About the Art Work
‘Impossible Object’ is a sculpture made of liquid water. The liquid’s three-dimensional form does not get its shape from any vessel and as such cannot exist on earth, but only in Outer Space in the absence of gravity. The sculpture is built as a composition of brass rods and tubes, through which water flows. With no gravitation to direct the water downwards, the water adheres to the sculpture’s metal structure, forming a dynamic three-dimensional liquid composition, shaped by water’s surface tension forces and its tendency to cling to structures due to adhesion forces.
The sculpture’s composition of rods and tubes resembles a wavy staircase that has no directionality. The work questions shape and form. In the absence of gravitation, what is the shape of a piece of sea or a handful of a wave?
‘Impossible Object’ was activated and documented on the International Space Station (ISS) by astronaut Eitan Stibe during mission AX-1, April 2022, as part of Rakia Art Mission. Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) was the first private astronaut mission on the ISS.
As space tourism becomes tangible and no longer focuses solely on technological and scientific goals, Segal and Meroz reflect on the place of culture and arts in our lives, on Earth and beyond.
‘Impossible Object’ is a research-based artwork, where micro-gravity physics is the medium.
The work ‘Impossible Object’ was supported by:
European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program (GrowBot)
The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Science, Tel Aviv University
Videos and images onboard the ISS were taken by Eitan Stibbe, as part of Rakia Art Mission (Ramon Foundation). Rakia Art Mission curator: Udi Edelman.
Liat Segal and Yasmine Meroz
About the artists
Dr. Yasmine Meroz, Principal Investigator at the Faculty of Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University. Her lab studies physical concepts underlying computational and behavioral processes in plants, such as memory phenomena, active sensing, decision-making, and collective behavior. While Yasmine is a researcher, she believes in art and its role in our lives. Yasmine was awarded the prestigious Krill Prize of the Wolf Foundation.
Photo by Naomi Meroz
Liat Segal, a contemporary media artist, fuses together art, science, and technology. Segal observes human existence in an age of Big Data and asks questions about identity, memory, intimacy, presence, control, and communication. Segal’s artworks have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, on Earth and in Outer Space. In her art practice, she is materializing the digital, using software, electronics, mechanics, and information as materials. Segal is the recipient of the Minister of Culture and Sports Award for Plastic Arts, 2019, Israel.
Photo by Vivian Wild