The Lithuanian Culture Institute presents a new journal, * as a Journal, for readers around the world interested in culture. Overcoming the isolation imposed by the pandemic, the new magazine opens up a unique space for cultural cooperation. It brings together creators, curators and researchers from Lithuania and various foreign countries to reflect on topics of global concern, and readers are invited to look at those topicalities from unexpected cultural perspectives.
The issue of the cultural magazine * as a Journal, that deals with the subject of space. The recently published Cosmos as a Journal was compiled by an artist, the founder of the Lithuanian Space Agency, and the author of the Lithuanian National Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale Julijonas Urbonas. Co-authors of this issue have become 18 artists, researchers, curators and journalists from Lithuania, the USA, France and Germany.
In the issue “Cosmos as a Journal”, Julijonas Urbonas tells readers about the Lithuanian Space Agency and his project Planet of People presented at the Venice Architecture Biennale, and also talks with the composer and sound artist Gailė Griciūtė about the creation of the opera-installation of unearthly sounds Honey, Moon! Daniel Gilfillan, a professor at the Arizona State University and a researcher of the world of the future, ponders the sounds of space and invites the readers to listen to a singing comet. Philosopher, author of articles aiming to popularise science Daniel Oberhaus shares his ideas on extraterrestrial communication: if another civilization attempts to get in touch with us, will we understand?
Choreographer and dance researcher Kitsou Dubois, whose works range from stage productions to video installations and hybrid projects, talks to curator, writer Rob La Frenais about choreography in the state of weightlessness. EXO-MOAN studio co-founders Akvilė Terminatė and Eleonora S. Armstrong discuss gravity and interplanetary sex through design.
Science journalist Goda Raibytė and photographer Visvaldas Morkevičius present an interview with astrobotanist Danguolė Švegždienė, who, together with her team, was the first in the world to grow a plant, the thale cress, from seed to seed. “I look at the night sky and think about what is going on there,” shares the scientist. Meanwhile, Radvilė Racėnaitė, an ethnologist and researcher of Lithuanian folklore, Baltic religion and mythology, looks up into space from the perspective of Lithuanian mythology.
Various facets of space culture are complemented in the issue by reproductions of works by Audrius Bučas and Valdas Ozarinskas, M. K. Čiurlionis, Aleksandras Griškevičius, Pakui Hardware, K. Simonavičius and other artists, as well as 8 cosmic works of art.
Lovers of science fiction will, too, find something to read in Cosmos as a Journal. The issue includes as essay Otherworldly Journeys by Nahum, a Mexican artist in Berlin and founder of the KOSMICA Institute, awarded the Young Space Leader and Karman Fellowship for cultural contributions to astronautics and space exploration in 2014. Architect, urban planner Fred Scharmen shares his piece of astronomical-biographical fiction, Whale Space, or, The Killers in Eden, specially written for * as a Journal. According to the author, most of the strange events he describes really did occur.
Jane Levi, a food historian and researcher of utopias at the Royal College of Art in London, looks at the evolution and culture of eating in space. Meanwhile, anthropologist Claire Isabel Webb, who researches the history of the search for extraterrestrial life at the University of Southern California, talks about how the smells associated with the cosmos affect how we imagine outer space. Her article is supplemented by an unexpected gift for readers – a sample of the scent of space created by an artist and contemporary art curator Milda Dainovskytė.
Year of publication:
Elisabeth Hewes (pp 50-55)
English language editor Gemma Lloyd
Where to read?
Martyno Mažvydo National Library of Lithuania
Kaunas Country Public Library
The Wroblewski Library of The Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
Vilnius University Library
CAC Reading room
Editor: Kotryna Lingienė
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