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collaboration


NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The origin of a collaboration between The Huntington and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) stretches back almost a century. In the early 1900s, a handful of visionaries imagined Southern California as a global hub of learning across the humanities, arts, and sciences. One was Henry E. Huntington, who was developing his exceptional library. Another was solar astronomer George Ellery Hale, who played a central role in creating the California Institute of Technology. Caltech’s pioneering work in rocket science would eventually lead to the creation of JPL. Hale convinced Huntington to envision his library as a nexus of research in history, literature, and art. The Huntington Library today holds one of the largest history of science collections in North America. Highlights include Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius, which featured the first engravings of the moon peered through the newfangled telescope, and a 1923 logbook from astronomer Edwin Hubble on his observations from a telescope atop Mt. Wilson. These objects and others are on view in the permanent exhibition “Beautiful Science: Ideas That Changed the World” in The Huntington’s Dibner Hall of the History of Science. The Orbit Pavilion at The Huntington celebrates the relationship between these two research-based institutions, the dynamic fulfillment of a vision first proposed almost 100 years ago.

 

 JPL is a federally funded research center in Pasadena that carries out robotic space and earth-science missions and implements programs in planetary exploration, earth science, space-based astronomy, and technology development. JPL is managed for NASA by Caltech.

 

 

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artwork


Orbit Pavilion

The idea for an installation to convey the “sounds of satellites” is the brainchild of Dan Goods and David Delgado, visual strategists at JPL who commission and create experiences that illustrate, explain, or otherwise demonstrate scientific and technological phenomena. “We wanted a way to showcase these NASA satellites—to bring them down to Earth, if you will,” said Goods. “Orbit is the conduit for that experience, bringing people into contact with the satellites as they move above us in space.”

 

The nautilus shell–shaped structure is about 28 feet in diameter and clad in aluminum. It was conceived of and designed by Jason Klimoski and Lesley Chang of the New York design firm StudioKCA. The sound experience was created by Oakland-based sound artist Shane Myrbeck and Arup SoundLab. Orbit Pavilion premiered in summer 2015 at the World Science Festival in New York City. The installation at The Huntington marks its West Coast debut.

Orbit Pavilion

The idea for an installation to convey the “sounds of satellites” is the brainchild of Dan Goods and David Delgado, visual strategists at JPL who commission and create experiences that illustrate, explain, or otherwise demonstrate scientific and technological phenomena. “We wanted a way to showcase these NASA satellites—to bring them down to Earth, if you will,” said Goods. “Orbit is the conduit for that experience, bringing people into contact with the satellites as they move above us in space.”

 

The nautilus shell–shaped structure is about 28 feet in diameter and clad in aluminum. It was conceived of and designed by Jason Klimoski and Lesley Chang of the New York design firm StudioKCA. The sound experience was created by Oakland-based sound artist Shane Myrbeck and Arup SoundLab. Orbit Pavilion premiered in summer 2015 at the World Science Festival in New York City. The installation at The Huntington marks its West Coast debut.

events


Exhibition: Orbit Pavilion
10.29.16–9.4.17

Satellites that study the Earth are passing through space continuously, collecting data on everything from hurricanes to the effects of drought. The innovative “soundscape” you hear in the Orbit Pavilion represents the movement of the International Space Station and the 19 Earth satellites that investigate our oceans, atmosphere, and geology. Inside a large shell-shaped structure, distinctive sounds are emitted as each satellite passes overhead: a human voice, the crashing of a wave, a tree branch moving, a frog croaking. Each sound thematically relates to the satellite it represents. For instance, the sound of desert wind is used to represent the satellite CloudSat, which tracks weather clouds.

 

Installed nearby in The Huntington’s Mapel Orientation Gallery is NASA’s “Eyes on the Earth,” an interactive touchscreen display with additional information about the satellites and the data they are tracking—such as sea level height or global temperature.
Celebration Lawn

Panel Discussion: Aerospace in Southern California
12.13.16

The history of the aerospace industry in Southern California and its intersections with contemporary culture will be the focus of a panel discussion, presented in conjunction with the exhibition of NASA’s Orbit Pavilion (on view at The Huntington Oct. 29 through Feb. 27). Panelists are Peter Westwick, aerospace historian; William Deverell, director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West; and Daniel Lewis, senior curator of the history of science and technology at The Huntington.

Listen to Lecture Audio

Diavolo Dance: Fluid Infinities
1.26.17

The acclaimed dance company Diavolo brings its performance of Fluid Infinities to The Huntington. Set on an abstract dome structure to the music of Phillip Glass, the work explores metaphors of infinite space, continuous movement, and mankind’s voyage into the unknown. The Huntington’s outdoor installation of NASA’s Orbit Pavilion will be open prior to the program. Funding for this program is provided by the Cheng Family Foundation.

Watch Video of Performance

Exhibition: Orbit Pavilion
10.29.16–9.4.17

Satellites that study the Earth are passing through space continuously, collecting data on everything from hurricanes to the effects of drought. The innovative “soundscape” you hear in the Orbit Pavilion represents the movement of the International Space Station and the 19 Earth satellites that investigate our oceans, atmosphere, and geology. Inside a large shell-shaped structure, distinctive sounds are emitted as each satellite passes overhead: a human voice, the crashing of a wave, a tree branch moving, a frog croaking. Each sound thematically relates to the satellite it represents. For instance, the sound of desert wind is used to represent the satellite CloudSat, which tracks weather clouds.

 

Installed nearby in The Huntington’s Mapel Orientation Gallery is NASA’s “Eyes on the Earth,” an interactive touchscreen display with additional information about the satellites and the data they are tracking—such as sea level height or global temperature.
Celebration Lawn

Panel Discussion: Aerospace in Southern California
12.13.16

The history of the aerospace industry in Southern California and its intersections with contemporary culture will be the focus of a panel discussion, presented in conjunction with the exhibition of NASA’s Orbit Pavilion (on view at The Huntington Oct. 29 through Feb. 27). Panelists are Peter Westwick, aerospace historian; William Deverell, director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West; and Daniel Lewis, senior curator of the history of science and technology at The Huntington.

Listen to Lecture Audio

Diavolo Dance: Fluid Infinities
1.26.17

The acclaimed dance company Diavolo brings its performance of Fluid Infinities to The Huntington. Set on an abstract dome structure to the music of Phillip Glass, the work explores metaphors of infinite space, continuous movement, and mankind’s voyage into the unknown. The Huntington’s outdoor installation of NASA’s Orbit Pavilion will be open prior to the program. Funding for this program is provided by the Cheng Family Foundation.

Watch Video of Performance

stories


aboutsm_five


/five is a contemporary arts initiative centered on five year-long collaborations between The Huntington and a variety of arts and cultural organizations. The aim is to engage The Huntington’s rich library, garden, and art collections in new and thought-provoking ways. Possible outcomes include site-specific installations, educational programming, performance pieces, sound work, film, or myriad other art forms.

 

Each year’s collaboration will be announced toward the start of the calendar year. Information, photos, and stories about each collaboration and the associated artworks and events will be added to this site as they become available.

 

The /five initiative is made possible by a generous gift from The Cheng Family Foundation.

Additional funding for Orbit Pavilion was provided by Kim and Ginger Caldwell and the Bry and Judi Danner President’s Discretionary Fund.