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The Moon as Muse: Visions for Lunar Artistic Engagement

March 15, 2022 @ 16:00 17:30 CET

The Moon has been a fountainhead of humanity’s time awareness beyond days and within seasons. Ancient artwork around the world testifies to the deep origins of our cultural relationship to our satellite world. The sheer volume of literature, music and art about the Moon would take a massive undertaking to catalog across time and cultures. In this webinar, we will focus on how the Moon inspires each panelist, with an eye toward lunar artistic engagement that couples with wider audiences and with space agencies. What does lunar artistic engagement look like in the late Space Age and on a human-settled Moon? Tune in for provocative and beautiful work.


  1. Introduction – Remo Rapetti
  2. Countdown: Biruni-Galileo-Apollo – Pantea Karimi
  3. Mission Laureates: Further Thoughts – Christopher Cokinos
  4. A New Aesthetics of the Moon – Yuri Tanaka
  5. Imagining an Artist in Residence on the Moon – Lisa Pettibone and Julie Swarstad Johnson
  6. Q&A session – Arthur Woods

Christopher Cokinos is the author or co-editor of several books, including, most recently, Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight, with poet Julie Swarstad Johnson. He’s at work on a book about the Moon. Poems and prose have appeared recently in Scientific American, The American Scholar, The Space Review, Astronomy.com and elsewhere. He’s an avid visual lunar observer with his 10-inch telescope.

Julie Swarstad Johnson is a poet who lives in Tucson, Arizona, USA. She is the author of the poetry collection Pennsylvania Furnace (Unicorn Press, 2019); with Christopher Cokinos, she co-edited of the anthology Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight (University of Arizona Press, 2020). She has served as Artist in Residence at Gettysburg National Military Park, which led to the chapbook Orchard Light (Seven Kitchens Press, 2020). She works as the Archivist and Outreach Librarian for the University of Arizona Poetry Center.

Pantea Karimi is a multidisciplinary artist incorporating VR, performative video, sound, traditional and digital print, and drawing. Her installations investigate and highlight personal narratives, political and societal issues, and Iran’s visual culture through the historic illustrated scientific documents. Karimi has exhibited internationally across a range of solo, group and traveling exhibitions and her work is included in public collections.

Lisa Pettibone is a visual artist working in sculpture, installation and print. Interested in natural forces such as gravity and tension, her work explores the evolution of form and is underpinned by concepts related to physics and astronomy. In 2018-2019, she was artist in residence at Mullard Space Science Laboratory where she studied the ESA’s Euclid Mission, a space telescope exploring the nature of dark matter in the universe and launching in 2022.

Yuri Tanaka is a researcher at Tokyo University of the Arts where she received her Ph.D., a visiting researcher at Kyoto City University of Arts, a visiting scientist at CERN, and the head of Cosmic Art Research Committee. She has been pursuing to create a diverse collaboration mediated by ‘the universe’ as a mutually acceptable idea among different experts. Her projects can be mostly found in public spaces or at art/science festivals.

Image: Moons of Naoshima by Takaharu Ito and Yuri Tanaka

Register on eventbrite to participate or watch live on the MVA Facebook Page.