Reflections on the authorship of space technology
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The paper offers a proposition in which the notion of the 'ownership' of outer space is substituted for that of 'authorship'. The notion of authorship draws attention to the processes of critical thinking, re-contextualization and resistances to space technology that take place in social domains where no clear role exists either as audience or user of space technology. The proposition responds in part to interventions made by artists in recent years into the workplaces of space technologists and, incrementally, into the imaginaries that inform the kinds of activities that happen in space. Artistic processes expose the reception of space technology at an intimate scale where the agencies of the viewer to observe, absorb and rethink converge with the shaping of space technology via state mediation and space agency imperatives. The constituency of collective authorship to which space technologies are subject is revealed in unexpected ways through artistic intervention that suggests a reappraisal of some of the terms of reference guiding space policy.
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