From One Con to Another and Apollo Art
I spent last weekend at the Capricon Science Fiction Convention. This coming weekend it will be the SEA (Self Employment in the Arts) Conference. These are two very different sorts of ‘cons' attracting very different audiences. Their common factor is that they both target my areas of interest.
For Capricon, in addition to attending panels on AI (artificial intelligence) and literary economics, I participated in three of the convention's panels. First up was Publishing and Marketing for Indie Authors where I and authors Jonathan Brazee, Blake Hausladen, and publicist Beverly Bambury discussed techniques and methods by which authors could promote themselves and their book. In one sense I was the odd-man-out on this panel. Whereas I am working on getting my first book published – my Earth as Art book project – the other authors on the panel have had a number of books published.
The next panel I served on was Space Settlement: Gravity Wells vs. Free Space where the subject was a discussion/debate on the pros and cons of space settlements built on the surface of a planet or moon (at the bottom of a gravity well) versus space colonies built in free space (at the top of a gravity well, ie Zero-G). Moderated by Patrick O'Connor, my co-panelists were Bill Thomasson, Henry Spencer, John Wardale, and Pat Sayre McCoy. Needless to say, the correct answer to the question of gravity wells or free space is that it all depends on what you are seeking to accomplish or what issue you are addressing. For example, if you are seeking to minimize transportation costs, not having to deal with planetary gravity wells significantly reduces costs. Conversely the vast majority of the solar system's raw materials sit at the bottom of gravity wells. For my part, the economics associated with the development of a spacefaring civilization are a fascinating topic. Hence my presentation at the 2018 International Space Development Conference titled Factors Impacting the Sustainability of a Cislunar Economy.
Closing out my participation in Capricon programming was serving as moderator for the panel Dangers of Space Travel in which we panelists addressed the medical, psychological, technical, and physical challenges of space travel. The panelists for this session were Alia Federow, Martin Shoemaker, Henry Spencer, and Mike Unger. Much of our attention was focused on the question of life and whether or not it can adapt to space. Clearly the greatest unknowns are the biological issues associated with the long term existence of terrestrial life in a non-terrestrial environment.
Changing channels, this weekend I'll be a participating in the SEA (Self Employment in the Arts) Conference in Chicago. At the conference I'll be a panelist for the Making a Living in the Digital and Media Artsdiscussion, leading a round table discussion on Selling on Print on Demand Sites, and serving as the mentor for a small group meeting on Marketing & Selling Digital Photography. This will be the third year I have participated in SEA Conference programming and have found it to be a very fulfilling event. While oriented towards new and emerging artists, the quality of the programming is such that even seasoned artists would benefit. I highly recommend this conference to anyone for whom the creative arts is their source of income.
The Art: Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module Mashup
To illustrate this post I've used a newly created work of art that while its component parts are representative in nature, its final look is fairly abstract. I've taken a particular interest in the Apollo program this year because it is the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon – a truly historic event. I've created a few artworks commemorating this event and have put them up on Redbubble in my Support Space Exploration gallery.
The original artwork is 36 by 24 inches and is shown above. The version that is on Redbubble is a cropped version of the original and has been applied to a variety of products using different cropping and sizing so that no two are identical. If you're curious to see the effect of the art applied to a tee shirt, you can check out the main product page.
Post Script: Planet Earth as Art Presentation
Tonight I'll be giving my Planet Earth as Art: The View from Space presentation at a meeting of the Northwest Suburban Astronomers being held at the Schaumburg Township District Library. It's a free program so if you're in the area, feel free to stop in. For more, see my Calendar of Events for Planet Earth as Art: The View from Space or sign up for my Digital Media Newsletter.
In a conference call I was on the other day, the topic of software ecosystems came up. During this discussion someone referred to the ‘Microsoft ocean'. The first thought that popped into my head was the Bermuda Triangle. Enough said.