Space research and exploration must be understood within the framework of expanding the frontiers of our knowledge about nature and the universe. There is a return component that is beginning to emerge globally and that, although less visible, is no less important: its incorporation into Art, Humanities and Social Sciences; who would have thought that, thanks to a meeting on avant-garde art in a small Salamanca town in Castilla-León, a scientific and innovative project on habitability in space, which is also relevant as intangible cultural heritage, could emerge!
I have already commented in this forum that one of the fundamental aspects of lunar and planetary exploration and research is that space will be (in fact it already is) another place where human beings will develop their most common activities.
A few decades ago space was seen as a remote and unknown place where science and technology prevailed as areas of human progress, through the development of the most avant-garde ingenuity that humanity was capable of conceiving. This is so, and it will continue to be so, given the immensity of the cosmos and our still limited knowledge of it.
Space research and exploration must be understood within the framework of expanding the frontiers of our knowledge about nature and the universe, something that is important per se without the need for any other economic or political justification.
It is the simple fact of learning, satisfying our curiosity, to progress as human beings: what has helped us evolve as a species. In addition, there are numerous direct and indirect scientific and technological returns in other areas (communications, medicine, the environment, natural hazards, mineral resources, etc.), which testify to their importance in our daily lives.
However, there is a return component that is beginning to emerge globally and that, although less visible, is therefore no less important. In fact, it may be the key to confirming the maturation of an Earth-Space-Earth process, which feeds back through the culturally holistic imbrication of all that space entails as a new environment in our advance beyond the borders of our planet: its incorporation into Art, Humanities and Social Sciences, in this case, into the former.
But I am not referring to Spatial Art as a genre of expression, but to something that goes even further. Something that is already happening and that is exemplified very well with an artistic initiative developed in Hondura de Huebra, a small town in Salamanca (Castilla-León) with barely 10 inhabitants, which I have had the opportunity to get to know recently.
If we turn to a general definition of art, such as that of Tatarkiewicz, in his “History of six ideas”, this is understood as any activity or product carried out with an aesthetic and also communicative purpose, through which ideas, emotions and, in general, a vision of the world are expressed, through diverse resources, such as plastics, linguistics, sound, body and mixed.
And this is precisely the idea, the concept that underlies the extraordinary “Habitable Sculpture” that Domingo Sánchez Blanco is making and that, in addition to the importance of the work itself, aims to be an