This blog will keep you informed about the "outer space" series:
09 April, 2018
Virgin Galactic completes first rocket-powered test flight of VSS UNITY spaceship
Virgin Galactic´s new spaceship VSS Unity has successfully completed her first supersonic, rocket-powered test flight on 5 April, 2018. The flight was the first powered test flight by the VSS Unity spaceship, built after the crash of Virgin Galactic’s first SpaceShipTwo vehicle, which killed co-pilot Michael Alsbury and injured lead pilot Peter Siebold after an in-flight breakup 10 miles above California’s Mojave Desert on Oct. 31, 2014. After several years of rebuilding and testing the new vehicle this is a major milestone for the program. The drop occurred about an hour after the VMS Eve mothership took off from Mojave Air and Spaceport in Mojave, California. The carrier jet, piloted by Mike Masucci and Nicola Pecile, climbed to an altitude of around 46,500 feet (about 14,200 meters) over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. After turning on a course back toward Mojave, the VMS Eve released the VSS Unity spaceship, and the spaceplane fired its rocket motor a few seconds later. VSS Unity accelerated to Mach 1.87 during the 30 seconds of rocket burn. Burning a mixture of rubber-based solid fuel — called HTPB — and nitrous oxide, the rear-mounted rocket engine propelled SpaceShipTwo to nearly twice the speed of sound as the pilots maneuvered the craft on an 80-degree climb.
Being one of Virging Galactic´s Pioneer Astronauts VSS Unity is the spaceship which Michael will enter in the near future performing his own spaceflight to become the first artist in space.
Michael takes pictures in an active volcano in New Zealand
In Feburary 2018 Michael flew with a helicopeter into the crater of an active volcano to take pictures for a new "outer space" artwork. The pictures were taken in the bizarre crater landscape of the Whakaari volcano, New Zealand’s only active volcanic island. Sulfurous gasses emerge hissing from fumaroles everywhere, rising from the innermost depths of our Earth to crystallize on the surface. This shows why the surface of the crater is covered with an ejected layer of pure sulfur glowing bright yellow. Yet the crater is only the visible peak of a huge underwater mountain that extends 1600 m down to the seabed. The volcanic cone and its imposing walls of sulfur are over two million years old.
In nearly every culture volcanoes have always been magical mysterious places and the seat of the gods. However, they are also a vital area of research for scientists, and not just the volcanoes on Earth but also those in the solar system. With the new findings about supervolcanoes on Mars and extinct craters on the moon, researchers are hoping to learn more about the history and creation of our own solar system and Earth. Many worlds in the solar system show traces of extinct volcanic activity, including the Earth’s moon and Mars which is home to the largest volcano in the solar system. The most active volcanic world in the solar system is the Jupiter moon Io. Cryovolcanism or ice volcano activity has been observed on the Saturn moon Enceladus and the Neptune moon Triton.
11 January, 2018
New book publication „Planetary Echoes - Exploring the Implications of Human Settlement in Outer Space
The succesful launch of SpaceX´s Falcon9 Heavy Rocket on 6 February - now heading to Mars - clearly demonstrates that we are entering a new space age - humanity is on the way to become a bi-planetary species in the next decades. The perfect moment for Michael Najjar and Lukas Feireiss to announce the publication of the new book "Planetary Echoes - Exploring the Implications of Human Settlement in Outer Space" which explores the idea of future human existence on other planets - and the companion theme of the colonisation of space - in art, literature and science. The collection of authors who have contributed an essay to this publication must surely be unrivalled anywhere in the world. In the synergy of their texts a breath-taking vision unfolds of our future life in space.
The editors wish to thank the following authors for their inspiring and visionary contributions:
Buzz Aldrin, Anousheh Ansari, Nelly Ben Hayoun, Thore Bjørnvig, Richard Branson, Clouds Architecture Office, Pierre Cox, Xavier De Kestelier, Norman Foster, Alexander C. T. Geppert, Ulrich Köhler, Michael López-Alegría, Greg Lynn, Fabian Reimann, Tim Smit, Christiane Stahl, Sethu Vijayakumar, Andy Weir, Frank White, Peter Weibel.
