Every space project needs an artist!
Artist, occupational diver, and researcher Dr. Sarah Jane Pell embarks on her first high altitude adventure. SJ passionately explores new ways to redefine our visions of future worlds from sea, to summit, to space through art-making. An experienced remote crew member and art and science collaborator, she is forging her skills in new ways: pioneering a practice to embody and contribute to the culture of exploration. SJ performs expressively and builds novel prototype apparatus to test and communicate insights from the field. Artifacts include sculptural, technical, poetic and media events. Her work promotes physical conditioning, creative visualisation and new forms of expressive communication for enhancing habitability and performance in extreme environments.
As an experienced commercial diver and expert in creating artwork in an aquatic environment, Sarah has embraced the new challenges of the alpine and high altitude environment, leveraging embodied knowledge of pressure-releated environments, onorous work-loads, team-work, remote communications and use of breathing gases and combersome protective clothing required to survive the hostile environment. By taking a ‘giant-leap’, Sarah can map her bodily performance to exposure to altitude conditions to the artifacts and moments of creative expression. This expedition will push Sarah to contribute new knowledge on the design and usefulness of protocols supporting human expression during extreme performance. This will be achieved by designing opportunities for moments of deep reflection and personal expression to create temporal artifacts or gestures that tell the inner story of the journey to the top of the world.
Dr. Pell’s work has been widely exhibited, performed, published and recognised. A Freedman Foundation Travelling Art Scholar, Pell was the first artist to graduate from the International Space University and NASA Ames Singularity University. She led the NASA-sponsored Luna Gaia project, has flown artworks in space, participated and led EVA Simulation (spacewalk training underwater) workshops with astronauts, and designed interactive aquatic-robotic systems. She also contributes to futurist think tanks, interaction design, film and cinematic world building and early start-ups. A trans-disciplinary pioneer, Pell was awarded Best PhD Art & Science 2007 by Leonardo AS, MIT and she is the only Australian to ever be awarded a TED Fellow for exceptional talent and courage. Dr. Pell currently serves as Co-Chair of the European Space Agency (ESA) Topical Team Arts & Science [ETTAS]: developing an ESA Arts Initiative, and Senior Space Art Consultant to Icarus Interstellar: an organization dedicated to interstellar flight by 2100. An accomplished ADAS Occupational Diver, Dr. Pell also represents MUA Divers on Standards Australia Committee SF-017 Occupational Diving, and conducts research into interaction design for extending extreme performance as an RMIT Visiting Fellow. She is currently writing Bodies in Extremis for a book by Rachel Armstrong (Springer Praxis, 2016).