This blog will keep you informed about the "outer space" series:

„outer space“ exhibition opens in New York

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Benrubi Gallery presents Michael Najjar's solo exhibition, "outer space"- the artist’s first show with the gallery and the first major showing of this series in New York City. On view are 10 large scale photographs, 3 video works and vision statements by Buzz Aldrin and Michael Lopez-Algeria.

Exhibition duration: 1 April - 14 May, 2016

Press reviews:
Wallstreet Journal
TIME Magazine
Smithonian Magazine

Benrubi Gallery
521 West 26th Street 2nd floor
New York, NY 10001
www.benrubigallery.com
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am - 6pm

VA229 Mission successful launched into space

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Arianespace’s second launch of 2016 succesfully took place on the 9th of March. The Ariane 5 rocket roared into the start night sky of French Guyana to orbit the EUTELSAT 65 West A satellite for the international operator Eutelsat Communications.

Michael has spent 3 weeks at the Space Center Guyana (CSG) to take pictures from the preparation of the the Ariane 5 Launcher, the integration of the huge satellite and the launch itself.

www.arianespace.com

Virgin Galactic unveils new spaceship 16 months after fatal crash

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© Virgin Galactic
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© Virgin Galactic

Sixteen months after a tragic crash during a test flight which killed a pilot, Virgin Galactic unveiled its newly built spaceship on Friday 19 February in a ceremony at the company’s factory in Mojave, California.

Professor Stephen Hawking named the new vehicle Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Unity. The testing phase will start soon.Unity will be tested as a whole craft, first on the ground; then in tethered flight to the carrying aircraft; then in controlled glide; then finally in powered flight.

www.virgingalactic.com

Michael has arrived at Guiana Space Center

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© ESA
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Frida Valenduc, © Michael Najjar

Michael was given the rare opportunity to take pictures of an Ariane 5 launch campaign at the Centre Spacial Guyannais (CSG) near Kourou in French Guyana. Operational since 1968, it is particularly suitable as a location for a spaceport because it is quite close to the equator, so that the spinning earth can impart some extra velocity to the rockets for free when launched eastward. The European Space Agency (ESA), the French space agency CNES (National Centre for Space Studies), and the commercial Arianespace company conduct launches from Kourou.

Michael will follow the assembly of an Ariane 5 Rocket as well as the integration of a communication satellite which will be send to the geostationary orbit for broadcasting the Olympic Games in Brazil. The launch of the vehicle and the integrated satellite is scheduled for 9th March 2016.

Michael inaugurates solo exhibition „outer space“ at Kunstverein Oldenburg, Germany

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Oldenburger Kunstverein presents Michael`s solo exhibition "outer space“. Since time immemorial the firmament of heaven has been a place of wonder and speculation for all cultures of humanity on which they have projected their hopes and deepest desires. The stars serve for geographic orientation and spiritual guidance, astronomical events are thought to explain terrestrial happenings, they are the objects of cultural production in all disciplines. The possibility of leaving the Earth now raises fundamental questions in our understanding of who we are and where we come from. The attempt to penetrate outer space bears testimony to our innate sense of curiosity, our desire to broaden and push back frontiers.

The exhibition presents 23 large-scale photographic and video works.

Exhibition dates: 13 Nov 2015 - 17 Jan 2015
www.oldenburger-kunstverein.de

Exo-Evolution Exhibition at ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe

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Michael participates with several works from the „outer space“ series at the exhibition "EXO-EVOLUTION" which is part of the ZKM GLOBALE. The exhibition focuses on the entanglement of art and science and the artistic use of new technologies.

Over the course of thousands of years, mankind has created a culture of tools, which has expanded the boundaries of our perception, our capacities to act, and the world. Mankind has outsourced its bodily functions: the hand to the hammer, the spoken to the written word, memory to clay tablets, books and computers, etc. Through technology humans transcend evolution and liberate themselves from the powers of nature. With their tools and externalized artificial organs, they create a man-made exo-evolution, which has initiated the age of the anthropocene.

The Exo-Evolution exhibition shows this new reality, which is shaped by new discoveries in space research, molecular biology, neurology, genetics, or quantum computing. It shows us visions and solutions for the problems of the twenty-first century, such as separating oxygen from CO2 to combat the climate crisis, or novel organisms, which have adapted to and optimized themselves due to serious environmental pollution.

