Space and Satellites: data artist residencies May-June 2020

New Artist-In-Residence Programme announced promoting Scotland’s Space and Satellites industry. Artists will be teamed with researchers to make data visible highlighting changes on earth from climate change to the impact that the Coronavirus has had on our cities. 

Inspace is a unique events and exhibitions space within the University of Edinburgh which commissions and produces creative activity that unlocks digital technology and explores its role in society, through public programmes that connect data, research and creative talent.

We are delighted to announce our first five artists in residence, selected from 35 international applications, who will be focussing on the theme of Space and Satellites data. These residencies will create a space for exploration and aim to create genuine collaborations between science and creative practice.

I am very excited to see a great set of artists working with our space and satellite data researchers – this highlights the important role artistic expression plays in navigating the new world of data we all inhabit. Exploring how humanity, our planet, and our universe evolves in these turbulent times through the lens of data will introduce many new audiences to our work towards becoming the Data Capital of Europe, in both the scientific and cultural sense – another great example of Design Informatics, the Edinburgh Futures Institute and the Bayes Centre working together to realise this vision.”

– Michael Rovatsos, Director of the Bayes Centre.

The chosen artists represent a wide range of disciplines, from sound artists to weavers, illustrators to dancers and photographers. Each of their projects responds to how satellite datasets are helping to track the changes to life on earth, from weather conditions to climate change and deforestation through to transport.


The project is funded by the DDI (Data-Driven Innovation) programme and supported by Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI).

The team in the Data Driven Innovation Programme have been really inspired by the collaboration potential between the ten industry sectors we are working with. Creative practitioners and artists are natural collaborators and thrive on bringing their imagination, skills and talents to create something new and exciting. We look forward to the work these 5 artists will produce that showcase insights from space and satellite data through a creative lens to the public.”

Caroline Parkinson, Sector Lead, Creative Industries, DDI Programme

“I’m delighted that Edinburgh Futures Institute is supporting the new Space and Satellites Data artist residencies at Inspace. Whether looking out to the universe or back down to earth, the view from space continues to inspire all of us. I’m very excited to see how the artists will be inspired by the different datasets they’ve selected.”

– Dr Patricia Erskine, Director of Culture & Community, Edinburgh Futures Institute


Selected Artists:

Victoria Evans– contemporary artist and practice-based PhD researcher within the School of Design at Edinburgh College of Art. Evans will create a sound piece that asks: ‘‘What might a collective conversation across the solar system sound like?’ She will look at data relating to the positioning of the satellites and receiving stations.

Cecile Simonis– illustrator and visual artist. Simonis will create risograph zines and posters whose fictional illustrated stories reference satellite data as well as the science and processes behind the gathering of the data.

Julia McGhee– dance artist working in collaboration with Geoff Robbins, science technician and John McGeoch, multi-media artist. McGhee will focus on satellite data from the North of Scotland where the team are based and use choreography, animation and film to chart changes at a local level.

Stacey Hunter– design curator working with Weaver and Rug Tufter Ben Hymers.  Hunter will look at data sets associated with the Covid19 pandemic in order to track and map the impact of the virus over a 50 day period. This will be translated into a large scale woven tapestry.

Elaine Ford-Multidisciplinary artist and wildlife biologist. Ford will look at earth observation images of Scotland and satellite tracking data to map the movement of animals across Scotland. Ford will explore how technology can help illustrate the importance of wildlife conservation enabled by satellite data.

Ray Interactive will support the artists in realising their artistic vision drawing upon their skills as needed in motion graphic projection, data visualisation, coding and interactive design.


KEY DATES: 1 May Residency starts, 8-28 June work in progress events, 13-26 July Exhibition opens.

Due to the restrictions of Covid19 these events and the exhibition will now take place on-line but it is hoped that a physical exhibition will be able to take place in Inspace later in the year when it is safe to do so.


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