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Art Imaginarium Hosted by the SETI Institute: Remembering 2020

Art Imaginarium Hosted by the SETI Institute: Remembering 2020

Here are twenty samples of work from various artists who took the time to share their art with us during 2020. We hope you enjoy them!

Last year, amid this global pandemic and a vastly expanded home-based workforce, we searched for new ways to connect with our community. One of our ideas, one we hope will endure long after a vaccine (or three) releases us all back into the world, was to start a Facebook art group called Art Imaginarium.

Science and art are more closely connected than people might expect, with each offering the other new perspectives and insights. We set out to provide a space for an artistic community where everyone feels safe expressing themselves and exploring the limits of their imaginations. We hope that Art Imaginarium is a space where people respect both art and science. What is art? We do not want to constrain your creativity. Want to write a song? Draw in pencil? Create digital art? Bake a cake? Dance? Let inspiration be your guide.

We proposed a monthly challenge, not to be evaluated, but to give artists a theme upon which to base new work, and we kicked it off in April 2020 with the Trappist-1 system. We asked scientists and artists to help present challenges each month. The response has been nothing short of astonishing.

Since that first challenge, over 700 artists have joined the group and posted over 200 works, ranging from digital art and sketches to poems and dances. We even held a few mini-challenges, including one that allowed the artists to take on the dot in our logo's question mark. At the end of 2020, we expanded the challenges to Instagram, asking artists to use #ArtImaginarium to share their work. We hope to see participation grow this year.

We want to acknowledge everyone who has contributed to this ongoing conversation and especially thank the group moderators: Pia Valentin Sørensen, Sabine Heinz, and Gillian Rhodes.

We are continuing this experiment of exploration through art and science. This month, we are asking the members of our Art Imaginarium to create artwork inspired by what many consider the first science fiction story, Johannes Kepler's Somnium. Bettina Forget, Director of our SETI Artists-in-Residence program, presented the challenge. Kepler wrote the novel in 1608 and his son published it in 1634. The novel started as a means to defend Copernicus' view of the solar system, with characters on the Moon viewing Earth.

To learn more about Art Imaginarium, or to join the group, visit our Facebook page:


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