In order to properly study the poetry and intricacy of interstellar space, scientists have found it useful to camouflage themselves. A star explodes irregularly when it knows it's being watched; nebulae and other diffuse astronomical objects tend to condense under scrutiny. By merging with the cosmic background, researchers enable their interstellar subjects to interact un-self-consciously.
Paradoxically cosmic and camouflaged at once, our astro-explorers travel with ease. The light, malleable fabric is both easy to handle and resilient to the pressures of space flight. Hyperreactive to folds in space time, nano-sheets require no conventional fuel sources and are not limited by the speed of light in their travels.
With colored dyes, bleach, and black dye, we transformed our bedsheets into a deep star field, sprinkled with nebulas and distant star clusters. You've seen this style of space repeated often: on a computer background, as a print for cosmic leggings fabric, along the length of a roll of stellar duct tape. What does it do? Why does it matter?
Intergalactic-grade Nanosheets have revolutionized space travel. The light, malleable material is both easy to handle and resilient to the pressures of space flight. Hyperreactive to folds in space time, nanosheets require no conventional fuel sources and are not limited by the speed of light in their travels.
Have you read Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris? Or perhaps you’ve seen one of the movies based upon the book? It’s our favorite story: Human beings travel to a distant planet to try to communicate with an alien life form, a Sentient Ocean. The Ocean’s amorphous body covers the whole planet. As it ‘thinks,’ it builds and destroys massive architectures upon the planet’s surface; its thoughts and its movements are the same thing. People cannot communicate with the ocean because our imaginations are not flexible enough to fathom such a consciousness. But we try and try and try. The book is horrifying, and sad, but this thought - that human beings are so stubbornly willing to try to understand a different kind of life form - gives the story an optimistic core, and makes it relevant to today’s nationalistic, xenophobic political landscape.
Portals and Voids
We are dirty with stars, dripping universe from our fingers, wiping its dust from our sweaty faces. Here we are: gatherers, harvesters, re-arrangers of starstuff.
Our Atlas does not depict the night sky as seen from planet Earth. But there is a vantage point on some distant planet (at some moment in the past or future of the universe) from which the night sky aligns perfectly with our dyed and bleached fabrics. Imagine: on that planet lives another sentient society not unlike ours. We have found their Star Atlas. From their parallel myths and constellations, we can triangulate back to learn about the star-gazers themselves.
It is a utopian thought experiment, trying to imagine the world with a slightly different set of heroes, altered myths, and re-calibrated values.
Charybdis is a Greek monster who three times daily swallows the sea and spits it out. Just across the narrow strait from where Charybdis drinks her daily doses, Scylla perches on a large rock, and with her six heads she grabs at whatever the waters bring her. We’re interested in what happens in the mouth of the monster. We’re interested in discovering something we cannot imagine. What’s more, we see ourselves in Scylla and Charybdis, these twin cliff-haunters who terrorize sailors as they assimilate the whole ocean and all of its human contents into their bodies.