Published by Spector Books Leipzig
89 black-white and colour illustrations
Leipzig, January, 2018
Size: 18 cm x 11 cm
Michael Najjar, Lukas Feireiss
Floyd E. Schulze, WTHM – Büro für Gestaltung
Michael portrays the world´s biggest artificial sun
The world’s biggest artificial sun has been blazing at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Jülich since 2017. Development of new production processes for solar fuels is the focus of this globally unique Synlight facility for solar research. It consists of 149 powerful Xenon short-arc lamps which scientists can concentrate on a target surface of 20 x20 centimetres. If this surface is irradiated with beams of up to 350 kilowatts, a light intensity is produced equivalent to more than 10,000 times the solar radiation on the surface of the Earth. When the lamps are focussed they create temperatures of up to 3,000 degrees Celsius which researchers use to produce fuels such as hydrogen. Hydrogen is widely held to be the fuel of the future as it burns without giving off carbon dioxide. Production of hydrogen involves the splitting of the basic material, water, into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen.
Hydrogen is a crucial basic material for spaceflight, and is used as fuel by rockets, spaceships and satellites. As there’s an abundance of water in space - asteroids, for instance, harbour plentiful reserves - in future solar energy could be used to produce the fuel directly in space. Development of solar fuels is essential not just for spaceflight alone but also for our own lives on Earth because in tomorrow’s world renewable energies will form the backbone of the global energy supply.
Special thanks to:
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Kai Wieghardt, Michel Winand
20 November, 2017
Michael participates in the exhibition “Rivoluzione Galileo. L’arte incontra la scienza”
Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) is one of the most famous and important scientists in history. Playing a key role in the 17th century scientific revolution, Galileo remains a towering figure in the transition from natural philosophy to modern science and the transformation of the scientific Renaissance into a scientific revolution. His worldwide fame rests on his radical new concept of the universe first set forth with the publication of his Sidereus nuncius (Starry Messenger, 1610).
The aim of the exhibition “Rivoluzione Galileo. L’arte incontra la scienza” is to visualize his radical new thinking through images of the skies created before and after Galileo. By charting the change from the skies of the astrologers to the skies of astronomers, it shows how these radical new conceptions have evolved into different artistic notions over the past centuries. Next to Galileo’s legacy, the exhibition showcases the profound influence exercised by his discoveries and modern science on arts and culture since the early 1600s. In its unprecedented celebration of the life and work of Galileo in Padua (including his own splendid aquarelles and sketches), this landmark exhibition also presents a series of stunning masterpieces representing seven centuries of world art. Michael Najjar was invited to participate in this major historic exhibition with three key artworks from his “outer space“ series: “orbital ascent“ (2016), “gravitation entanglement” (2014) and his “spacewalk” video (2013).
Artists featured in the show include:
Galileo Galilei, Leonardo da Vinci, Jacopo Ligozzi, Adam Elsheimer, Peter Paul Rubens, Francesco Furini, Justus Sustermans, Jusepe de Ribera, Francesco Maria del Monte, Donato Creti, Étienne-Louis Boullée, William Blake, Gustave Doré, Emile Antoine Bayard, Alphonse de Neuville, Odilon Redon, Georges Méliès, Bruno Taut, Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Lucio Fontana, Thomas Ruff, Michael Najjar, Wolfgang Tillmans, Trevor Paglen, Anish Kapoor.
Curated by Giovanni Carlo Federico Villa and Stefan Weppelmann
Michael took pictures of the world´s largest telescope in China
China built this staggeringly large instrument called the “Five hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope” (FAST) in the remote and hardly accessible southern, mountainous region of the country. Inaugurated in 2016, the telescope was constructed in a natural sinkhole surrounded by the unique mountains of the Pingtang valley. The telescope has an incedible diameter of 500 m. The surface is made of 4450 triangular metal panels building the form of a geodesic dome. It can be tilted by a computer to change the focus on different areas in the Universe. Radio telescopes use a large, parabolic dish to collect radio waves from distant sources, such as pulsars, black holes and gravitational waves. However one of the main objectives of the instrument is detecting interstellar communication signals – finding signals from alien civilisations.
