San Francisco interdisciplinary artist Frank Pietronigro, while attending Paris’ historic @rt-Outsiders International Space Arts Festival, has announced the formation of ZERO GRAVITY ARTS CONSORTIUM (ZGAC), an international space arts organization dedicated to fostering greater access for artists to space flight technology and zero gravity space.
ZERO GRAVITY ARTS CONSORTIUM TO SUPPPORT CREATION OF ART IN MICROGRAVITY
San Francisco, CA - San Francisco interdisciplinary artist Frank Pietronigro, while attending Paris’ historic @rt-Outsiders International Space Arts Festival, has announced the formation of ZERO GRAVITY ARTS CONSORTIUM (ZGAC), an international space arts organization dedicated to fostering greater access for artists to space flight technology and zero gravity space. "This announcement comes during this international gathering of space arts practitioners and advocates," states Laura Knott, Assistant Consortium Director, "with the hope that artists participating in the festival will contribute to ZGAC projects."
ZGAC is the first organization of its kind, based in the United States, facilitating a series of parabolic flight projects that will set the stage for teams of artists to have permanent access to space transportation systems such as the International Space Station. To compliment ZGAC’s parabolic flight program, an international outreach, interdisciplinary research lab and conference program will be organized by Lorelei Lisowsky, ZGAC Assistant Consortium Director, with the purpose of including artists from developing countries to fly with ZGAC projects. ZGAC’s initial projects will be a series of parabolic flights during which artists will execute their art work in the "alternating gravity environment" of a parabolic flight. Of the seventeen artists slated to fly on ZGAC’s maiden voyage, three have previous experience in parabolic flight, and one, Lowry Burgess, has had his art work flown on the Space Shuttle Discovery as an artistic payload.
Parabolic flights have been used for several decades to give astronauts the feeling of weightlessness, that occurs for a period of approximately 25 seconds as the jet ‘rolls over’ the top of each parabola in the flight pattern. ZGAC is affiliated with Zero Gravity Corporation, a private company who will facilitate their flight. Zero Gravity Corporation was founded and is operated by former NASA officials and astronauts who will provide training and technical support for artists participating in ZGAC flight projects.
Mr. Pietronigro, Project Co-Founder and Director of the Consortium is working directly with artists and Co Founders Laura Knott and Lorelei Lisowsky, the Consortium’s Assistant Directors. ZGAC community includes interdisciplinary artists and project operations staff working in cooperation with a variety of affiliate institutions including the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Fine Arts. The artists participating in this project come from diverse backgrounds ranging from choreography, performance, and the visual arts, to aerospace engineering including: Lowry Burgess, Ebon Fisher, Laura Knott, Michael Light, Lorelei Lisowsky, Yiannis Melanitis, Otto Piene, Brad Pitt, Frank Pietronigro, Todd Rising, Chris Robinson, Ricky Sebra, and Chris Speed. However diverse, these artists share in a common the belief that integrating artistic production during long-term space missions will help keep the human spirit alive, in addition to the body, as we travel through space. The body of the artist floating in weightlessness provides us with a fascinating symbol for the future of humans in space.
The @rt Outsiders International Space Arts Festival was held from October 1 to November 9, 2003 at the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, 5-7 rue de Fourcy, in Paris, France.
You can see video footage of Pietronigro's "Drift Painting" in zero gravity aboard NASA's KC135 by visiting the festival's site at the bottom of the page at: