Sky Art Conference

Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge)

(Originally published in Art Xpress, Volume 2 Number 1, January-February 1982.)

Steve Poleskie, smoke trails, 1983

Sky Art uses the sky as a medium of expression and transmission: art using light and sound waves, which move through the air, or art which takes place in the space of the sky. Over a hundred events, installations, and presentations at this first of four International Sky Art conferences showed artists and scientists working in neon, laser, steam, video, pyrotechnics, film, inflated and flying sculpture, and other celestial navigations.

Yellow airplanes circled around an exhibition field trailing sky poetry written in huge black letters by day, and at night sky poems were electronically projected under an airplane’s wing. Howard Woody launched five purple and silver helium-filled pieces in a slow, lyrical, lilting flight. They disappeared into a blue, cloud-studded sky, then wafted back on sound waves as a sound track of finders calling into the Sky Art field. Alfred Guzzetti and Ivan Tcherepnin’s film and electronic music meditation on clouds showed white abstractions moving across an azure moving picture plane. Documentations of various art flights included Vera Simons’ video recordings of her Transamerica balloon flights, and Steve Poleskie’s drawings in the sky with smoke trailing from his aerobatic biplane. NASA space exploration photography worked as found sky art.

Otto Piene’s sky sculpture, Blue Star Linz, rose, hovered, and descended in the night sky in an elation of light and air.

by Rebecca Nemser for

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