Hybrid Art

Auszeichnung - Award of Distinction


ARTSAT: Art and Satellite Project (JP): (JP)


On February 28, 2014 (JST), the world’s first art satellite, ARTSAT1:Invader was launched as a piggyback payload on the H-IIA F23 launch vehicle, and inserted into a non-sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 378 km and inclination of 65 degrees. Invader, a 10 cm cube 1U-CubeSat with a mass of 1.85 kg continued its steady operation on orbit, successfully performing an array of artistic missions by commands from the main ground station at Tama Art University. These missions included algorithmic generation and transmission of synthesized voice, music and poems, capturing and transmitting of image data and communicating with the ground through a chatbot program. Invader was also equipped with Morikawa, an on-board mission computer compatible with the Arduino open-source hardware platform, programmed with various functions reflecting today’s maker/hacker culture such as in-orbit satellite operation and reprogramming via web browser.

Invader extended its orbit for an additional two months and deorbited and re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere for disintegration on September 2, 2014, 09:47 (JST). During the Invader’s operation, The ARTSAT project took part in the “mission [SPACE×ART]––beyond Cosmologies” exhibition held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo from June 7 to August 31, 2014, realizing the world’s first media installation using data from an operating satellite. In the installation, various elements and data from Invader are fragmented and decomposed so that visitors can reconstruct them according to their perception and imagination. It is a kind of circuit-style garden to appreciate ultra-small pieces of data from Invader in orbit. Trying to connect with the satellite by the irreplaceable ultra-small data is using the imagination to challenge the limits of the reality of digital data. It is an essential and indispensable experience for us on Earth in the age of big data.

Following Invader, the ARTSAT project designed and developed its second probe, the deep-space sculpture ARTSAT2:Despatch. Despatch––a 3D-printed, spiral (sculptural) form with an envelope area of approx. 50 cu. cm and a total mass of approx. 33 kg––was successfully launched as a piggyback payload on the H-IIA launch vehicle (main satellite: Hayabusa II) on December 3, 2014. Despatch is the world’s first artwork to be inserted into deep-space orbit and marks the furthest distance of an artwork from the Earth. Its mission includes the transmission of “space- generated poems.” Despatch’s signal was successfully received from a distance of 4.7 million km (12 times the distance from the Moon), setting the new world distance record for a signal received by an amateur radio station. Despatch ended its operation on January 3, 2015, but it will continue semi-permanently to orbit the sun as a satellite.


ARTSAT: Art and Satellite Project

The ARTSAT: Art and Satellite Project (JP), which began in 2010, understands Earth-orbiting satellites and deep-space spacecrafts as “media that connect Earth with outer space.” The project launched a miniaturized art satellite and an independently developed spacecraft to carry out experimental creative practices that utilize data transmitted from space, including interactive media art and sound/software art. The project, a collaboration between Tama Art University and the University of Tokyo, is run by members from various fields.

A collaboration between Tama Art University and The University of Tokyo