Risa Horowitz


Imaging Saturn | 2011 - ongoing | MacKenzie Mural 2012 | Oppositions 2011-2040 | Blog

2012 image, 22 stacked frames

2012 image, 22 stacked frames from 10s video. Shot at the David Dunlap Observatory on Canada's largest optical telescope, May 10, 2012.


See the top menu links for more installation shots.

Imaging Saturn is a new long-term program of research that will lead to the development of many bodies of artwork. Imaging Saturn emerged from my experience of seeing Saturn through a telescope for the first time in May, 2010. That observation was a profound personal experience; I was overcome with wonder and by the question of what it must have been like to be the first person to see Saturn with a telescope - in much greater detail than with the naked eye - which Galileo did over 400 years ago. How vast is the universe and incomprehensible on a human scale that we can even begin to make sense of it concretely? How inconsequential must earth be, humankind, me; tired and cold on a dark, clear spring night, looking through a device that, optically, cannot possible see far enough? I aim to fix this sense of discovery and awe and explore ways of communicating and sharing these through art making.


Imaging Saturn raises questions about the universe from an artistic and philosophical, rather than strictly scientific, viewpoint. The project connects with my ongoing work in my focus upon the expert-amateur in that I am engaging in an interdisciplinary project as a professional visual artist who becomes an amateur astronomer and astro-photographer in exploring the universe through art and for the purposes of art making. The primary project concept for Imaging Saturn involves taking a photograph of the planet through a telescope for each year of the planet's orbit around the sun: 29.42 years. So far, I have collected images in 2011, and 2012, and recently acquired a telescope system that will allow me to develop my astronomy and astro-imaging skills to execute the project.


In addition to collecting yearly photographs of the planet, I have mounted a solo exhibition of drawings and photographs at MKG127 Gallery in Toronto, February 2013 (see link at top of page). This work, under the umbrella of the larger program of research involves sky mapping, astronomical drawings, and historical photographic printing techniques. For this I have received a Saskatchewan Arts Board Grant.


I completed two kinetic sculptural pieces, some photography, and video for this project, mounted at Platform with Video Pool in Winnipeg, January 2016. Click here for documentation.

Updated July 2017 | Acknowledgements | Copyright ©1998-2017 Risa Horowitz