How A Space Invader Took Over The International Space Station With 'Space2' Art Installation.
On July 2014, a different type of cargo was transported to the International Space Station. The final launch of the ATV spacecraft (ATV-5) from Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, brought water, propellant and dry cargo to the space station, but it also delivered an interesting piece of art.
"Space2," designed by the artist known as Invader, will soon be a permanent fixture aboard the ISS on March 12. Let's take a look at how the Space Invader project came to fruition.
Invader's binary art can be found in places around the world and now in space. "It all started when I wanted to give substance to the pixel by replacing it with mosaic tiles. The idea was to create a series of 'paintings,' but I quickly realized that this was an ideal material to put directly on a wall. I then had the idea of deploying my designs on the walls of Paris and the cities around the world," he explains on his website. It's a combination of fun, art and a bit of a game to Invader. To date, his "score" is 3,079 invaders in 63 cities including five waves in New York City; nine waves in Los Angeles; one wave in Sao Paulo, Brazil; one wave in Mombasa, Kenya; and 1,138 invaders in Paris.
"My main concept for nearly two decades is to artistically 'invade' the earth with some mosaic creations inspired by old video games and more particularly by 'Space Invaders,'" Invader explained in an email to International Business Times. "As I had this crazy idea of going further, I realized I was the most legitimate artist to work in an outer space environment. Plus, I have to say that I have always been really interested by the sciences. Science is a great source of inspiration for me as an artist, and what I learned from this project is that art might be inspiring for scientists, too."
Invader has been to space before, but it was a quick visit. "I first started with the 'Art4space' operation. In August 2012, from the Space Coast of Florida, I sent a mosaic 'Space1' to the stratosphere thanks to a helium balloon," he said. "But I wanted to go even further, because art is about pushing the boundaries. And that was a big challenge to go up in zero gravity and to have my creation stay there instead of falling back to Earth as 'Space1' did."
Through a friend, the artist got in touch with the European Space Agency, which loved the idea of a permanent bit of art aboard the space station. It took two years to develop artwork that could fly in space, and the project includes different installations on eight ESA buildings across Europe. ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti has been spending the most time with the Space Invader and will install the art in the Columbia module.