Biology, AI, and space

Living Light

Large-Scale Art Installation Travels to Space

Living Light is an artwork designed by the Beyond Earth artist collective for spaceflight. It combines biology, artificial intelligence, and aerospace technology. Living Light explores the connections between our blue planet and the boundlessness of outer space. Beyond Earth modeled the design to nest within Spaceship Neptune, referencing the Roman God of the sea. Its form was inspired by the vast biodiversity of aquatic life on Earth.. The artwork traveled to space onJune 18 aboard Neptune One, Space Perspective’s inaugural test flight.
The depths of the ocean reveal an endless frontier of Earth’s biology,where many of the inhabitants create and use light in beautiful, often mesmerizing ways. These marine creatures are sometimes referred to as ‘aliens of the sea’.Living Light mimics the bioluminescent and iridescent qualities of marine organisms. As it enters the dark abyss of space, it signals and illuminates its surroundings.This lifelike being, employing natural principles, co-creates with space while demonstrating that life is destined to expand beyond our atmosphere.
To create a one-of-a-kind aquatic organism, Beyond Earth researched thousands of aquatic life forms to create a dataset of biological structures that float, move, and glow in the ocean as if traveling in space. The image dataset was used for machine learning to generate the inner organ designs for Living Light, a method that combines biomimicry and artificial intelligence. Hundreds of artistic images of new imaginary space organisms were generated.

Living Light is the summation of various aquatic species, blending bioluminescence, fluorescence, structure, and motion of numerous sea creatures into one organism. The final design, including the inner organs and outer membrane were assembled at the Kennedy Space Center.

On June 18, 2021, Space Perspective’s Neptune One test spaceflight, a full-size capsule simulator powered by a space balloon, carried the artwork to above 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere. The movement of spaceflight triggered color and light shifts within the iridescent and fluorescent materials used in the design. Such changes that occurred – both internally and externally – not only made the vessel lifelike, but also alludes to the transformational experiences of spaceflight. At the peak of Living Light’s journey, one could look back and see the curvature of Earth.
Living Light embarked on a journey to space. It ventured to a new world beyond Earth to return transformed, offering a new perspective of Earth. This quest has changed our protagonist, and is a metaphor for bringing humankind to space. It is a celebration of the dawn of commercial space travel. Launched from the Space Coast this sea-space creature sailed to low Earth orbit, and has recovered from the Atlantic Ocean.
View of Earth through Living Light, inside Neptune One at 100,000 feet
Neptune One Spaceballoon/ Living Light preparing for take-off
Image Credit: Space Perspective / Beyond Earth

Project Credit: Richelle Gribble, Yoko Shimizu, Elena Soterakis (Beyond Earth)
Jane Poynter, Taber MacCallum, Wyatt Wolf, Zane Maccagnano (Space Perspective)

Exploring new frontiers of art, space, and biology in collaboration with Space Perspective, the world’s first luxury spaceflight experience company
To Space, From Earth- Space Art DNA Capsule

To Space, From Earth is a Space Art DNA Capsule utilizing emergent technology and artistic expression to carry a visual message to space. Three artworks by Beyond Earth are encoded into silicon-based synthetic DNA to be launched on a spaceflight. Beyond Earth presents these artworks to encourage a shift from a human-centric worldview to be more encompassing of all inhabitants. To store the artworks in DNA, they are digitized and converted from binary data to the DNA bases represented by the letters A, T, G and C. The encoded DNA sequences are synthesized using a silicon-based platform and preserved in a specialized capsule built for spaceflight. DNA is nature’s oldest and most resilient data storage method. To Space, From Earth will endure the test of time and serve as an important record of human history and the biosphere.

Spaceflight collaborator
Space Perspective

Space Perspective is the world’s first luxury spaceflight experience. It invites more people than has historically been possible to experience a thrillingly new and visceral perspective that expands the human consciousness – the incredibly exhilarating panoramas and scale of Earth in space. Our atmosphere stretches for 100s of miles into space, and Spaceship Neptune flies above 99% of it.

Setting a new bar in out-of-this-world thrilling experiences, as soon as late 2024 Space Perspective will escort Space Explorers gently to space inside Spaceship Neptune’s pressurized capsule propelled by a high-performance space balloon that doesn’t use rocket fuel and sees the world anew through its vast windows. The ultra-comfortable, accessible and gentle six-hour journey redefines what space and wonder travel means for the modern traveler.

Based out of Kennedy Space Center, Space Perspective is led by industry luminaries Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum, and their expert crew who have been responsible for all human space balloon flights in the last 50 years. Poynter and MacCallum have been dubbed ‘Masters of the stratosphere,’ by Bloomberg Business Week, and MacCallum has served as Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.