk components from scrapped space communications projects at the National Space Centre in Middleton, Cork.
What is the ‘National Space Centre’?
The National Space Centre (NSC) is Europe’s most westerly teleport and Ireland’s only commercial ground station. Opened as Elfordstown Earthstation in 1984, the €24M facility will celebrate ten years of operation as the NSC in 2021. The company provides commercial broadcast services, ground control support for satellites and spacecraft, academic research partnerships and space industry consulting. The NSC’s co-located Space Campus is home to more than a dozen Irish space start-ups and EU-headquartered space enterprises.