ISEA symposia – thoroughly international events in themselves – have a great opportunity to “touch the earth” by engaging with indigenous populations.  The symposium has always been a place where artists and technologists can meet. Perhaps, more important, it can become a venue for international artists to engage the local native, traditional cultures. With respect to the theme of ISEA2013 – Resistance is Futile – this project offers an engagement between the native and the encroaching global/technological cultures. Resistance may be futile, but engagement is not.

Our project will enjoin the local earth with the universal sky through a discussion of aboriginal cosmology and contemporary astronomy.  “Between Earth and Sky”, provides a platform for creative dialog between artists, contemporary science, and indigenous aboriginal culture.  The project consists of a projection/installation and a panel discussion between researchers in Native cosmology and contemporary science. Its purpose is to engage the native community in a dialog with the international audience of ISEA2013. The participation of tribal communities is inherent to the conceptualization, creation and presentation of both the installation and the panel discussion.

We anticipate the project to be a tour of the metaphorical space “between earth and sky” using an atlas of visualized cosmographic and terrestrial data mediated through the perspectives of both indigenous and Western sciences. We hope to use a projection dome to display the earth plane and sky to compose a plenum of meaning that mediates between the two. The final form will be a product of a structured dialog between members of these two communities in the coming year.

The project will be a projection of cosmological and terrestrial maps showing the relation between them as seen by aboriginal and scientific observers. These will be interactive with the audience, revealing through this interaction a dialog between indigenous and scientific belief systems regarding the sky and its interaction with the earth.

The piece will be realized through digital projection. The ideal venue for it would be a projection dome with a dome projection system. However, if such a dome is not available in Sydney, a gallery space utilizing the intersection of two walls and ceiling will also be acceptable.