The Abundant Space Collaborative is an art-science hub advancing astrophysics storytelling through innovative media forms, inclusive pedagogy using art and science as co-creative fields, and models for deep collaboration and exchange between arts and STEM practitioners. We understand science not as a set of cold facts, but a set of strategies for inquiry, a collection of questions, a community of debaters. Equally, art is not a set of products, but an experience of creation, a liveliness, a community of makers.
We aim to open up the sky to broader audiences as a place to interrogate social questions and investigate connection, community, and change; we believe the universe can be more universal, and that there is abundant space for all of us.
Get in touch: abundantspacecollab AT gmail DOT com
Janani Balasubramanian is a writer, game designer, and immersive theater maker whose work has been presented at more than 160 stages across North America and Europe, including The Public Theater, MOMA, Abrons Arts Center, Andy Warhol Museum, Red Bull Arts, Ace Hotel, Brooklyn Museum, Asian American Writer's Workshop, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Residency support for this work has included the National Endowment for the Arts, Public Theater Devised Theater Working Group, Abrons Arts Center, University of Colorado, Innovation at Colorado College, Brooklyn College/Tow Foundation, and Mount Tremper Arts.
Balasubramanian is currently a 2018-2020 Van Lier fellow at the Public Theater and a 2019-2020 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, as well as artist-in-residence in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History.
Dr. Natalie Gosnell is an observational astrophysicist and Assistant Professor of Physics at Colorado College. Dr. Gosnell received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and then was a McDonald Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. She returned to her Colorado College, her alma mater, as faculty in 2016. Dr. Gosnell’s research uses both ground- and space-based telescopes to explore the stories of binary star systems. Her research has appeared in the Astrophysical Journal, Astrophysical Journal Letters, Astronomical Journal, and the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. In her role as a teacher-scholar, Dr. Gosnell seeks to bring creative practices into both the physics classroom and her research pursuits.
The universe is a place of many stories. To you, a library; to me, a galaxy...What came to pass, it happened in barely half a million years. For you, for your lifetime, that might be five minutes, or ten. What came to pass, in that bare collection of instants, changed the character of my life forever.’
The Gift is an intimate, social performance experience that merges the private pleasure of reading with choreographed collective action to explore themes of partnership and care. The subjects of our story are a blue straggler star and its companion. To our naked eye, these two stars might appear to be a single point of light, but they are actually two objects; the blue straggler burns brighter and bluer and looks younger, while the companion is a star at the end of its life.
Participants in The Gift gather in an open space. They are offered an illustrated book (with surprises hidden throughout), while story, instruction, and original music are delivered wirelessly through audio headsets. Intended for participants ages 12 and up, The Gift offers a new way of experiencing science that transforms complex, cutting-edge research into a playful and accessible encounter with the wonder of astrophysics.
The work is currently in development with support from Innovation at Colorado College, the Public Theater in New York City, Brooklyn College, and the Tow Foundation.
Engage with us
We are actively looking for engagements and collaborations, including:
Opportunities to develop our artistic work and our pedagogical framework in conversation with other campuses, scholars, researchers, and students
Opportunities to show our work (namely The Gift)
Opportunities to activate art-STEM collaboration and co-creation on other campuses, research institutions, and civic institutions, using the frameworks we have developed
Get in touch with us by contacting abundantspacecollab at gmail dot com.