The ARTacama Project: A Critical Partnership between Science, Technology, Education & the Fine Arts

Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
CHARLES ADDAMS FINE ARTS GALLERY, Charles Addams Hall, 200 S. 36th Street Philadelphia, PA
United States

"The ARTacama Project" is a partnership between the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT), led by a team including Prof. Mark Devlin and NASA Space Technology Research Fellow Benjamin Schmitt, (University of Pennsylvania Department of Physics and Astronomy), Artist and Professor Jackie Tileston, (PennDesign Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania), and Christine Pfister, Director, (Pentimenti Gallery).


6:00 PM
Charles Addams Fine Arts Gallery - Gallery opens

6:15 PM
Welcome Address by Benjamin Leavenworth, Honorary Consul of Chile in Philadelphia

Panel Discussion & Q&A:
Mark Devlin, Prof. of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Pennsylvania
Christine Pfister, Director, Pentimenti Gallery
Jackie Tileston, Artist & Assoc. Prof. of PennDesign Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania
Benjamin L. Schmitt, NASA Space Technology Research Fellow & Ph.D. Candidate in Physics & Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania

6:45 PM
Reception & Refreshment

7:30 PM
Tour of Penn Experimental Cosmology High Bay Facility (David Rittenhouse Laboratory at 209 South 33rd Street)

RSVP by Monday, May 11, 2015 at [email protected]

This project would not have been possible without the support of: Honorary Consulate of Chile in Philadelphia, NASA, National Science Foundation, PennDesign Fine Arts, Penn Department of Physics & Astronomy and Pentimenti Gallery.

"The ARTacama Project"

Since its inception in early 2012, the principal objective of "The ARTacama Project" has been the creation of a vehicle through which to bridge art and science, and promote public awareness of ongoing world-class research programs in experimental cosmology and the visual arts, while also serving as an inspiration to the next-generation of scientists, technologists, and fine artists, through direct engagement within communities across the United States and Chile.

Central to the project has been the creation of a painting created by Jackie Tileston used to cover the surface of ACTPol, a new, high-sensitivity camera for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT), built in part by Prof. Mark Devlin and Benjamin Schmitt at Penn, now in operation at the ACT field site.

ACT is located at over 17,000 feet in elevation on Cerro Toco, an extinct stratovolcano situated near the village of San Pedro de Atacama, in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile. It is dedicated to probing the nature of the earliest light in the universe, called the Cosmic Microwave Background, allowing for a better understanding of the mysterious dark matter and energy, and the growth of structure leading to the universe in which we reside today.

As such, since its installation to the ACT site in early 2013, "The ARTacama Project" has taken its place as the highest-altitude contemporary art installation in the world, installed on one of the highest-altitude ground-based telescopes on Earth. After two seasons of early scientific operations in 2013 and 2014, the ACTPol camera was fully-deployed in spring 2015, and full operations are now underway in Chile.

Philadelphia painter Jackie Tileston, the artist in association with "the ARTacama Project" was a natural partner. Her painting, Radical Measure (Not Entirely Random), an oil and mixed media painting on linen, conjures simultaneously the silence of an interstellar atmosphere to a fleeting spectral apparition. In this piece, Tileston succeeds in bringing multiple phenomena together to create an environment that exists on its own terms.

Event Type: 
Arts & Culture
Arts and Culture
Community Arts
Visual Arts