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Space IDRT: 'Space Assembly - The Cultural Negotiation of Space Science'


Lipman Hub, Lipman Building

**Please note we are now fully booked for Day 2 Wednesday 29th November- Ways of Working. Please register as normal for Day 1 Tuesday 28th November. If you would like to be added to the waitlist for Day 2 please email **

Space IDRT: 'Space Assembly - The Cultural Negotiation of Space Science' 

In recent years we have witnessed a rapid acceleration in the exploration, commercialisation and militarisation of Space. Scientific advancements in cosmology, supported by remote imaging, have been accompanied by the growing development of commercial satellite communications, space exploration and tourism, as well as an increasing presence of military space technology. But how are these activities that are underpinned by techno-scientific development, being processed culturally, critically, creatively and ethically?

Space Assembly will be a two-day event hosted by Northumbria University’s ‘Space’ Interdisciplinary Research Theme (IDRT), scheduled as part of the festival programme, 'Institutional Fieldworking: CNoS@10', marking the tenth anniversary of The Cultural Negotiation of Science (CNoS) research group. The event aims to offer an exploration of 1) cultural/civic perspectives on Space Science and how they intersect, influence, challenge and contribute to the work being carried out in techno-scientific fields and 2) new perspectives and methods of working between disciplinary cultures.   


Tuesday 28th November - Provocations and Perspectives

Day 1 will bring together provocations from national and international speakers across the fields of arts, humanities and sciences to explore the critical, creative, ethical and technical parameters of Space Science, creating an opportunity for public discourse, networking and exchange. Contributors will include: Dr Nicola Triscott, Director and CEO of Fact Liverpool and former Director and CEO of Arts Catalyst who has curated projects and written extensively on art and intervention in the stewardship of the planetary commons; Professor Marcos Díaz, Leader of the Space and Planetary Exploration Laboratory at Universidad de Chile; Nahum, Director of the Kosmica Institute who has developed cultural and artistic projects with ESA, NASA, Roscosmos and SpaceX; and Mary Jane Rubenstein, Professor of Religion and Science in Society at Wesleyan University, USA and author of the 2022 book, Astrotopia: The Dangerous Religion of the Corporate Space Race. Alongside these provocations will be several short presentations offering perspectives from academics and practitioners working across the arts & humanities and science & engineering.

Wednesday 29th November- Ways of Working

Day 2 will comprise workshops held within laboratories and studios that explore methods of interdisciplinary working and exchange. Run by artists and scientists the workshops will create the opportunity to actively explore dialogues from Day 1 via practice. Through a range of approaches, questions such as environmental and social justice in relation to Space will be explored through the lens of high and low tech. Included will be workshops on Trans Planetary Architectures, ‘Performing’ Space and an Alternative Data Analysis workshop where participants are able to re-think approaches to the data sets that they work within their own disciplinary fields.

Refreshments and a light lunch will be provided on both days. Detailed programming and speaker information below.

WORKSHOP #1: Alternative Data Analysis (ADA)

Dr Laura Harrington (Cultural Negotiation of Science research group, Northumbria University) and Dr Nicolette Barsdorf Liebchen (Bournemouth University).

Wednesday 29th November 9.30-11.00 Experimental Studio, Lipman Hub, Lipman Building.


We live in an era of ‘Big Data’ where processes of digitisation and datafication are embedded in all realms of existence and activity. As such, multiple ethico-political issues surround the creation and production of data that we use in our lives and in our research.


This round table discussion is an opportunity for people across disciplines to come together to think playfully, expansively, and critically about the data, datasets, media and fieldwork methods that they use. The workshop aims to produce new perspectives to help us think about ideas of global urgency such as ecological precarity or social crisis. As a starting point, artist, Luis Guzmán and scientist, Clare Watt, will each, in turn, analyse their data by focusing on an artefact that resonates with their research, sharing anecdotes and stories from fieldwork, processes, and collaborations. Collectively, we will then ask questions and seek new convergences and threads of thinking through data.  


WORKSHOP #2: Transplanetary Architectures

Luis Guzmán & Blanca Pujals (Cultural Negotiation of Science research group, Northumbria University) Monika Brandic Lipinska & Anne-Sophie Belling (Bio-Futures for Transplanetary Habitats research group, Newcastle University)

Wednesday 29th November 11.30 am -1.00 pm. 501 Squires Building.


