Best of the Week

Domus, Feb 2013

The International Space Orchestra selected as part of the best of the week in Domus Web.

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This week, we take a look at The International Space Orchestra, Nelly Ben Hayoun's largest endeavour to date: an orchestra composed of NASA scientists, performing a stage opera inspired by control rooms. From space to the fairground, we survey roller-coasters, sophisticated architectures designed to let people experience and overcome extreme sensations, enabling a virtual desecration and demystification of the malaise of metropolitan life.

In Tokyo, we visit a three-storey house and store that ties together the concept of display and the spectacle of everyday life. From Lugano arrives a report on the work of Swiss photographer Peter W. Häberlin, who travelled extensively through North Africa in the early 1950s, and in London, Studio Formafantasma present their research project on the cultural history of leather at Gallery Libby Sellers.

The International Space Orchestra
A design report from Rotterdam by Nicola Bozzi
Nelly Ben Hayoun is quick to correct those that call her an artist. She is a designer, but it's easy to explain the misunderstanding: her approach to the practice escapes the boundaries of mere object-making, overflowing onto performance and theater territory with propulsive determination. In fact, talking about propulsion, she's been into all things space for a while. Ben Hayoun's space obsession has recently culminated in her largest endeavour to date, the International Space Orchestra. This time, she managed to put together a whole ensemble entirely consisting of members of the NASA Ames Research Center, SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), Singularity University and the International Space University, later making them perform a stage opera inspired by control rooms. With the world's largest wind tunnel as a strikingly scenic backdrop, the painstakingly-choreographed performance is the apex of a documentary that premiered 25 January at the Rotterdam Film Festival.
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