When interstellar-eyeing artist Katie Paterson launches a meteorite, Campo del Cielo, Field of the Sky into orbit, she will be sending a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite back into the galaxy, cast, melted and recast as a model of itself.
The rock’s second journey through outer space, on the ATV-5 spacecraft responsible for carrying cargo to the International Space Station, will be followed by a live question-and-answer session with the astronaut who will hold it.
© MJC, 2009
Back on earth, though, Paterson, who made an extraordinary installation at Kettle's Yard earlier this year, will be discussing her work at Turner Contemporary in Kent.
“I hope this helps inspire people everywhere to think about the really big questions,” she says.
“It’s about the origin of life, the natural history of our Solar System and home planet and our relationship with time, both geological and cosmic.
“By sending it ‘back to space’ I hope to fire the imaginations of students, youth – anyone, really – and foster a discussion on our relation with the wider universe.”
Paterson is taking part in the current Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing show at the Margate venue (read our Preview). The meteorite will return after six months, burning up with the spacecraft upon re-entry.
- Katie Paterson discusses her work on July 30. Tickets £6/£5 (includes cup of tea). Book online.