Cosmic Void

By Gaurav Gujar

We may look out to space on a starry night and wonder what is out there? the night sky above, dark chilling breeze, nothing but nothingness as far as your eyes can see. Does this nothingness we are caught up in frighten us or excite us? There is certainly something about the void of outer space that keeps us fascinated, after all, many books, music, films and artworks have been created regarding this most mysterious subject matter.

Image left: Wimages

All you may think is about how much unexplored and unknown is out there and how minuscule the human race is. The level of oblivion is beyond expression but still time and again, many artists expressed their take on space in form of films, music, TV shows, books, art installations and many more.

Starting with films and tv, there have been some mindboggling creations across the globe like the ‘2001: A space odyssey (1968)’ which kind of became a cult in cinematic universe. Then, of course, how can anyone not mention the ‘Star wars’ series which became popular across different age groups. In 2014, many skipped a heartbeat with ‘Interstellar’ by Christopher Nolan. In recent times, films like ‘The Martian (2015)’ directed by Ridley Scott, ‘Gravity (2013)’ by Alfonso Cuaron; literally may have given goosebumps to many. Interestingly, there is an upcoming movie as well.

Distant (2023)

Was supposed to be released in 2022 is now to be released in February 2023, directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon promises a sci-fi/drama about an asteroid miner crash landing on an alien planet and his quest for survival and finding a way back home.

Then, we have some great TV shows like the popular ‘Star Trek’ series and ‘Jetsons’ which clearly were way ahead of their time and writers managed to popularize these across continents.

We have some science fiction TV series just around the corner to be released too.

The Mandalorian – Season 3 (2023)

Linked with popular ‘Star Trek’ story, Baby Yoda and the Mandalorian are returning with season 3 in February of 2023 to entertain all the fan theories.

And then, we have music. For years, we have had some amazing tracks and songs inspired by space exploration and the universe. Music may make you experience outer space at a subconscious level and many people are just hooked up to some tracks for hours if not days. Let us have a look at some of the classics.

Space Oddity – David Bowie (1969)

Fly me to the moon – Frank Sinatra (1965)

The final countdown – Europe (1986)

Then, we had some great books like ‘Carrying the fire’ by Mike Collins, ‘If the sun dies’ by Oriana Fallaci and ‘How Apollo flew to the moon’ by W David Woods. These books kept many readers engrossed in the writings and the thoughts behind it too. Some books were also adapted into films later.

Galaxy Awakening – Philip A. Hibberd

A newly launched science fiction book about Damien Drake landing in outer space where his body gets destroyed but mind stays intact. The med crew rebuilds him and trains him as a pilot, capturing asteroids to mine precious Quantonite. Damien gets rich, but is he really Damien? Or could he be responsible for death of billions? Read to know more.

Imagine – Ernest Cicogna

Ernest Cicogna made his authorial debut with a science fiction book called ‘Imagine’ and the story focuses on the life of ‘Stork’ family – an American family adapting and adjusting to the new futuristic world based in 2040. Overcoming the constraints of physical body over space travel and the new technology developed by NASA for the human race.

Now there are many art installations and exhibits to experience the space inspired dimension first hand. Not just beautiful and interesting to look at but also very educative and thought inducing. Like, the Liverpool Cathedral had the art exhibition called ‘Space, the universe and everything’ was on display in Feb 2022 and absolutely swept the audiences into another dimension.

There are a couple of upcoming art exhibits which can be of interest to many on similar lines and the space, the void and darkness can be interpreted in so many different ways by each and every one of us.

DARK MATTER – Sarah Myerscough Gallery

DARK MATTER is an evolution of The Natural Room, a new gallery collection disrupting the stereotypes of eco-contemporary design and craft. The presentation will attest to the depth, breadth and power of the organic and hand-crafted, with no room for twee, folk whimsy, or kitsch. Visit here.

Our Place in Space (30 July – 29 August 2022)

The critically acclaimed Our Place in Space is a unique collaboration across art, science and technology – an epic scale model of the solar system designed by artist and children’s author Oliver Jeffers, incorporating a 10km three-dimensional sculpture trail. After hugely successful installations in Derry-Londonderry and Belfast, the recreation of our solar system as a 10km sculpture trail designed by artist and author Oliver Jeffers is coming to Cambridge this summer. Visit here.

Another interesting event is about to come to Royal Opera House (1st – 6th August 2022). Professor Brian Cox – Horizons: A 21st century space odyssey. Joined by Professor Alice Roberts; Horizons will take audience on a dazzling cinematic journey about far-away galaxies, alien worlds, supermassive black holes and time before big bang; all using state-of-the-art LED screen technology lighting up the entire auditorium. Visit here.

Just like space, there is no end to artist’s imagination and that is one of the most beautiful voids to witness. Keep your imaginations boundless and keep wondering if not wandering around space and time.

Let us shift from fiction world to the real scientific discoveries which also are an art form in its own way. Recently, NASA published two picture taken by NASA’s James Webb telescope which are deepest and sharpest infrared pictures of distant universe.

Photo courtesy: NASA

The image below is the landscape of “mountains” and “valleys” speckled with glittering stars is actually the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region called NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula.

Sometimes it is fascinating, sometimes it is scary. To actually understand the vastness of universe just makes us realise how insignificant human race can be when compared to elements in space and galaxy.

If you enjoed reading ‘Cosmic Void’ you will enjoy ‘The house on the hill’.

.Cent Magazine, London. Be Inspired; Get Involved.