Looking up at the sky is a bit like a real-world Rorschach Test. During the day, it’s possible to see pretty much anything in the clouds passing by: eight-legged pigs, creepy faces, middle fingers and a hell of a lot of peens. On clear nights, connecting the dots between the heavens can be fun; heck, stars have been mapped for millennia.
Neoasterisms, an exhibition at Lisbon’s Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium for the city’s EXD Biennale, gives visitors the chance to redraw the firmament — because Ursas Major and Minor could use some new pals.
Visitors to the installation were invited to construct and label their own Dymaxion-map-like object and outline a constellation, and they were then asked to create a tall tale to go along with it.
Taken together, these narratives begin to form a new sort of modern mythology, inspired in some ways by the past but rooted in the present (and inspired by — but free from — the International Astronomical Union‘s standardised naming conventions).
As the curators explain on the site, it represents “an attempt to build a framework for the collaborative inscription of the ideals, fears and dreams of a new civilisation.” Now that it’s winter in the northern hemisphere, and the sun’s setting in what’s pretty much the late afternoon, it seems they have plenty of time to contemplate the endless firmament.
Photos by Nuno Moreira, courtesy of Neoasterisms.