Zero gravity art!

Okay, space cadets: The Microgravity Interdisciplinary Research group is offering you a chance to develop art projects to be carried out in zero-gravity conditions.

I am not making this up. They somehow got the MIR space folks to agree to let artists run projects inside MIR’s parabolic flights — where they fly a Russian IL-76 MDK aircraft in a huge screaming dive to generate “30-second periods of weightlessness (zero gravity/microgravity) in freefall, interspersed with periods of double gravity (2g acceleration) and normal gravity.”

This is the pilot project of the MIR (microgravity interdisciplinary research) initiative, which seeks to open up space and space industry related facilities by matching artistic processes and scientific research to give a new impulse to space art and space research.

Assuming you don’t blow chunks the entire flight, this could indeed produce some pretty weird art. Past projects include dancers choreographing zero-g movements to help train astronauts.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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