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漂浮于太空的艺术品

更新时间:2019/1/6 9:45:02 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The artworks floating above the Earth
漂浮于太空的艺术品

On the timeline of human history, we’ve been exploring outer space for just the short blip of a few decades. But long before we launched satellites out of our atmosphere, artists imagined escaping our humble planet to aspire toward the heavens. Military defence spending and science have driven our exploration, though artists have continued to be instrumental catalysts in our quest to conquer the unknown, because they imagine the future before it happens – as the saying goes, life imitates art. Today, artists are joining in the space race, imagining the mysterious vacuum beyond our atmosphere as the next museum or gallery space.

在人类漫长的历史长河里,探索外太空的历史不过短短几十年的时间。但早在我们把卫星送进大气层之前很久,艺术家们就已在想像逃离这个卑微的星球,渴望奔向天空。军事防御上的支出和科学进步推动了我们的探索,而艺术家继续担当我们探求征服未知世界的重要催化剂,因为在未来到来之前,他们已在想像未来世界的林林种种。正如俗话说的,生活是在模仿艺术。今天,艺术家们也加入到太空竞赛中,把大气层之外的神秘真空想像成下一座美术馆或者画廊空间。

The artist known as Nahum resists the idea that space is ours to conquer. He argues that artists must be included in the conversation about how we explore space or else humanity – namely rich countries with well-funded aerospace programs – risk making the same mistakes the colonising empires made in the past. Who owns the surface of the Moon or a comet and has the right to exploit minerals or precious metals there? Fundamental aspects of our culture such as land ownership and borders are called into question as soon as we leave Earth, says the artist. “If [artists] have different skills and ways of understanding the world, we can only enrich the conversation,” he tells BBC Culture.

名叫纳胡姆(Nahum)的艺术家拒绝接受人类可以征服太空的观点。他认为,必须把艺术家纳入我们如何探索太空或者人类(即拥有充足资金执行航空航天计划的富裕国家)的对话中,否则就有可能犯下殖民帝国当年犯下的同样错误。谁有权拥有月球或者一颗彗星的表面,谁有权在那里采矿或者贵金属呢?这位艺术家说,一旦离开地球,我们地球文化的基本原则,比如土地所有权和边界等,就可能受到质疑。他告诉BBC文化频道,“如果(艺术家)有不同的技能和理解世界的方式,我们只会丰富这样的对话。”

Artists are, for the first time since scientists overcame the incessant pull of gravity to break free from Earth’s atmosphere, beginning to imagine outer space as a platform for art. What does art look like after Earth? On 29 June 2018, years in the making, Nahum’s long-time dream came true when he launched a one-of-a-kind interactive sculpture into orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket bound for the International Space Station (ISS). Back on Earth, the artist orchestrated performances that allowed the audience to interact with the sculpture on the ISS, bringing the audience here on Earth closer to space, says Nahum.

自从科学家们首次克服了地心引力的羁绊,挣脱地球大气层以来,艺术家们开始把外太空想像成一个艺术平台。在地球之外的艺术是什么样的?2018年6月29日,经过多年的酝酿,纳胡姆长久以来的梦想终于实现了。他创作的一件独一无二的互动式雕塑搭乘运载物资到国际空间站的SpaceX猎鹰9号火箭进入太空。在地球上,这位艺术家精心策划的表演,让观众能够与国际空间站上的这具雕塑互动,用纳胡姆的话说,就是拉近了地球观众与太空的距离。

Is space a place for art?

太空是艺术场所吗?

Space should also be used as a cultural laboratory, says Nahum, which is why his new project is especially designed around interaction with space. By interacting with the sculpture on board the ISS, viewers on Earth will feel as if outer space is more accessible, he says. The work is about the interconnectedness of all things, on a cosmic scale but also here on Earth; the interpretation of the unknown as part of what we don’t see but what is inevitably part of the totality of our existence. “Sometimes I think of space as a black canvas,” he says.

纳胡姆说,太空也应该用作一个文化实验室,这就是为什么他的新作品要特别设计成与太空互动的形式。他说,通过与国际空间站上的雕塑互动,地球上的观众会觉得外太空更容易接近。这件作品是关于万事万物之间的联系,不仅是在宇宙范围内,也包括地球;是对我们虽然看不见,但不可避免地构成了我们存在整体的未知事物的解读。他说。“有时候,我觉得太空就像是一块黑色的画布。”

Other artists like Trevor Paglen, Tavares Strachan and Makoto Azuma have also conceived projects created specifically for outer space. On 3 December 2018 Paglen’s Orbital Reflector, made in collaboration with the Nevada Museum of Art, and Strachan’s Enoch, in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) were launched into space after multiple scrapped attempts. The two works hitched a ride aboard the same SpaceX rocket.

