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Making Contact: SETI Artists in Residence

This group exhibition features artists from the SETI Artist in Residence (AIR) program, including Danny Bazo, George Bolster, Charles Lindsay, Marko Peljhan, Rachel Sussman, Martin Wilner and Karl Yerkes. Making Contact marks the first SETI AIR group exhibition.

The work in Making Contact expands upon the SETI Institute’s mission to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. The exhibiting artists bring fresh perspectives to help navigate difficult concepts and help build bridges to broaden awareness of the science carried out at the SETI Institute. Additionally, many of the works have never been exhibited to the public.  “We’re excited to bring together the art, science and ideas of this unique international program and share it with our community,” says Marianne McGrath, NUMU art curator.

SETI AIR Exhibited Works

The artist team of Danny Bazo, Marko Peljhan and Karl Yerkes has created Somnium which examines both the micro and macro when considering planetary potential within a swath of the universe captured by the Kepler telescope. George Bolster’s film, The Moon, McMoons, and The Moon Museum illuminates our human endeavors to preserve culture relating to our fascination with the Moon. The sculpture and mixed media works by Charles Lindsay manifest in the confluence of re-purposed technology and Apollo images to create imaginary machines and lunar landscapes. In exploring the origins of our universe, Rachel Sussman integrates intention into the quest to understand the nature of the cosmos and our role as its inhabitants. Artist and psychiatrist Martin Wilner renders his series of monthly conversations with SETI scientists using a calendar format, creating spectacular illustrated diaries of correspondence with his subjects.

About SETI and SETI Institute
SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is an exploratory science that seeks evidence of life in the universe by looking for some signature of its technology.

Our current understanding of life’s origin on Earth suggests that given a suitable environment and sufficient time, life will develop on other planets. Whether evolution will give rise to intelligent, technological civilizations is open to speculation. However, such a civilization could be detected across interstellar distances and may actually offer our best opportunity for discovering extraterrestrial life in the near future.

The SETI Institute’s mission is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. It is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach. Founded in November 1984, the SETI Institute began operations on February 1, 1985. Today it employs over 130 scientists, educators and support staff. Research at the Institute is anchored by three centers, the Center for Education, the Carl Sagan Center for the study of life in the universe, and the Center for Public Outreach. For more information:

Making Contact Artist/Scientist Panel Discussion will be held at NUMU on on Saturday, November 5th from 3pm-4:30pm

Making Contact is generously supported by The Robert Lehman Foundation, The Applied Materials Foundation, The SETI Institute, Montalvo Arts Center and The Lucas Artists Residency Program. NUMU gratefully acknowledges support from the Town of Los Gatos and its many donors and members. Additional funding provided by UBS.

Views of the installation, as photographed by Charles Lindsay, SETI AIR Program Director.

Below is a time lapse video of artist Rachel Sussman creating the Cosmic Microwave Sand Mandala, installed in Making Contact.