During her residency at Kunsthuis SYB (located in the North of the Netherlands), Anna Hoetjes (DAI, 2012) will explore the role of women in the history of space travel and astronomy. In her project Spectra she conducts historical research on a number of prominent female astronomers who played a crucial role in the development of spectroscopy at the end of the 19th century.
Spectroscopy is a technique in which light from the universe is broken down and the chemical substance of the light source is analysed by means of the colour spectrum. Hoetjes wants to talk to female experts in the field and create a fictitious world, in which female astronomers from the past have travelled to distant exo-planets. From there, they send light signals to today’s advanced spacecraft. The astronomers convert this research into various semi-fictional instruments, which will be used to capture these signals and generate their own images.
In SYB, Hoetjes wants to build her own spectroscope; a device with which substances are examined according to their spectrum. She will also send portraits of important female astronomers through different optical instruments, and carry out analog experiments, in order to translate the incomplete representation that these scientists take in our collective knowledge into images.
While currently closed to the public, Syb still wants to continue to offer artists the opportunity to further develop their work. A public presentation of Anna’s work will therefore follow at a different time.
Anna Hoetjes is an artist and filmmaker. Her work draws parallels between film history from the beginning of the 20th century and technological developments today. She is interested in the way people see and are seen in a technologically mediated world. How does the past influence how we look at ourselves and technology today? Hoetjes explores these questions in performances, short fiction films, video installations and lectures, spinning a web of associations between science, history and fantasy. A ‘web’ in which the role of women is becoming increasingly important.