佩格伦(Trevor Paglen)、斯特拉昌(Tavares Strachan)和日本艺术家东信(Makoto Azuma)等艺术家,也都构思了为外太空创作的作品。2018年12月3日,佩格伦与内华达美术馆(Nevada Museum of Art)合作的《轨道反射器》(Orbital Reflector),以及斯特拉昌与洛杉矶县美术馆(Los Angeles County Museum of Art)合作的《伊诺克》(Enoch),在多次失败后,也被送入太空。这两件作品搭乘的是同一个SpaceX火箭。

At first, Paglen’s sculpture might look like a scientific satellite, but it is in fact purely aesthetic and aspirational. The project sparked protest among astronomers who claimed that the highly reflective object would obstruct scientific observation. Nahum refutes their claim, though the project is among the first that calls into question the issue of who has a legal right to space or who owns Earth’s orbit. Why should scientists have unlimited reign? Why can’t artists, or anyone else for that matter, have equal access to this new frontier?

乍一看,佩格伦的雕塑作品看起来像是一颗科学卫星,但实际上是纯粹的美学和励志之艺术作品。这个项目引发了天文学家的抗议,他们说这个强烈反光的物体,会妨碍科学观察。纳胡姆驳斥了他们的主张。佩格伦的这件作品是最早一批引发谁拥有太空合法权利或者谁拥有地球轨道问题的太空艺术作品之一。为什么科学家拥有太空无限的支配力?为什么艺术家或者其他人不能平等地进入这个新边疆?

Strachan’s space sculpture looks more like what you might expect to see in a museum – a bust of Robert Henry Lawrence Jr, the first African American ever selected for the US space program. Lawrence died in a plane crash while still in training to become an astronaut and never realised his dream of going to space, until Strachan’s sculpture put him there after the fact. The launch of Nahum, Paglen and Strachan’s space sculptures marks a turning point for artworks in outer space, with three works by three separate artists orbiting around our planet at this very moment.

斯特拉昌的太空雕塑看起来则更像是那种你会在美术馆里看到的东西,一具小罗伯特•亨利•劳伦斯(Robert Henry Lawrence Jr)的半身像。劳伦斯是第一个入选美国太空计划的非裔美国人,在进行宇航员培训时即死于空难,因而从未有机会实现进入太空的梦想,直到斯特拉昌的作品进入太空。纳胡姆、佩格伦和斯特拉昌的太空雕塑,标志着外太空艺术品的一个里程碑。此时此刻,三位艺术家的三件作品正绕着我们的地球旋转。

Paglen says that he designed the space sculpture to encourage those of us bound by gravity on Earth to look up with a renewed sense of wonder. “What I like about space exploration, is that most of the time it’s about Earth,” says Nahum. In other words, these projects, though they are extra-terrestrial in nature, are meant to bring us together. Nearly every satellite ever made points toward Earth. In fact, the first camera ever launched into space took a picture not of the stars, but of Earth. Migration and nationalism are broken down when we imagine a future where we will simply say, “I’m from Earth,” says Nahum. Beyond science or even science fiction, art can provoke new ways of looking outward into the heavens and also inward to our collective consciousness.

佩格伦说,他设计这个太空雕塑的目的,是为了鼓励我们这些受困于地球引力的人,带着重新燃起的好奇心仰望天空。纳胡姆说:“我之所以喜欢太空探索,是因为大多数时候,太空探索其实都是关于地球的。”换句话说,太空项目虽然本质上是外星的,但目的是把外太空和地球联系在一起。人类制造的几乎每颗卫星都指向地球。事实上,第一个发射到太空的照相机拍的不是恒星而是地球的照片。纳胡姆说,我们想像一下,未来有一天,我们进入太空遭遇外星人时,我们将只简单地说一句“我来自地球”,只这一句话,所有移民和民族主义的东西就分崩离析了。除了科学(甚至是科幻小说)之外,艺术既能激发人们以新的方式向上仰望天空,也能向内探索我们地球人类的集体意识。

Art in space: A 50-year history

太空艺术50年

Nahum, originally from Mexico City but now working in Berlin, has been exploring space as a subject matter and a destination in his art for nearly a decade. “As artists, we have the responsibility to engage in whatever our subject matter is,” he says. For a 2015 exhibition in Mexico City, The Matters of Gravity, Nahum along with a small group of artists travelled to Russia to experience the closest thing to zero gravity that we have on Earth: parabolic flight. Conceived as part of astronaut training and for scientific research, parabolic flights allow for short 30-second near zero-gravity experiences, through a specific series of manoeuvres aboard a specially designed airplane. Nahum and the other artists were the first to undertake artistic experiments in a zero-gravity environment. The results were displayed at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in the form of audio, video and sculpture.

