Exploring Citizen Space Travel

Exploring Citizen Space TravelLowry Burgess

Lowry Burgess

Lowry Burgess, professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University, is exhibiting his work in "Free Enterprise: The Art of Citizen Space Exploration."

It's the first contemporary art exhibition in the United States to present an international array of artists and organizations who are exploring the implications of civilian space travel.

The exhibition opened at UCR ARTSblock at the University of California, Riverside, on Saturday, Jan. 19 and runs through May 18.

Burgess, an internationally renowned artist and educator, is one of only 25 artists, collectives, organizations and initiatives to be invited to exhibit in "Free Enterprise."

Considered by many to be one of the few pioneers of the burgeoning Space Art movement, Burgess created the first official art payload taken into outer space on the Shuttle Discovery by NASA in 1989. 

Five works in "Free Enterprise" are either by Burgess or documentation of his work by others, including two videos.

A distinguished fellow in the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon and a former dean of CMU's College of Fine Arts, Burgess has exhibited widely in art and science museums in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, including various international exhibitions such as Documenta, the Vienna Biennal, and a solo exhibition at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

He has been a fellow, senior consultant and adviser for more than 25 years at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT, where he created and directed large collaborative projects and festivals in the U.S. and Europe.

In the planning stages since fall 2009, "Free Enterprise" investigates the major political and cultural shift from state-sponsored space exploration toward private enterprise at a time when several private ventures will have come to, or are near, fruition.

They include the successful launch in May 2012 of the Falcon 9 vehicle by Space X and its rendezvous with the International Space Station; the soon-to-be completed spaceport in New Mexico that will be the launch site for Virgin Galactic's space tourism program; and the burgeoning efforts of XCOR Aerospace, a company represented in Free Enterprise.

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Photo: "Boundless Cubic Lunar Aperture," 1989, after its return from space. It hovers in a permanent magnetic field with a glass plate on top. Photo courtesy of Lowry Burgess.


Related Links: Taking Art to the Moon | Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry | College of Fine Arts | NASA.gov