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April 10: STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Artists Connect to International Space Station in Bay Area Festival, April 12


Eric Sloss                           

Carnegie Mellon's STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Artists Connect
To International Space Station in Bay Area Festival, April 12

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's School of Art Professor Lowry Burgess and the Deep Space Signaling Group at Carnegie Mellon's STUDIO for Creative Inquiry will unveil "I See the Earth and It Is Beautiful" at Yuri's Night, an art, science and music celebration in the San Francisco Bay Area on April 12.
At the NASA Ames Research Center, more than 8,000 people will join astronauts, artists, musicians, scientists and engineers in the one-night festival to learn, celebrate and pay tribute to our global space heritage.
The Deep Space Signaling Group's project, "I See the Earth and It Is Beautiful," is a sound composition with visual components created by Burgess and the artists and musicians who formed the group in January 2008. The words of the composition were uttered by Yuri Gagarin, the Soviet cosmonaut who in 1960 became the first human in space. For this composition, astronauts Peggy Whitson and Garrett Reisman were recorded speaking Gagarin's message during the 16th expedition of the International Space Station. Then, Gagarin's words will be recited again in various languages.
The group is composed of Vashti Germaine, a musician and artist; Andrew Kaiser, a composer of film, television and concert; artist Jonathan Minard (BHA'07); Frank Pietronigro, an associate fellow at the STUDIO; and Franco Sciannameo, director of the College of Fine Arts interdisciplinary undergraduate program at Carnegie Mellon.
Attendees of Yuri's Night will sing the words of Gagarin. He said, "Circling the Earth in my orbital spaceship I marveled at the beauty of our planet. People of the world, let us safeguard and enhance this beauty — not destroy it!" Gagarin's words will then be recited again in various languages, this time pre-recorded by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Finally, the Yuri's Night attendees and the astronauts' recording will occur at the same time.
Pietronigro will serve as master of ceremonies throughout the evening as well as curate 12 hours of documentaries showcasing art in space, science and technology while honoring local Bay Area artists. In 1998, Pietronigro became the first American artist to paint in zero gravity.
Yuri's Night events include art installations, concerts, an air show and speakers ranging from NASA scientists to video game designers. NASA will reveal some of its space exploration robots alongside those of Carnegie Mellon West Robotics, part of Carnegie Mellon's Silicon Valley campus. The GigaPan imaging technology developed at Carnegie Mellon will also be displayed at Yuri's Night.