纳胡姆来自墨西哥城,目前以柏林为创作基地,近10年来,他一直在探索将太空作为艺术创作的主题和目标。他说,“作为艺术家,我们有责任从事任何主题创作。”为了筹备2015年他在墨西哥城的展览《重力状态》(The Matters of Gravity),纳胡姆和几位艺术家前往俄罗斯,感受地球上最接近零重力状态的体验:抛物线失重飞行。作为宇航员训练和科学研究的一部分,特别设计的飞机进行一系列特定动作的飞行,当进入抛物线飞行时,飞机上可以体验到30秒的失重感觉。纳胡姆等艺术家是第一批在失重环境下进行艺术实验的人。实验结果以音频、视频和雕塑的形式,在墨西哥城艺术宫(Palacio de Bellas Artes)展出。

In 2017 Azuma made space feel closer by recreating the art history standard of the still life with a bouquet of flowers hovering in the outer edges of the atmosphere. His works were necessarily impermanent, as if to suggest the fragile and temporary nature of everything alive and organic in the great cosmos, even the planet that we call home. So again, the artist’s exploration in space comes back to our life on Earth.

在2017年,东信用一束盘旋在大气层外缘的鲜花,再现了静物的艺术史标准,拉近了人类与太空的距离。他的作品必然是短暂的,这仿佛是在暗示,茫茫宇宙中,甚至是在我们称之为家的地球上,所有生物和有机物都是脆弱而短暂的本质。所以,艺术家在太空的探索又回到了我们在地球上的生命。

Azuma’s approach to reaching space was decidedly more DIY. Rather than launch his bouquets into space aboard a rocket, the arrangements were secured to gigantic balloons, reaching heights 100,000 feet above the Nevada desert. At -60C, the flowers began to break apart in the outer atmosphere before falling to Earth like colourful confetti. The photographic documentation is the only evidence of the adventure, capturing the grey area where Earth ends and space begins. The project called EXOBIOTANICA offers a poetic exploration of space, as if to say, we must dive into the unknown only if we bring beauty with us.

东信的作品抵达太空的方式,显然更DIY。花束不是通过搭载火箭进入太空,而是固定在巨大的气球上,飘上1万英尺的高空。在摄氏零下60度的超低温环境里,花朵开始在外层大气四分五裂,然后像彩屑般飘落地球。摄影记录是这次冒险存在的唯一证据,它捕捉到了地球的尽头和太空开始之间这个灰色区域。这个名为地球外生命体(EXOBIOTANICA)的项目,提供了对太空的一种诗意探索,仿佛是在说,我们唯有携带美丽之物,方可深入未知世界。

The history of art in space stretches back further than the last few years however. Two of the most famous aerospace missions, Voyager 1 and 2, identical spacecraft designed to reach the outer edges of our galaxy, carry with them two golden records full of art. After their launch in 1977, they continue to careen ever further into the unknown. With every second they become the farthest human-made objects from Earth ever. In December 2018, Voyager 2 left our Solar System, nearly 18 billion km (11 billion miles) from Earth, following Voyager 1, which left our Solar System in 2012. Truly one-of-a-kind, the Voyager project epitomises the striving spirit of humanity reaching outward with a message of beauty and human creativity. Each golden disk contains a message to a potential extra-terrestrial civilisation that might discover the spacecraft: images, music, and greetings in many languages from around the world.

不过,太空艺术的历史,还可以继续往前追溯。在两个最著名的航天任务中,两个一模一样的航天器旅行者1号和2号飞出我们太阳系的外缘。两个航天器携带着两个录制了许多艺术表达的黄金唱片。1977年发射之后,旅行者1号和2号朝着未知的宇宙飞去。每一秒时间,两个航天器都成为距离地球最遥远的人造物体。2018年12月,旅行者2号继旅行者1号之后飞离了我们的太阳系,现在距离地球近180亿公里(110亿英里)。旅行者1号则在2012年已离开了太阳系。真正独一无二的是,这个旅行者号航天任务带着地球人类关于美好和人类创造力的讯息飞出太阳系,象征着人类对太空探索不息的奋斗精神。其携带的每张金唱片都包含着地球传递给任何将会遭遇到的外星文明的讯息,其中有地球和人类的影像、音乐以及几十种人类语言的问候。

Carl Sagan, charged with the impossible task of curating the content of the golden record to represent all human civilisation, called the disk “Earth's greatest hits; a gift across the cosmic ocean from one island of civilisation to another”. In the four decades following, there has been no greater undertaking of art in space. Our exploration of the cosmos, whether artistic or brutal, is ultimately an exploration of our soul and the interconnectedness of the universe.

萨根(Carl Sagan)负责策划这张黄金唱片的内容,这似乎是一个不可能的任务,因为要代表所有的人类文明。他称这张唱片“是地球上最伟大的唱片,是跨越宇宙的海洋,从一个文明孤岛到另一个文明孤岛的礼物”。在之后的40多年里,再也没有比这更伟大的太空艺术作品了。我们对宇宙的探索,无论是以艺术的还是野蛮的方式,最终都是对我们自身灵魂的探索,是对宇宙间相互联系的探索。

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