At 2pm on 8th September 2013, a new moon will begin a year-long orbit of the earth. Second Moon is the creation of artist Katie Paterson. A small shard of the moon will be launched as part of the British Science Festival 2013.
This particular moon?s orbit will, however, be man-made. UPS will collect the carefully packaged fragment of lunar rock from the Great North Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne and take it anti-clockwise across the UK, China, Australia and the USA at approximately twice the speed of our moon: over one year, Second Moon will orbit the earth 30 times.
A free app will become the real time portal to the geographies and topographies of the lunar meteorite?s journey, allowing the public to track its journey and visualise it in relation to the user?s location, the moon?s location and the orbits of the other planets in our solar system.
Viewers can also watch Second Moon?s progress on iPads and via projections in various public locations across the world, including Newcastle?s Great North Museum Planetarium.
Katie Paterson?s work constantly references intangible, natural phenomena, such as the moon. She combines sophisticated and totally mundane technologies to allow people to engage with the natural environment, collapsing the distance between us and the most distant edges of time and the cosmos by working with a whole range of specialists, be they astronomers, electrical engineers or amateur radio enthusiasts known as ‘moon-bouncers’.
In the past, Paterson has broadcast the sounds of a melting glacier live to visitors on mobile phones in an art gallery (Vatnajökull (the sound of)) 2008, transmitted Beethoven?s Moonlight Sonata to the moon and back (Earth-Moon-Earth) 2008 mapped all the dead stars known to humanity (All the Dead Stars) 2010, compiled a slide archive of the history of darkness across the ages (History of Darkness) 2011, custom-made a light bulb to simulate the experience of moonlight (Light bulb to Simulate Moonlight) 2009, and buried a nano-sized grain of sand deep within the Sahara desert (Inside this desert lies the tiniest grain of sand) 2011. Eliciting feelings of humility, wonder and melancholy akin to the experience of the Romantic sublime, Paterson’s work is at once understated in gesture and yet monumental in scope.
Second Moon is part of ?Katie Paterson: In Another Time?, the largest and most ambitious exhibition of Paterson?s work to date, co-produced by the Mead Gallery with La Casa Encendida, Madrid and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Second Moon has been commissioned by Locus+ in partnership with Newcastle University and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. Supported by Arts Council England, Adelaide Festival, Newcastle City Council and the Catherine Cookson Foundation.
Produced by Locus+ with production support from Elmsly. App design by Fraser Muggeridge studios and Supermono.
A website for the project will be live from mid-August : www.secondmoon.org.uk
About Katie Paterson
Since graduating from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2007 Katie Paterson has gone on to exhibit internationally, from London to New York, Berlin to Seoul, and her works have been included in major shows including the Hayward Gallery, Tate Britain, Kunsthalle Wien and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. Her artworks are represented in collections including the Guggenheim New York and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Edinburgh. She was winner of the Independent?s Creative 30 award ?for Britain?s most creative young person?. This year she will be awarded an Honorary Fellowship at Edinburgh University in recognition of her major contribution in fostering collaboration between the arts and sciences.
Locus+ is an internationally recognised arts organisation that has been engaged at the critical edge of contemporary art in the UK for the past 20 years, commissioning, curating and publishing some of the most innovative art projects in the UK over this period.
From its base in Newcastle upon Tyne, it has produced and presented socially engaged, collaborative and temporary projects, primarily in non-gallery locations. In each project, place or context is integral to the meaning of the artwork. Locus+ is critically respected for having a regional, national and international track record of working with artists to produce challenging commissions of artistic excellence in the social domain.
The organisation has commissioned significant work and promoted many artists who have become nominees and winners of major cultural awards including: Chris Burden, Douglas Gordon, Mark Wallinger, Nathan Coley, Anya Gallaccio, Richard Wright, Fiona Banner, Cathy de Monchaux, Toby Paterson and Matt Stokes.