Science has become “mainstream,” according to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson — the host of Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey, a newly resurrected version of Carl Sagan’s 1980’s PBS series, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. “It’s with us and around us,” he stated in a January interview, citing the popularity of space thriller Gravity. He’s right, of course. Our fascination with the cosmos has grown exponentially, and artists are exploring concepts of space that are bringing us closer to the solar system more than ever. Inspired by Jeff Talman’s new installation, Rhythms of Stars, at St. Paul’s Chapel of Columbia University, which continues the artist’s fascinating work with the sounds of stars (Talman is also set to release a CD that presents the sounds of the sun), we searched for other installations that use the galaxy as their guide.
A cosmic meditation on life and death, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room series continues to hypnotize viewers. In Filled with the Brilliance of Life, the artist hung hundreds of flashing LED lights from the ceiling of a darkened, mirrored room. The floor contained a shallow pool of water, but visitors traversed it over a mirrored walkway. The reflections created a dizzying sense of endless space. This was the artist’s largest Mirror Room to date.