Seeker [DV1]

Posted Dec. 6, 2012 by Angelo Vermeulen

‘Seeker’ is an evolvable spaceship sculpture which operates as a nomadic framework enabling communities to reflect on the future of human survival and habitation. The spaceship archetype is of particular interest for such reflection. Firstly, it represents an ongoing public re-imagining of future space architectures. Secondly, the conditions of outer space impose an acute awareness of all factors necessary for human survival, both physical and psychological.

Seeker explores the integration of technological, ecological and social systems, and as such offers new paradigms for spaceship design. Instead of a more traditional approach with a separation along lines of functionality, project participants are invited to come up with ideas to create hybrid spaces, closed systems and feedback loops. Sustainability and complex interconnectedness are logical outcomes of such approach.

The intention of Seeker is to materialise the idea of a self-designed spaceship in collaboration with highly diverse groups of people. It is explicitly a community art project in which the work is created through a co-creation approach. All participants are invited to actively develop and redevelop the art work. Seeker communities consist of artists, designers, engineers, consultants, students, DIY enthusiasts, horticulturists, science fiction fans and so on. Such co-creation approach has already been succesfully applied in the Biomodd installation series since 2007.

The first version of Seeker was developed in Deventer in the context of the Witteveen+Bos Art+Technology Award that Angelo Vermeulen received in 2012. A mixed community of engineers and artists worked for several months on a 22-metre long spaceship sculpture that integrated audiovisuals, sustainable energy production, and biological life support. A second version of the project is planned for the Z33 art centre in Hasselt, Belgium. Each time the project travels to a new exhibition location it is ’hacked’ and reworked by a new community. In this way the spaceship physically and conceptually adjusts to its new location.