Oliver Chanarin checking the experiment set-up

Oliver Chanarin arranging the rope

Art in free fall

250 days a year scientific experiments are conducted in weightlessness by the Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) at the University of Bremen. Today artist Oliver Chanarin used the microgravity lab to conduct a historic experiment.

When invited to make a work of art in outer-space Oliver Chanarin turned to the early work of Marcel Duchamp as inspiration. For his piece ‘3 Stoppages’ Duchamp dropped a one meter lengths of string on the floor and tracing the line. It was the first piece of art authored by gravity. "The experiment was made in 1913 to imprison and preserve forms obtained through chance, through my chance,” Duchamp explained in an interview in 1964. The forces of gravity continued to inspire artists including Yves Klein leaping into the void in Paris, Bas Jan Ader cycles falling into a canal in Amsterdam or Ai Wei Wei dropping a precious Han Dynasty urn. Now Chanarin will re-enact Duchamp’s seminal work in zero gravity. This time the string will be ‘dropped’ 110 meters inside a sealed capsule, replicating conditions outside Earth’s orbit. The shape of the string as it falls through space will be scanned using a suite of four high resolution Nikon cameras. The data produced will be transformed into a physical sculpture; a sequel to Duchamp’s piece made for the 21st century.

OLYMPIASPACE, a commercial space agency, has commissioned the work and is dedicated to bringing artists together with scientists working in the field of space research; forging cultural collaborations. Its Founder Dr. Olympia Kyriopoulos brought together Oliver Chanarin, Nikon, GDV Systems + Solutions GmbH and the scientists at ZARM's earth-bound microgravity laboratory, the Drop Tower Bremen, to realize this ambitious project.


Video material: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmT__B9W76g

Further information:

Vanessa Alena Roolfing

ZARM Communication
E-Mail: vanessa.roolfing[at]zarm.uni-bremen.de
Phone: +49 (0) 421 218-57823