This workshop is a collaborative imagining of the future of transplanetary habitation. Using a broad concept of “architecture” this will include all the processes, systems, institutions, resources, technologies, as well as living and non-living entities, in a general dynamic structure. The aims of the workshop are to: 1) Collaboratively imagine and identify possible future transplanetary architectures; 2) Conceive the possible ethical, ecological and social implications of these future “architectures”; 3) Identify the agents that underlie such structures; 4) Engage in a creative process to visualize those elements using AI as a tool for creativity; 5) Collectively reflect on the different outcomes and perspectives that these visions elicit.


WORKSHOP #3: Performing Space - SPELLS

Nahum, KOSMICA Institute.

Wednesday 29th November 2.00-3.30 pm. 027 Squires Building.


Performing Space is a workshop run by Nahum, founder and director of KOSMICA Institute. The workshop will be based around the experience of, and collective discourse on, the performance SPELLS - a show that transports the audience beyond the confines of the performance venue. Through a mix of ambient music, spoken word and trance states, Nahum takes the audience on a journey where the senses awaken, and experience expands, connecting us with the universe via a sonic journey combining astral travelling, ambient music, trance states and words. Here, the audience is invited to explore the possibilities of perception, to connect with all the other existences around us and to think about our place in the cosmos.


KOSMICA is a global institute founded in 2011 with the mission to create a space organisation for critical, cultural and poetic discourses on our relationship with the universe, space activities and their impact here on Earth.It is premised on the belief that all of us have a stake in humanity’s actions beyond our planetary home and promotes the unique perspectives that artists, poets, anthropologists, musicians, philosophers and other cultural practitioners can bring to the debates and issues surrounding space activities.


Speakers and Contributors to Space Assembly

Full bios available at:

Nicolette Barsdorf-Liebchen PhD is a Lecturer in Legal Practice at Bournemouth University. She has a multidisciplinary background which traverses the Law, Arts, Humanities and Sciences.

Anne-Sophie Belling and Monika Brandic Lipinska are PhD candidates and co-founders of the Bio-Futures for Transplanetary Habitats research group at Newcastle University.

Annie Carpenter is a current PhD candidate at Northumbria University working within the CNoS group and is co-director of ‘para-lab’.

Fiona Crisp is Professor of Contemporary Art at Northumbria University. She is a founder and co-lead of the Cultural Negotiation of Science research group.

Marcos Díaz is a Professor in the Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences and Leader of the Space and Planetary Exploration Laboratory at Universidad de Chile.

Paul Dolan PhD (Arts, Northumbria University) and Pete Howson PhD (Geography & Environmental Science, Northumbria University) work together on collaborative research.

Luis Guzmán is PhD candidate at Northumbria University working with the CNoS group focussing on space immersive technologies to extend human sensory capabilities.

Laura Harrington PhD is an artist, researcher and CNoS group member operating between the interdisciplinary boundaries of art and the natural sciences.

Luke Hughes PhD is Assistant Professor in Aerospace Physiology & Rehabilitation within the Aerospace Medicine and Rehabilitation Laboratory at Northumbria University.

Kirsty Lindsay PhD is an Aerospace Physiologist and Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and member of the Aerospace Medicine and Rehabilitation Laboratory at Northumbria University.

Nahum is an artist, musician and founder-director of the KOSMICA Institute.

Christopher Newman is Professor of Space Law and Policy at Northumbria University. 

Blanca Pujals is an architect, researcher and writer. She is a current PhD candidate working with the CNoS group.

Jonathan Rae is a Professor of Space Plasma Physics and leads the Space Inter-Disciplinary Research Theme at Northumbria University.

Mary-Jane Rubenstein is Dean of the Social Sciences and Professor of Religion and Science in Society at Wesleyan University, USA.

Pierangelo Marco Scravaglieri PhD is a lecturer in the School of Architecture at the University of Sheffield.

Tom Stallard is a Professor in the Dept of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering at Northumbria University.

Nicola Triscott PhD is a curator, researcher and writer. She is Director/CEO of FACT, the Centre for Film, Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool.

Clare Watt is a Professor of Space Plasma Physics at Northumbria University.


For more details please contact

Event Details

Lipman Hub, Lipman Building
Northumbria University
City Campus
Newcastle upon Tyne


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