Frederik De Wilde Artist Talk: Space Art Summer School

Frederik De Wilde Artist Talk: Space Art Summer School

On 17 August Frederik De Wilde presented a talk at the Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow (watch below). The talk, which was held on Zoom, was organised by the museum in collaboration with ARTYPICAL as part of the Space Art Summer School programme curated by Natalia Fuchs and co-hosted by Peter Kirn.

De Wilde's talk is one of several artist talks presented on Mondays during July and August. The talks introduce the work of pioneering interdisciplinary researchers whose work combines art with space exploration. Other artists presenting talks as part of the programme include Andréa Stanislav and Marco Trovatello. 

During the event, De Wilde spoke about some of the ways in which his practice has engaged with space; the lessons learned and collaborations undertaken, and the different techniques he and his collaborators have used to visualise and communicate space exploration. The talk demonstrated De Wilde’s cross-disciplinarity - combining data collection, physics, sculpture and psychology. 

De Wilde’s practice combines scientific research, technological experimentation and art practice. The artist has worked with a variety of cosmological themes; De Wilde’s work often attempts to capture or describe the paradoxical - for instance by materialising the void or randomness, creating works designed for extra-terrestrial conditions, or cohabiting with nonhuman forms of intelligence. Notably, his interest in dark matter led to a partnership with NASA and Rice University to create “a new nano engineered colour for a new industrial revolution exploring the nature of nothingness”. These experiments with matter and nothingness led to a number of exhibitions including Horizontal Depth3 (pictured above), part of the group show Minimalism: Space. Light. Object at the National Gallery Singapore and the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. 

During the talk, De Wilde introduced starshipSPIDER, his 2015 concept spacecraft inspired by a concept craft that is inspired by Kazimir Malevich’s architektons. He also spoke about his work on the MOONARK, an ambitious project to send the first museum to the moon organised by Carnegie Mellon University. 

Frederik de Wilde introduces starshipSPIDER and MOONARK.

De Wilde later described his work with space scientist Guerric de Crombrugghe de Looringhe as part of Giant Steps, a 2016 project looking at the future of art and space, organised by Vital 5 Productions in Seattle. De Wilde and de Crombrugghe de Looringhe imagined the lunar surface as a habitable place and sought to develop a material that would behave in controlled ways on the moon - for instance expanding or hardening when in contact with lunar gravitational or light conditions. The project resulted in S.A.D. Astronaut, an artwork designed for exhibition on the moon.

S.A.D Astronaut, a collaboration between Frederik De Wilde and Guerric de Crombrugghe de Looringhe.

Another project introduced during the talk is Quantum Foam, an ongoing experiment which explores quantum or vacuum energy - the energy present in a void. On 19 August De Wilde releases a collection of digital editions from the project on Sedition - to make these works, the artist “tapped into a random number live data stream derived from a tabletop laser experiment with entangled photons, and channeled this data across the internet into a custom-made software application” (from Frederik De Wilde's description of the project), resulting in digital animations which visualise quantum fluctuations. De Wilde has created various digital and physical works as part of the Quantum Foam project, in the process bringing into focus interactions of the invisible universe.

Still from Quantum Foam by Frederik De Wilde, available on Sedition from 19 August.

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In 2018 Greg J Smith interviewed Frederik De Wilde for the Sedition Magazine; the interview gives insight into De Wilde’s projects, methods and inspirations. Read the interview here.

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