KNOWLEDGES is an artist-organized curatorial initiative into the expanded field. Our mission is to create opportunities for artists and the public to experience site through the lens of art. Our primary focus examines sites that raise existential questions. Our first two major projects have examined Mount Wilson Observatory as a nexus of creative inspiration. We facilitate tours for artists to connect with and experience the site, gather research and produce a public exhibition with publication. Working closely at the intersection of site and observation, we ask how can art open new understandings of place?
KNOWLEDGES at Mount Wilson Observatory brings together a constellation of contemporary Los Angeles artists whose work extends from the nexus of ideas embodied by the Observatory itself: astronomy, scientific discovery, space exploration, optics, recorded observation, philosophical questions of cosmology, the history, aesthetics and ecology of the site and its influence upon the cultural landscape of Los Angeles. The exhibition concept is to create a site-specific dialogue between artists and the working Observatory. Many Los Angeles artists create work that is informed by technological and scientific discoveries that take place right here in Southern California–from the use of new materials created for the aerospace industry to aesthetic sensibilities informed by popular space photography, but they have never investigated their source. KNOWLEDGES’ exhibitions contextualize aesthetics and inquiries developing in art, and how they participate in dialogue with innovations in science and astronomy.
KNOWLEDGES is a project of the Pasadena Arts Council’s EMERGE Fiscal Sponsorship Program.