Curated by Peter Weibel
Co-curated by Sabiha Keyif, Philipp Ziegler, Giulia Bini

zkm.de/en/event/2015/10/globale-exo-evolution
zkm.de/globale

Michael took pictures at :envihab - Future Research Center for Space and Earth

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The German Space Center DLR gave Michael access to the recently opened „:envihab - Future Research Center for Space and Earth“.
What happens to the human body on a flight to Mars? How does being confined to bed after a serious illness impact the body? How does the lack of daylight affect mood? Are there any measures to counteract these adverse effects? These basic questions need to be answered for us on Earth, to understand the effects of ageing, bedriddenness, immobilisation, and isolation, to name but a few. The DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine is a world leader in aviation and space medicine. With its one-of-a-kind, highly sophisticated medical research facility, :envihab, the Institute is taking a step forward in its ground-breaking research into the ways in which people adjust to extreme environments and other stressful situations.

One of :envihab’s most essential and unique features is the new Short-Arm Centrifuge. This centrifuge boasts advanced functional possibilities for hypergravity studies, enabling :envihab scientists to test for medical risks incurred in a weightless environment.
Michael took pictures of this cutting edge new machine for the „outer space“ series.

Michael opens the world´s first Space Suite in Zurich

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Michael has created an out of this world experience at Kameha Grand Hotel Zürich, Switzerland: A futuristic space station inside a new hotel building. The idea behind the Space Suite is to create an immersive environment which makes the hotel guest - the crew member - feel like living on a space station.

Features include a female computer voice inspired by John Carpenter’s science fiction film Dark Star to welcome the crew member and guide him through the station. 3D printed spot lights inspired by rocket engines, a space glove where crew members can place their phones or key cards, a floating bed, a carpet which pictures the reverse universe, mirrored on the ceilling, mock ups of historic rockets and space ships. Crew members can also relax using an IPod, an extensive library and a mediathek filled with selected books and movies related to the topic of space travel.

Michael also installed 3 original large scale artworks of his „outer space series“, including the 2 screen video installation „orbital cascade_57-46“, showing the increasing quantity of debris in space.

The „Space Suite“ is a sculptural artwork which has become a habitable zone. On important aspect to achieve the immersive feeling is the fact that every view to the outside is blocked to concentrate the guest´s experience to everything what´s happening inside. One of the covered windows quotes the entire Monologue of HAL 9000, the famous board computer of Stanley Kubricks 2001 - A Space Odessey. TV Channels are banned completely, but the guest will have a live stream from the Internatinola Space Station (ISS) and a 24/7 direct link to NASA TV.

The Space Suite has been commissioned by Kameha CEO Carsten Rath. All features in the Suite including furniture, carpets and lighting were created by Michael. He was allowed to let his imagination run riot when designing the room, with the only condition that it had to have a bed and a toilet.

One day we will see hotels floating in space. What Michael did at Kameha Grand Zurich is a space station floating in a hotel.

Studio La Città presents Michael´s solo show "outer space“

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Michael presents his solo exhibition „outer space“ at Studio la Città, Verona, Italy. It´s the second solo show at the gallery and the first presentation of the work in Italy. The exhibition features 11 large scale photographs and projections of 4 video works from the series.

Exhibition dates: 26 September - 15 November, 2015
wwww.studiolacitta.it

Michael completed basic suborbital space training program at NASTAR

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NASTAR Center in Philadelphia is the first FAA safety approved facility able to meet the training requirements for commercial human spaceflight, both suborbital and orbital. It is recognized as the leader in the development and delivery of training for the commercial space industry and is uniquely positioned to enable research to improve the health and safety of humans in extreme environments.

Michael completed together with several other Virgin Galactic Future Astronauts the basic suborbital space training.

The training program included:

Aerospace Environment

  • Space Vehicles & Flight
  • Motion Environment & Orientation
  • Life Support Systems and Suits
  • Physiological and Psychological Effects
  • G Protection, Countermeasures & Skills
  • Space Safety and Emergency Procedures
  • G-Tolerance Flights and Simulated Space Flights
  • Flight profile SpaceshipTwo at the Phoenix Centrifuge