Michael was privileged to be given a unique opportunity to portrait this extraordinary astronomical instrument.
20 September, 2017
Michael´s work now on view at the 7th Moscow Biennale 2017
The 7th International Moscow Biennale 2017, curated by Yuko Hasegawa, has opened this week at the world famous State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. The concept of the main exhibition Clouds⇄Forests focuses on a new ecosystem formed through the circulation of "Cloud Tribes" born in the cloud, and "Forest Tribes" born in an analogue world. Michael Najjar exhibits several large-scale pieces from his celebrated "outer space" series.
Nadim Abbas, Adel Abidin, Nindityo Adipurnomo, Farah Atassi, Kanako Azuma, Matthew Barney, Natalia Bazowska, Bahar Behbahani, Björk, Hussein Chalayan, Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Rohini Devasher, Louise Drulhe, Olafur Eliasson, Justine Emard & Mirai Moriyama, Cécile B. Evans, Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov, Valia Fetisov, "Forensic Architecture", Theaster Gates, Gauri Gill, Marta Gornicka, Alina Gutkina, Joey Holder, Elliott Hundley, Pierre Huyghe, Ali Kazma, Nile Koetting, Siji Krishnan, Alexey Martins, Mathieu Merlet-Briand, Marie-Luce Nadal, Michael Najjar, Koji Nakazono, Dashi Namdakov, Uriel Orlow, Anastasia Potemkina, Laure Prouvost, Aurora Sander, Susan Schuppli, Sayaka Shimada, Wieki Somers, Yuken Teruya, Sissel Tolaas, Michael Tolmachev, Ryan Trecartin, Hanna Tuulikki, Alexander Vinogradov and Vladimir Dubossarsky, "Where Dogs Run", Robert Zhao Renhui, Marina Zurkow.
Special thanks to Yuko Hasegawa and her team
And to Wemhöner Collection
Michael participates at the 7th Moscow Biennale 2017
The 7th International Moscow Biennale 2017 is curated by Yuko Hasegawa, one of the most influential and notable curators in the international art world. The main exhibition entitled “Clouds ⇄ Forests“ is a proposition in a time of crisis that calls for the establishment of new relationships in our world. The concept puts the spotlight on artists as a creative tribe who transition, expand and dissipate from forest to cloud, rebuilding the subjectivity of spectators and demonstrating that creativity is essential to the creation of new environmental spheres.
Michael Najjar has been invited to participate at the Biennale with several large-scale artworks from his celebrated “outer space“ series. The center piece of his presentation will be a 6 meters wide triptych of his work “liquid time“.
The Moscow Biennale takes place at the Tretjakow Gallery in Moscow from 18 September 2017 - 18 January 2018.
Panel discussion on occasion of the exhibition “Planetary Echoes“
The panel discussion “Exploring the implications of human settlement in space“ was held on the 5th of May 2017 at Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation, Berlin.
Today the technology to reach nearby planets is possible. Even though many long-term technical challenges still need to be solved to support the creation of a permanent, selfsustaining human presence on another planet, imagining humans as a multi planetary species is not a mere fantasy anymore. Against this backdrop and on occasion of the exhibition “Planetary Echoes“ at Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung, Berlin, the interdisciplinary panel discussion addressed the imagination of future habitats on other planets and moons in the arts, fiction and science at the beginning of the 21st century. It thereby attempted to interweave the discourse into the very fabric of society today, and aimed at connecting artistic research and the abstract theoretic sciences on an international level.
Nelly Ben Hayoun
Experience designer. Head of Nelly Ben Hayoun Studio, London
Embraces multidisciplinary approaches, resulting in unique subversive experiences.
Assembled the International Space Orchestra (ISO) - the world first orchestra of space scientists and astronauts at NASA. www.nellyben.com
Xavier de Kestelier
Head of Design Technology and Innovation at Hassell Studio, London
Works with the European Space Agency (ESA). Explores the possibilities of 3D printing to construct lunar and martian habitations. www.hassellstudio.com
Sir Tim Smit
Music producer, entrepreneur, archeologist. Director of Lost Gardens of Heligan,
chief executive and co-founder of the Eden Project, Cornwall. www.edenproject.com