Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Planetary Futures Seminar: Art and magic in space exploration - Nahum Mantra

26 January 2017, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm

blue marble NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stockli

Event Information

Open to



Institute of Advanced Studies


IAS Common Ground, Ground Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building

The IAS Planetary Futures Seminar Series opens with a lecture from artist Nahum Mantra on art, magical thinking and the imagination in space exploration.

Nahum's projects explore the generation of wonder and enchantment in the everyday, focusing on the extreme perspectives generated by the strategies of magic and outer space technologies. Nahum has been recognised as a Young Space Leader by the International Astronautical Federation, has co-directed of space mission for artists in zero gravity, (Matters of Gravity), in collaboration with the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Russia, is the coordinator of the Technical Committee for the Cultural Utilisations of Space at the IAF and directs the International Festival of Culture and Outer Space 'KOSMICA' and recently curated the digital arts biennial TransitioMx in Mexico City.The session will start with a guest lecture from the invited speaker, followed by a plenary discussion and Q&A.

All are welcome to attend.

For all queries, please contact the co-organisers: Aline-Florence Manent and David Jeevendrampillai.

Download the poster here.

Image: "blue marble" NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli (via Flickr https://flic.kr/p/7Gc6C3)

What is the future of the planet? Whether the impending ecological crisis, the movement of hegemonic ideological socio-political realms or the techno-scientific promises of life on Mars, planetary futures engages a broad range of disciplines. This seminar series will generate dialogue across disciplines and we invite participation from all who have interest in the planetary, whether as a scale of inquiry or an object of study. The talks will be of interest to those in the social sciences, particularly Anthropology, Sociology, History, Politics, STS, Geography as well as the Sciences, particularly Physics, Astronomy, Geology and Space Science. The goal is also to spur a reflection among the broader interested public on the construction of planetary imaginaries and interrogate our current academic apparatus for thinking about planetary futures.

  • Thursday 9 February 2017 (5-7pm): Jill Stuart (LSE)
  • March 2017 (TBC): Allen Abramson (UCL)
  • Wednesday 26 April 2017 (5-7pm): Or Rosenboim (Cambridge)
  • Wednesday 10 May 2017 (5-7pm): Mira Siegelberg (Queen Mary University)