Sacred Spaces and Skyscape Experiences - Contemporary Artistic Exploration of Astronomy within Stellarium
Daniel Brown
Nottingham Trent University
Skyscapes are a combination of landscape, sky, and people in the context of a full place experience. To achieve a deep place experience emotional attachment is needed. This experience has been captured and used to create skyscape experiences within Stellarium. However, the viewer will now only engage with a recreation of a skyscape. This challenge offers an interesting field for further investigation.
Skyscapes are encountered and engaged with in a multitude of approaches. This report is a progress report of a project in which we intend to analyse sacred sites and their skyscapes through a comparative approach. We will investigate how the planetarium software Stellarium can evoke and engage a viewer with a skyscape experience that could be described as sacred following examples based upon Land Art practitioners such as James Turrell and Robert Smithson.
This project proposes the multidisciplinary approach towards skyscape through deeper engagement with place, architecture, landscapes and Land Art in close collaboration between two students from very different research areas. A phenomenological approach and delicate empirisicm as outlined by Goethe will be applied while truly engaging with the skyscape at night and day.
Impressions and experiences will be implemented into the planetarium software Stellarium creating a non-site experience. We will then explore how viewers phenomenologically engage with this non-site to recreate the site experience. Thereby, we will be exploring the non-site site dialectic outlined by Smithson indicating the benefits of such an approach in light of removing the viewer from the direct site experience.