Artist Simulates Russian Space Flight
Artist Bradley Pitts uses his training as both an artist and an MIT Aeronautics grad to create a mind-expanding visual installation.
Driven by the mysterious qualities of both space exploration and the cosmonaut culture of the former Soviet Union, artist Bradley Pitts traveled to both destinations to create a series of works; Bringing him from farthest reaches of human comprehension to the intimate art worlds of Brooklyn and Tribeca.
As part of his newest exhibition, Singular Oscillations, the MIT trained Pitts, whose specialties range from art to aerospace engineering, attempts to explore the relationship between art and function through scientifically minded inquiry. As part of the research stage of his project, Pitts was able to access a Russian parabolic-flight aircraft (the IL76-MDK) to structure an exploration into “empty space and the undocumentable nature of experience.” Singular Oscillations is an attempt to recreate this experience within the accessible confines of a gallery space.
Despite the heady ideas behind Singular Oscillations, the star of the show is still clearly Pitts: To fully take advantage of the range of thoughts, emotions, and senses that come with space flight, the brave Pitts flew with his eyes closed, ears blocked, and naked.
For those more tentative about new travel experiences, you can now view Pitts’ adventures through his new work, An Invitation for One to Experience the Variable-Gravity Space Contained Within the Russian Parabolic-Flight Aircraft, the Ilyushin 76-MDK. Also on display will be other works related to the artist’s experience in variable-gravity. Presented as an unsigned Certificate of Ownership with the work’s production date to be determined, An Invitation For One… challenges us to re-imagine the ways in which works of art are collected, swapping the standard practice of acquisition for a literal ticket to first hand experiences.
For all the science nerds out there: The main focus of the project, Singular Oscillations: Spirit Level, a sound sculpture, is designed and programmed as a functional replica of the Russian aircraft’s variable-gravity spirit level. This work performs the gravitational trajectory of Pitts’ flight as registered by the natural dynamics of the aircraft’s engine noise.
Other works on view include Weightless Cross-Sections, a glass sculpture that references micro-gravity interiors on and off Earth, such as the International Space Station and the parabolic-flight aircraft from Russia, France, and the USA.
For its inaugural few days, the works were shown in tandem with performances by PSFK’s own Aziz Ali. Uncollectable, an evening of performative sound works by +Aziz and Joshua Liebovitz, combined with Pitts’ work to shine a light on the “elusive and the immeasurable in art and technology.”
As an ongoing set of ideas and explorations by +Aziz, Uncollectable was conceptualized as an attempt to overcome the hegemonic gravity of corporate entertainment – creating subjective music experiences inspired by cultural trends beyond entertainment.
For those curious:
Bradley Pitts is also presenting a one-evening only open studio on June 27 from 5-8pm at the E-Waste Warehouse in Gowanus, Brooklyn, where he’ll be in residence with French programmer Jonathan Tanant as they work on a multi-mode, variable-gravity, flight simulator of the IL76-MDK.
All images courtesy of Bradley Pitts and Bradley Pitts Studio. (c) Bradley Pitts Studio, 2013. All rights reserved.
Lower East Side Ecology Center
469 President Street (at Nevins)
Gowanus, Brooklyn, NY 11215
For the solo show of artist Bradley Pitts, stop by Hotel Particulier Gallery: June 20 – July 26 2013 4-6 Grand Street NY