Jellyfish In SPACE.

The all-female artist collective ‘Beyond Earth’ introduces ‘Living Light’, a vibrant, jellyfish-like balloon artwork designed to be launched into earth’s stratosphere.  The craft combines biology, artificial intelligence, and aerospace technology to explore the connections between our blue planet and the boundlessness of outer space.  On June 18, 2021, the installation flew nearly 19 miles above the Earth’s surface aboard the inaugural trial flight of a shuttle called ‘Neptune One’, becoming the first large-scale artwork to fly into space.  The design by ‘Beyond Earth’ draws inspiration from the vast biodiversity of aquatic life on Earth.  “The depths of the ocean reveal an endless frontier of Earth’s biology, where many of the inhabitants create and use light in beautiful, often mesmerizing ways”.  ‘Living Light’ mimics the iridescent qualities of these marine species, illuminating its surroundings as it enters the dark abyss of space.  To realize this one-of-a-kind piece, the artists researched thousands of aquatic life forms, creating an extensive dataset of biological structures that float, move, and glow in the ocean, as if traveling in space. 

The dataset was then used for machine learning to generate the inner organ designs for ‘Living Light’, a method that combines biomimicry and artificial intelligence.  In this way, hundreds of artistic images of new imaginary space organisms were formed, with ‘Living Light’ taking shape as the summation of these creatures.  On June 18, 2021, luxury spaceflight experience company Space Perspective completed the first test flight for ‘Neptune One’, a full-size capsule simulator powered by a space balloon.  The shuttle carried the ‘Living Light’ artwork to above 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere.  During the journey, the movement triggered color and light shifts within the iridescent and fluorescent materials of the piece.  The changes that occurred – both internally and externally – not only made the vessel appear lifelike, but also alluded to the transformational experiences of spaceflight.  ‘Living Light’ ventured to a new world to return transformed, offering a new perspective of Earth.  For both teams at beyond Earth and Space Perspective, this whole experience serves as a metaphor for bringing humankind to space, as well as a celebration of the dawn of commercial space travel.

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